Seoul's Hooters similar to U.S. version
SEOUL - For guys like my friend "Dave," the toughest part about going to Hooters is explaining to his wife where he's going with his friends that night.
If you're in the same boat, here are a few suggestions:
• "But honey, I only go because I miss those really good chicken wings."
• "Girls? What girls?"
• "I'm just there to support my buddy. He just broke up with his girlfriend and could use the confidence boost."
I think the sympathy angle probably works best. Or, you could be like my friend "Dave" - his name has been changed to protect the guilty - and not be overly detailed about your outing.
Or, just bring the wife. For better or worse, Hooters in Seoul, which opened in January, lacks a degree of lechery found in the franchise's American restaurants.
They still wear the white tank top and the skin-tight, bright orange shorts found in all Hooters restaurants. Some of them have even picked up on the mild flirting with the customers, despite the lack of tipping in South Korea.
"Look at picture, remember me as most beautiful girl!" one of the girls told us after posing with us, mistaking my purely journalistic picture-taking for admiration. Not that I haven't had worse assignments.
Did I mention that Hooters serves food? The renowned buffalo wings come in multiple heat levels. They are not cheap: 10 wings cost 13,000 won ($14.00). If you're really hungry, the huge 11,000 won buffalo chicken sandwich is a better bet.
The appetizer sampler platter of mozzarella sticks, onion rings and fries tasted fine, but the fries came cold.
The menu is pretty large, with a good selection of burgers, salads and even some specialty items like crab legs. The beer selection is sparse, but if it's German master brewing you want, there are other places to go.
However, it's a safe bet that you won't find any bartenders wearing hot orange pants at a microbrewery.
E-mail Erik Slavin at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Prices: Entrees between $9 and $30. Beer is $3 domestic, $6-8 imported.
Specialties: Buffalo wings, burgers and salads.
English menu: Yes
Clientele: Mostly young Koreans with a few families. Some westerners as well.
Gangnam Subway Exit No. 3, walk straight about 500 yards
Exit Apgujeong Subway Exit No. 4, walk about 30 yeards
Speak English: Yes