Owl fans around Tampa Bay are getting uneasy now that the Hooters founders are selling their 22 restaurants to a Charlotte firm. But don't get your orange hot pants in a twist just yet. After all, not one, but two Celtic-inspired jiggle joints have recently started serving wings and winks in the Clearwater area: the Irish O'Boobigan's and the Scottish Tilted Kilt. Can you say Gaels! Gaels! Gaels! Using a highly scientific review system (but trying not to stare), we set out to discover which place was breast, er, best.
Tilted kilt: Putting the "tart" back in tartan, this sassy number is a Scottish schoolgirl fantasy complete with knee socks, push-up bras in Victoria's Secret clan colors and a whole lotta midriff. Don't ask what they're wearing under there (we already did): going commando 'neath the kilt is verboten as per the health department. Besides, the male workers wear 'em, too (shudder).
O'Boobigan's: Erin go braghless? No, but close. Imagine the Hooters uni as designed by the Lucky Charms leprechaun on a bender. You get wedgie-riffic green shorties plus the O'Boobigan's logo on white baby-T. Bullet-proof suntan pantyhose appear to be optional.
T.K: Like Bennigan's with decolletage, the Kilt is all dark woods and polished brass. There's live music on the back deck and an open-air bar. If you feel guilty in the morning, it won't be because of this place.
O'B.: We're fairly certain Burt Reynolds filmed the bar fight from Hooper there. But hey, at least there's a pool table and games. Plus the floors are clean enough to pass out on.
T.K: They may not be real, but thanks for the mammaries. Think Playboy.
O'B.: Think Guns & Ammo. Here you'll find a curvy fleet of lovelies who know how to pour a draught and quip, "My Irish eyes are up here, buddy!"
T.K: We just saw your boss there.
O'B.: We just saw your parole officer there.
T.K: The menu doesn't go overboard with the Scot shtick, so alas, there's no haggis quesadilla to split with your mates. But there is great joy in ordering "drunken clams" (steamers cooked in Guinness). The bar food is better than it has to be.
O'B.: It's a very long way from Tipperary, with "Irish nachos'' (waffle fries heaped with stuff) and "blarney stones'' (jalapeno poppers, tasty ones at that).
T.K.: "A cold beer never looked so good."
O'B.: "Yeah, you read it right."
Laura: A different kind of Highland games, the nod goes to the girls dressed to kilt.
Sean: I'm all about the underdog, the Everyman, the democratic cleavage. O'Boobigan's? O'yeah.