The Tilted Kilt franchise has come to town. If you’re not familiar with Tilted Kilt, just think Hooters with Scotch plaid. And not much of it. This isthe sort of place where the women wear skimpy costumes that emphasize their breasts, showing as much of them as possible. There are men employed here, but, with the exception of the manager, they are not allowed out of the kitchen, even to deliver food. Especially not to deliver food. The average customer is not interested in seeing the male staffers, even if it means the food has to wait in the window a little while longer for someone with a bust to deliver it.
It isn’t news that sex sells. And Tilted Kilt isn’t the first to take on the Hooters model. Ker’s WingHouse comes immediately to mind as another franchise in the area where flesh is flashed. What would be news is for one of these places to serve exemplary food along with the scenery.
Tilted Kilt, at least the one I was invited to visit, on University Boulevard, serves adequate food, but nothing extraordinary.
But I will say they take seriously their motto that “a cold beer never looked so good.” The beer is indeed served well-chilled. So that’s something.
I started my meal with an order of the TK signature wings, described in the menu as “crispy wings tossed in our sweet and spicy TK signature sauce.” The sweet was there, but there was no spiciness whatsoever. The wings and drummies were served with a mound of fries, several stalks of celery and blue cheese dressing.
I had wanted to try one of the burgers, which the menu lists as Big Arse burgers (which might explain the tilt of the kilt). But I had been told that the Gaelic chicken, which featured pan-seared chicken breasts and sauteed mushrooms, was a specialty. And really, how could I come here and not order the breasts? The whiskey cream sauce was rather bland, and the “garlic” mashed potatoes did not taste as though any garlic had been involved in the preparation. Should have gone for the burger.
The specialty dessert, with chocolate chip cookie and ice cream, is called the Tilted Guilt. I think I would have called it Tart Tartan.
The clientele was surprisingly mixed. Even though it is close to the university, there were people college age and much older. I spotted a table of twenty-somethings and another where some businessmen were huddled around a laptop. There were even some unaccompanied women. Perhaps the thinking is to go where you’re sure to find some men.
I was most fascinated by the table next to mine. There were two men with a woman whose culture required her to cover her body and wrap a scarf around her head. I wanted to discuss with them the incongruity of their restaurant choice, but I didn’t see the conversation ending well.
The Tilted Kilt occupies a former Bennigan’s. The walls have a kelly green dapple that does not look like a professional paint job. Limericks’ have been painted on walls and rafters. There are many televisions around, just in case you don’t find anything else worth looking at.
For the record, the women were all lovely, friendly and, not incidentally, efficient servers.
Tilted Kilt is at 11650 University Blvd., Orlando. The phone number is 407-781-5458. Another TK is at 7653 International Drive, Orlando; 407-226-6886. They’re open for lunch and dinner daily, until 2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. If you don’t have parental controls enabled on your computer, here’s a link to the Web site.