We were 7 African-Americans and 1 Anglo White, 5 women and 3 men.
When we'd have to wait forever, hop in the car or go to the one place right next to where we'd wanted to eat, I asked why we were wasting time we could be eating.
"But, Marcia, that's Hooters."
Uh-huh and I'm hungry.
I'd never been to Hooters but I wasn't asked when they decided to build one in the area. No one wanted my permission and it does heavy business.
At Hooters, we could get fried food galore. (One woman wanted a salad. She ended up getting a Cobb salad at Hooters -- she loves Cobb salads so I didn't point out that they were among the most fattening items on the menu.)
But it was an ethical dilemma. As women, should the five of us go into that place. And what of the three men?
I had a visual image of Hooters. But I'd never been in there. And I was hungry. And I wasn't the hungriest. My co-worker Faye will tell you, "I go crazy if I don't eat." She doesn't go crazy or criminally insane but when she's hungry, she can't remember a thing.
So it came down to me advocating for Hooters and arguing that we'd see what it was like and whether it needed to be boycotted.
Hooters is slang for breasts in case someone doesn't know that. And the wait staff is supposed to be female and big breasted.
No offense, but for a place called "Hooters," I saw a lot of flat chests.
They were not Playboy bunnies skipping around either. They were kind of hardened to life and we didn't have any stereotypical blondes. There was one woman with dark hair who was giving her boyfriend money at the bar and telling him that she'd just put up bail for him yesterday and this was all she had and she had to pay daycare on Friday and . . .
This was a rather noisy conversation.
I'm not making fun of the woman, I'm just pointing out there was no effort to create a Playboy fantasy feel.
And that was a little disappointing only because I was thinking it might be a little sexy. (I'm a lesbian if you're late to the party.)
They wear these orange shorts and, if I were in charge, first thing I'd do would be to give them another color. No one looks good in orange -- especially not the pretty African-American (who was one of two servers of color). For their tops, they wear a tight white t-shirt. I think it says "Hooters." I didn't find it sexy. You really have to have legs to carry off those shorts (the cut of them) and none of the women was Tina Turner in the legs department.
I'm not trying to make them sound ugly. They were all pretty. But it wasn't the airbrushed Playboy fantasy.
They also aren't good servers. Okay, maybe beverages are hard? We had some teas in the group and all wanted sweetened tea but were served unsweetened tea.
It took forever to order food after ordering drinks.
When the food came, I got a seafood platter. That's snow crab legs, chicken wings and buffalo shrimp. And you need those things like pliers to crack open the snow crab legs. But I was not brought those. I had the biggest hassle getting them. At which point, I said, "There are four teas on the table, they were supposed to be sweetened. Fix it. ___, ordered a margarita on the rocks. Why did you bring him a frozen one? And did you salt my bloody mary glass in a cat littler box? Is that why where a rim of salt should be, I've got something brown, hard and crusty? I'm not drinking out of this glass. Take this back and get me a bloody mary I can drink."
Now the guys were embarrassed. (One is gay, by the way.) Embarrassed to be there. One was worried about his wife. I said, "Hand me your phone." Then I was on the phone with her, "Lanelle, this is Marcia. Look, we went downtown to eat and were told 15 to 20 minute wait and so I insisted we go over to Hooters. Uh-huh. Nothing to brag about, Lanelle. Our waitress? Shot, flat chested and knobby-kneed with heavy make up to cover acne scars." Lanelle asked for some photos (which I took with the cell phone) because she'd always wondered about Hooters but never been there either. So I snapped those and sent them. But she could have cared less.
And I know the guys didn't want to be staring or something and make female co-workers uncomfortable. But I kept doing it, I'm sure. I was all, "Hey, is it just me, or do we have some tired looking servers?"
After we ate, it took forever to get the bill. I put it on my credit card because we had asked her to break it up but -- big surprise -- she couldn't handle that either.
The service was lousy.
But if you can do take out or have all day to sit around and wait? The food really is good. I'm not joking. We're getting their wings on Friday (take out) for an office party. Everyone loved their meals. I couldn't believe how great the snow crab legs tasted. And the wings were great. If you don't like spicy, get medium or something lower because they're not kidding with their scale. And if you can't take spicy, you can't take hot -- let alone their higher than hot. (I think it was a Detour sign. The hottest was some sort of a traffic sign.)
I had a bite of their burgers because ___ got a mushroom burger -- hamburger with mushrooms and cheese. That was a juicy burger.
One thing to note. Say "house" if you order a drink. Our server tried to lie and claim that I had Absolut vodka in mine (which would up the drink price). I said, "I know Absolut and I like Absolut but there was no Absolut in that drink." At which point she played dumb and said, "Oh, that's right you got the house brand. I'm sorry."
No, I'm sorry we left you twenty-five dollars for a tip. We were seriously considering no tip. (I actually didn't tip because I grabbed the bill.) It was the worst service in the world.
But that food is excellent.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"