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08.27.08

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Phaedra

Wings and Breasts: And plenty of terrible puns. It's the Hooters way.

Peep Show

Let Hooters introduce you to the 'lean and show' and other patented moves

By Stett Holbrook


SAN FRANCISCO has one. Fremont has one. Even little Dublin out in Alameda County has one. Now, at last Silicon Valley does, too. Hooters opened in Campbell three months ago. The boobies have landed.

Hooters opened in place of Spoon's, a kind of a wannabe Chili's that finally called it quits. Like everywhere else it opens, Hooter's, the infamous chain of restaurants that features scantily clad waitresses wearing microscopic orange short shorts and mercilessly tight tank tops, is a hit.

At 5:15pm on a recent Tuesday the parking lot was almost full. I barely found a spot. It was as if everybody got off work at 5pm and rushed to the restaurant.

There's typically a group of Hooters girls (that's how they refer to themselves) gathered up front to greet customers with smiles and cleavage deep enough to hide a paperback novel. Sometimes the fun loving girls take turns playing with a Hula Hoop. Combined with the music and crowd of people inside, it feels like walking into a party. A bachelor party.

But this bachelor party isn't limited to men. While guys naturally make up the majority of Hooters clientele, I saw a handful of women and even a grandmother out for a special night with what appeared to be her adult son. What a thoughtful man! I also saw a few young children spending some quality time with their families, although it took the waitress of one table a little while to find some Crayons to keep the kid occupied.

In case you've never been, Hooter's is essentially a sports bar. There are TV monitors flashing various games and sporting events in every direction you look. There are also breasts everywhere you look, demanding your attention, as well.

Soon after I sat down on my first visit my Hooters girl came over to take our order and promptly took a seat next to my friend. I call this move the "sit and reveal." I saw the same technique practiced at other tables and again on a subsequent visit. It appears to be standard operating procedure and it provides a better vantage point from which to scope out your Hooters girl. It's quite effective. I confess I have a Mayberry-like habit of looking at the girls in the eyes. But I'm trying to do better.

When the table is too crowded for a Hooters girl to squeeze in I observed two other equally good techniques, moves I call the "lean and show" and the "crouch and display." For the lean and show, the waitress plants one hand on the edge of the table and leans in, urging her chest forward. The crouch and display is when a Hooters girl bends at the knees while at the same time tilting her upper body forward. From the point of view of the people seated at the table, the techniques offer an eyeful.

I wonder if these moves are contained in Hooters employee handbook if they're just learned through on-the-job training?

Oh yeah, the food.

The fried pickles ($5.49) are good, as are the chicken wings. The best I had were the boneless wings (10 pieces $8.49) awash in the "911 hot sauce." The wings were as spicy as advertised, crisp and juicy. Those were the highlights.

The blue cheese burger ($9.49) ranks as one of the worst burgers I've ever had. The dense, overcooked patty was too thick yet markedly smaller than the dry, untoasted, crumbly bun which keep sliding off as if it wanted to get away from the meat. The scraps of shredded lettuce, onion and wan tomato were no help. It was like a bad picnic burger that was sitting around for too long but then someone handed it to you because you showed up late and you took a few bites because you didn't want to be rude but then secretly threw it in the trash when no one was looking.

The chicken cheddar sandwich ($8.49) and Philly cheese steak sandwiches were just as egregious. The Cobb salad ($9.29) with its pieces of boneless chicken wings was less bad. I did like the chocolate peanut butter pie ($4.49), which is kind of like a Reese's peanut butter cup turned into a slice of pie.

On both of my visits my bill came adorned with hearts, XOXOs and flirty messages like "hoots 'n' kisses" written with a pink highlighter. A colleague of mine said on one visit his bill came with a phone number. The hand-scrawled notes reminded me of those I'd get in elementary school. Only those were free. I think I liked those better.

On both of my visits my bill came adorned with hearts, XOXOs and flirty messages like "hoots 'n' kisses" written with a pink highlighter. A colleague of mine said on one visit his bill came with a phone number. The hand-scrawled notes reminded me of those I'd get in elementary school. Only those were free. I think I liked those better.



 

Hooters

Address: 1555 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell.

Phone: 408.377.9464.

Hours: 11am–midnight Mon–Thu and 11am–1am Fri–Sun.

Cuisine: Sports bar fare.

Price Range: Most entrees $8.49–$9.49.

Web: www.hooters.com


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