Hooters’ Summer Brunch: More Than Just World-Famous Wings!

I have always loved Hooters for their wings–they really live up to their reputation–and the kitchen staff always gets it right on the degree of spiciness that you want. But now Hooters has a great Summer Brunch that goes through Labor Day (and might just evolve into a Sunday Football Brunch after that) which is a great bargain and features what I consider to be some of Manhattan’s best chicken and waffles. Also, if you love Bellinis, Mimosas or Bloody Marys, the “bottomless” deals for $24.99 cannot be beat since most single drinks are about $14 these days. (Also on the Bottomless Drinks menu are red or white sangria, and draft pints of Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Light and Coors Light.) I was truly impressed that not only is a trademark chicken wing decorating the Bloody Marys, but so are bacon strips and green olives. You can see the simple menu above. It’s for three hours (from 11:30 to 2:30) on Saturday and Sunday, and I suggest getting there right before 11:30 either day so that you could go upstairs and get one of the tables with tall chairs right up against the windows facing Seventh Avenue–that way you get a great view of Madison Square Garden and get to do a lot of great people watching!

I tried a little of everything! I started out with a Sunshine Mimosa and it was light and refreshing–I probably could have had five or six but I wanted to not fill up on booze. I was super-impressed that my colleague’s Bloody Mary was beautifully topped off with green olives, bacon strips and Hooters famous chicken wings–I swear that it was a meal in itself. Portions are big at Hooters and unless you are the Jolly Green Giant or a championship eater, you are going to need to take some home!

I tasted my friend’s Hooters Chicken Biscuit–which like all the summer brunch entrees, is served with tator tots that are perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. You can top your chicken with a large choice of different wings sauces from the regular menu: Original BBQ, Medium BBQ, Honey BBQ, Hot BBQ, Honey Thai Chili Pepper, Naked Blackened, Teriyaki, Daytona Beach, Caribbean Jerk, Chipotle Garlic, Medium, Hot, Three Mile Island, and 911. I have yet to ever see anyone order the 911 but hope to be there to see it with my own eyes–I am curious to see if an ambulance is called!

I ordered the delicious chicken topped waffle with warm maple syrup. Like the chicken with biscuits, it comes with wonderful tator tots but I “subbed” an order of Hooters’ curly fries that are considered among the best in the city. They are beautifully seasoned (not to salty with just a hint of pepper) and are truly golden in color. I probably could live on Hooters curly fries! Anyway, I have to point out that the waffles are truly unique. They have a delicious cake-like texture–they have a different consistency than a Belgian waffle even though they are thick like them. This thickness stands up well to the golden fried juicy white chicken breast that tops them.

The grilled cheese with fried Jalapeno peppers on Texas toast begins with a thickly cut homemade white bread that is just so fresh and heavenly–and the Wisconsin Cheddar used is in a league of its own. You would be hard-pressed to find a better grilled cheese in the city. You might think that a grilled cheese is an easy thing to make but Hooters makes it an art form–and this sandwich easily contains six ounces of Cheddar!

Hooters is casual and does not require reservations–and is great for large parties. They recommend a reservation for parties of 12 or above and they boast having the most large screens in all of Manhattan, making it ideal for sports fans who don’t want to miss their games while they eat! Service is friendly and is goes without saying that the girls serving are friendly and truly helpful. Our server was Shannon and she could not have been more attentive.

Brunch items are all super-reasonably priced at $6.99 to $12.99 and can honestly served two people. It’s fun to order several items for your table and share. There is no rush to leave especially on weekends. Take advantage of the “bottomless” situation and spend two hours there people watching and catching up with friends. Hooters is the ideal place to also hang out after work before having to catch your train across the street at Penn Station. Hooters Manhattan is located at 155 West 33rd Street just east of Seventh Avenue; phone 212-695-9580. For more info, go to www.originalhooters.com. There are plenty of great weekday specials and the huge menu listed there, as well as profiles of some of the servers.

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