“Every normal man must be tempted, at times,” quotes journalist H.L. Mencken, “to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” While that may have been true when he wrote it in 1919 the world being a much more wild and lawless place, we are a much classier and more respectable a people in this modern age. Perhaps today’s equivalent would be “Every normal nacho reviewer must be tempted, at times, to sigh with disappointment in themselves, invite a friend with you so you don’t come off as a total creep, and go review the nachos at Hooters.” That might just apply to nacho reviewers going to Hooters with a pile of preconceptions though. You be the judge.
The cultural consensus seems to be that Hooters is a garbage restaurant for garbage people who just want to ogle some tits and ass, but is this (A) actually the case, and (B) a leading question? I know as a young fellow of seventeen while driving across America on a road trip with friends that we made stopped at two of their locations to have the “True American Experience.” While at the first we found that our waitress was lacking in the department of the restaurant’s namesake, and at the second our server was well into her third trimester, which being young, dumb, and boorish was disappointing and taught us the valuable lesson of to not always think with our junks, which is kind of all you know how to do in your teens. What was also surprising was how many children and families were there, which goes into the company’s questionable marketing of selling themselves as a family restaurant. A dubious claim at best, especially considering that this is their recruiting video:
Needing to produce something like that to convince applicants that they’re not super sketchy reeks of trying to overcompensate. Not since Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice thrice mentioning how the city was completely empty of innocent civilians during the penultimate Doomsday battle in response to the backlash they received after the destruction in the first film have I witnessed such a blatant example of a creator going “See, we heard your doubts and have doubled down on responding to them, everything is totally on the up and up and we are in no way overcompensating for being shady!” All that being said, as questionable as their morals might be, you do have to look as the facts and that they do provide a lot for the community and their waitresses. If you can put up with what is expected of you from working at a Hooters you probably are better off working there than as a waitress at an Olive Garden or an Old Spaghetti Factory. Like the danger pay of an underwater welder or Alaskan crab fisherman, there are sometimes benefits for job positions the general population might have qualms about.
So now that the elephant in the room is out of the way, let’s skip how we almost ended up with another pregnant waitress during the most recent visit and get down to those nachos, or from what you can see in the above picture, salad with some chips in it. Don’t get me wrong, a little bit of lettuce on an order of nachos is totally fine. It has a good color, works well mixing up the textures and flavors, and can even nullify some of the spiciness if need be. What isn’t fine is when you upend a whole bag of Dole Shredded Lettuce on top of a pile of chips and act like that’s totally normal. It’s not. Not in the least. When you can’t lift a chip without sending an avalanche of lettuce onto the table you need to either put your nachos on a bigger plate to avoid that, or better yet just reduce the amount of lettuce by 90% or so. Typically restaurants double down on the lettuce to make your order of nachos appear bigger as well, but these were a good size and needed no such trickery.
The Tex Mex Nachos default to coming with chili, but I switched that to chicken, because after scantily clad women that’s the second thing Hooters is known for. I was not disappointed as the chicken chunks were just right, skirting the line between suspiciously moist and dried out in a perfect specimen of gallus gallus domesticus, and frankly the highpoint of the dish. Then there was the goop.
While the nachos were thankfully not sitting in the sea of grease you will typically find a lot of less quality versions of their ilk in, they were unfortunately in a whatever the equivalent of a pool is when what the pool consists of is a non-newtonian fluid. The menu says two key ingredients are cheese and zesty chipotle sauce, and I was unable to tell which of these this was, or if it was an unholy combination of the two. It reminded me of either the protean mass that makes up the Outer God Abhoth or a butternut squash soup, having a thick and chunky consistency that belongs on neither nachos nor fake cheese in general.
If you had given me straight up viscous liquid nacho cheese that would have been totally fine, but this goop crossed the line. A little bit on chips with the rest of the toppings wasn’t a big deal, but when those were gone and the leavings were a soup of that curdled looking mess, it made me wish I had gone with the all you can eat boneless buffalo wings.
All you can eat boneless buffalo wings would have been a 100 percent much better choice than these.
All you can eat boneless buffalo wings, the reason you actually should go to Hooters. Consult your local establishment to find out what night they are available.
When it comes down to it, Hooters is not as skeezy as you are lead to believe, amounting to basically a restaurant where you are served by cheerleaders in the equivalent of a cheerleader outfit. If that’s your thing rest content in the knowledge that the ladies who work there seem to be treated pretty well and it’s not a bad place to work if you can get a job there. If that’s not your thing, feel free to think of it as a place where women are objectified and which exploits various legal loopholes to prevent women with looks not up to the Hooters’ standards aren’t allowed jobs. It didn’t happen to be my family’s idea of a family restaurant, but if it was yours, good on you. When I walked through the doors with my biases and preconceptions I thought I would come off as being super judgemental against it, but honestly I can’t. It might not be my thing, but if it’s yours I will be behind your decision 100 percent. Have your own beliefs and do what you want, be as individual as an order of nachos, I’m not going to tell you how to live your life. I will however tell you to give Hooters’ nachos a pass, because they were about as great as their video wasn’t in trying to convince you that they’re just a regular old family restaurant.