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Update: the west side Hooters has closed.

In a word: Where the most attractive dishes aren't on the menu.

The specs: #0239
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; NYT review; official web site.

JM ate the BBQ pork sandwich with a lemonade.
John ate the cheeseburger with cheddar, bacon, and mushrooms and a Leinie's Honey Weiss.
Nichole ate the fish and chips with a Leinie's Red.
We split 20 wings.
The bill was $45, or $15/person, plus tip.
JM gave Hooters a C; John gave Hooters a B-; Nichole gave Hooters a D (see our grading rubric).

Latest Madison Hooters news and reviews

Hooters parking lot

The Hooter's appeal, according to the menu, is great food, cold beer, and beautiful Hooters girls.

The food? Not great. The beer? So cold a dollop of semi-frozen beer-slush garnished each pint. The Hooters girls? Of course they were beautiful - it's in the job description.

Wet napsAnd if you can see past the dayglo shorts, it's obvious they're actually pretty great at what they do. No more than four servers kept the whole hopping place stocked in wings and beer, yet not once did we run out of beverages or have to wait long for anything (during the Marquette-Michigan State game no less). Our waitress was really nice, yet not really flirty with the guys, maybe because Nichole was there. We appreciated that she warned us off the mild wings, saying "they're just greasy."

Famous wingsStill, the experience was surreal, like a PG-13 chain version of Smut and Eggs with a heck of a lot less character. And a lot more high school boys' basketball teams (we went during state weekend) - we spotted a few coaches who must have proffered: "Win the big game, guys, and we'll take you to Hooters!"

Chicken sandwichJM's BBQ pork sandwich was thoroughly processed and boring, being only slightly better than state cafeteria food.  In fact, as in a cafeteria, the sauces all came from little plastic cups with tearaway lids (and in the case of the ranch sauce, cost extra).  JM indicated that he'd like to make some commentary on 21st century feminism and how the patricarchy benefits from this kind of girl power, but he's only here for the food, right?

Fish and chips

The fish and chips Nichole chose were gummy, and the fish portion was scant. It was as if 4 fish fingers had been corn-dog-ified. The slaw was some weird, peppery concoction, and the fries were curly and lightly done, not seasoned as curly fries are wont to be. An unfortunate attack of gastrointestinal distress set in just moments after dinner was over, so Nichole had the opportunity to discover that the restroom at Hooters shares a lot of qualities with some of the less posh portipotties and swankier pit toilets she's visited. Later, between dinner and writing this report, Nichole found that the more she learned about Hooters, the worse she felt (even after the dyspepsia passed).

Of the whole experience, John had this to say:

BurgerOkay, the wings were great, the beer was passable. But you don't go to Hooters for food, really, as much as, um, ambience. Beer, sports memorabilia, the game and the girls are the real reasons anybody goes, despite what they may say. I may come back in a couple of years (or some Thursday, with 20 wings for the price of 10) or maybe not. It hits its high points (girls & wings), but it's more or less the tacky too-young-for-a-strip-club restaurant you can feel only mostly guilty for wasting time at.

Hooters' business motto is apparently "You can sell the sizzle, but you have to deliver the steak." With food this weak we'd rather not speculate on what they mean by steak.


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I'd always secretly had a perverse desire to check out the place, but just couldn't bring myself to actually do it. I wondered if the food was secretly good. But, yuck! Thanks for going so I don't have to.

Loved the "in a word"...

I've been told that the key lime pie is good, but I've never felt the need to test that assertion.

kitt: we live to serve!

The "in a word" was all JM. He's the pithiest.

And about the pie - I saw it on the menu, and briefly considered getting it. But the photo made it appear to be in the idiom of the Burger King Hershey's Sundae Pie: all cottonseed oil and HFCS.

Nothing against the person who recommended it to me, but I wouldn't be shocked if that was the attraction. She loves making pies at home, but sometimes I think she veers towards the gleefully lowbrow.

(and no, this is not the little missus to which I so often refer)

Man, the only time I've ever been happy to be in a Hooters was in downtown Chicago during the 1994 World Cup and every other bar was packed to the gills. Hooters might have the worst food of any chain restaurant, which is really saying something. If you're going to eat Hooters-type food in Madison, just go to State St. Brats.

A wise man once said "nobody goes to Hooters for wings".

I stick to that.

And my herbivore ways keeps me from enjoying what sounds to be an incredibly bland dining experience.

Closed !

They have plans to re-open near East Towne, but your review is of the Mineral Point location, so I'm guessing you'd want to put a "closed" notice on this review ?

Ah, messed up the URL for the story in my first posting. Here it is...


Kyle: "I've been told that the key lime pie is good, but I've never felt the need to test that assertion."

I had it once and would consider it above average, but not my kind of place, so never had it since, wonder if you can get a full pie to go?

Anyone have any idea when the Hooters on the East side of Madison is opening? I worked at the one on the West side for 2 1/2 years back in the day. I love the food!! Can't wait until they open!!

I hesitate to do your advertising for you, but a week from this Monday.

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