After a day spent running errands we were driving back through Zürich when GLH turned off the regular route.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"You'll see," came his reply.
After some misturns and a few swear words, GLH said "Ah ha!"
I looked up and saw:
HOOTERS! What in the world are we doing at HOOTERS?
Hooters opened earlier this year here in Zürich. I snorted a bit when I heard that, but having never been to a Hooters in the United States I put it out of my mind.
It seems, however, that GLH was having a yearning for some Buffalo Wings. Buffalo wings are in short supply 'round these here parts and Hooters is renowned for making good ones. Served by buxom young women, of course.
But GLH knew that if he told me where we were going, I would immediately shoot it down. So he snuck it up on me.
Since we were already there, I reluctantly agreed to go in.
GLH ordered his Buffalo Wings and I got some Mozzarella Sticks (my personal favorite greasy, American deep-fried appetizer.)
The wings were pretty good, even if they failed to come with a dipping sauce. And the mozzarella sticks were a very good approximation of what mozzarella sticks should be.
So we took a chance. We ordered a margarita. Just one to share in case it wasn't very good. As we have yet to order a good margarita anywhere in Europe and there are only so many outrageously expensive, bad cocktails we want to pay for. But since Hooters is an American sports bar and the wings and sticks were pretty good, we thought "maybe..."
We became a bit nervous when the waitress had never even heard of a margarita and immediately said "We don't have them here." When we showed her the menu with "Margarita" clearly listed, she was surprised and headed off for the bar.
So we watched. There was some conversation between the waitress and the bartender and puzzled expressions. Then they got some kind of a manual out from under the counter.
"Good," we thought, "if they just follow the directions it should turn out alright."
With concentration on their faces, the bartender and waitress carefully read the instructions and started to pull out bottles. They measured all the ingredients and poured them into a martini shaker. Unusual, but it should taste the same, right?
The contents were then poured into a martini glass that had been dipped into salt, placed on a tray and carried triumphantly over to the table.
It sat in the middle of the table while we studied it.
Then I carefully picked it up and took a sip. And nearly spewed it across the table. What we had was not so much a margarita as it was a room-temperature tequila martini fancied up with a splash of lemon juice and a lime. And by the way, instead of using the special margarita salt, they used regular table salt!
Apparently the instructions in the manual were not quite clear enough.
We doctored it up by mixing in quite a bit of water and two little packets of sugar. That made it drinkable.
However, our search for a good margarita in Europe must continue.
Although in retrospect, perhaps we should lower our expectations and just try to find an adequate margarita...