Gross Food Week #1: The Original Hooters Medium Wing Sauce


Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system. With that exuberant commencement speech, let us begin Gross Week 2012. Today’s selection embodies all of the principles that I consider to be important for this theme week, namely, that it is a proudly licensed product aggressively marketed by its source and even touted as “secret”, that it is a disturbing shade of nuclear hazard orange, and that it was 99 cents at a grocery clearance store. The fact that it is not, like so many products at this store, past its sell date should give you a taste of its quality already.
Where to begin? There’s just so much to cover on the label alone. Let’s start with the lusty endorsement from the Hooters owl himself, “A thrill on the grill BBQ!” It doesn’t take a professor with a Ph.D in Lolology to figure out how Engrishy that is. Despite my suspicions that this was some sort of perverted and failed test item, it turns out that Hooters still makes this sauce, selling it for a mere $7 on the interwebz, and still employs this awful catch phrase. Reading further, I caught the official Hooters logo emblazoned no less than four times on the jar. Either they’re trying really, really hard to prevent copyright theft or they’re actually proud of this product.
The directions on the side (whose inaccuracies I’ll later explain) also provide a list of recommendations of foods with which you can drown in this sauce. Surprisingly, slathering the sauce on the breasts of an after-hours Hooters waitress is not one of them. There goes my bucket list. The cooking process sounded easy enough- fry up some wings, toss them in the sauce, enjoy with a side of classified ads to wipe away the tears and excess dribblings. Not so terrible, right?

Oh my god, it’s like the bastard child of napalm and nacho cheese. My hatred for Robin Williams and Spy Kids has nothing on this one. I think you get the picture. Yep, nasty surprise number two- the sauce had the texture of cold margarine and the smell of gasoline, Tabasco, and melting plastic. This in no way felt like something I should have put near my face, much less ingest. And I haven’t a clue why the instructions said to shake the jar first- it’s about as productive as shaking a jar of peanut butter. But readers, like a dutiful serf, what I do, I do for you. And so I began the process of cooking my wings.
I decided to try this on both breaded and non-breaded wings to get an idea as to how it adhered to the chicken. Huge mistake on my part. On both applications, the sauce had the softness of warm yogurt and melted like butter on toast. On the pieces of unbreaded chicken, it left no more than a slick trail on the skin and clumped at the bottom of the plate, and on the breaded pieces, it melted into the nooks and crannies and separated almost immediately after sticking on. It felt like the sauce was too runny to handle any temperature above lukewarm, yet was so congealed in its original form that it was also unable to function as a dipping sauce.
Once the wings were no longer molten and ready to eat, the sauce returned to its original liquid consistency, that of a melted almond bark coating, and shellacked the wings to the plate, rendering them mere components in a disgusting and inedible art project and requiring the force of a fork and knife to remove them from their glued-on state. Taking this photo was easy as they remained preserved in their original positions on the plate, held upside down, for over two minutes.
It tasted rancid. This is exactly the kind of product that aspires to be a hot mess and fails miserably. There was literally no element of this that made it appear edible, much less palatable. The heat is warm, but no warmer than a hamburger sitting next to a bottle of mediocre hot sauce and certainly not at the level of any Buffalo wing you’ll find at a sports bar. It has an oily, thick consistency not unlike facial cream, were said facial cream purchased at a dollar store and had a slight numbing effect on the lips. It tastes predominantly of vinegar and Crisco with an aggressively salty bite and leaves a buttery slick all the way down the throat. The sauce had the unique ability to permeate through even the thickest flour breading on a wing, saturating the meat so with its liquid ass flavor and rendering every single wing I made inedible. Lest you worry that I went hungry, I thankfully deployed my backup wing supply with a hot honey and red pepper flake sauce and ate them with gusto.
Congratulations, Hooters. In the world of successful marketing vehicles, this sauce is the abandoned flaming Pinto on cinder blocks with a tarp and headless doll in the trunk.

12 thoughts on “Gross Food Week #1: The Original Hooters Medium Wing Sauce”

  1. WOW!! A zero! What an excellent way to start off Gross Food week, eh? It can only go up from here…well, actually, I guess that’s not true, but statistically, I think your chances are good.

  2. Ugh, even the gross food warning wasn’t enough to prepare me for that glop. Not that anything at Hooters is not gross. I don’t wanna brag but I live like three miles from the ORIGINAL Hooters itself! Last time I was there they seemed to have some of the original waitresses 🙁 Classy city living.

  3. That is the most pretentious review I’ve ever read. Get over yourself and just admit that if this was sold under a different brand name and sold for $7.99 at some high-end uppity grocery store everyone would probably be raving about it.

  4. Erik- Yeah, more like shellacked!

    MrsBug- I’m inclined to do a graph of reviews to illustrate how the ratings went for the week. I don’t think anything went about a two or a three!

    FoodJunk- That’s pretty freaking sweet.

    Scott- I’m not sure. I believe it’s made in the USA but is radioactive enough to appear Chinese.

    Anon- Now that’s just not true at all. You can see from the photos that this stuff looks like ass, regardless of the price tag. I’ve bought so much from this grocery store that I’ve genuinely loved. This just happened to be abhorrent. Get over it.

  5. There is something wrong with your jar. I’ve gotten this before, and it is supposed to be a sauce, not a paste. Even if it wasn’t expired, it think it may have been though a few too many temperature changes or something.

    Something is wrong.

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  7. So we’ve always heard that Hooters had great wings, but my husband, being a good guy who doesn’t agree with objectifying women, has never gone in. So today for fun we got the make at home wing sauce to see if the wings really lived up to the hype. Yeah. We opened up the can, saw the paste, checked for the expiration date, saw it was current and were very confused. I googled “is hooters make at home sauce supposed to be solid?” and found this blog. My husband is currently at the store exchanging the hooter’s “sauce” with another acutal sauce. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought this looked disgusting. We tentatively dipped our fingers in to taste it. Disgusting.

  8. Wow. I guess my palate is not as sophisticated as those of the other readers. I happen to love their wing sauce. It’s delicious. I agree with the other anonymous postings. My sauce was not congealed that way. Something is obviously wrong there. Anywho, don’t knock it ’til you try it.

  9. BE WARE of!!!!!!! Recently my family patronized the “Hooters” restaurant in McDonough, Georgia. Well just let me put you all on notice. Be mindful that this incident took place nearly 3 weeks ago. Finally my resolution came in the form of me filling a dispute with my financial institution. We placed a to go order that should have cost $40.65. After reviewing my account information there was my $40.65 transaction and a $116.00 transaction right above it from the same hooters. Our order you ask… 50 wings. Once I discovered the additional transaction on the account we called Hooters to inquires about why 50 Wings would come up to over $100+ dollars. We were told on the initial call (not in the restaurant when the transaction happened) that our credit card was used to ring up other customers orders. The manager assured me that he would void the transaction and we would be reimbursed in 3-5 days. So here we are waiting 3-5 days for OUR money. Well guess what… the amount never came off the account and I was forced to dispute the amount through my bank. I called back to Hooters and spoke with Richie the General manager who gave a half ass side ways effort to take responsibility for the issue, but he did offer to send a gift card fed ex (that was 2 weeks ago and we never got it). After all was said and done and I received my money back from my bank (Not Hooter’s). This is the farthest from the truth that there is! Now the scheming waitress that took the card and put her buddies $#!+ on my card is named “LaKeisha”. Be Ware using your financial information at HOOTER’s in McDonough! Even the corporate office here in Atlanta only took a complaint and didn’t do jack to rectify the situation. Just wanted to share my experience in-case anyone else decides to visit HOOTER’s. Be Ware and if Lakeisha comes to your table ask for someone with Morals!

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