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Chicas {Ojos Locos Sports Cantina}

January 28, 2013

Oh, Ojos Locos… My first trip to Ojos Locos came last year when my cousin, BN, took me there to watch a Kentucky game while B was snowboarding in Whistler. We called around a few places to make sure someone would have it on. The manager at Ojos Locos assured us they would. As we walked in the door, BN paused long enough to tell me “By the way, this is the Mexican Hooters.” Um, what?!

One scantily clad server who introduced herself as our “chica,” some nachos, and a circular conversation about the bar’s Direct TV package later, we were back in the car headed for Buffalo Wild Wings. No Kentucky game for us at Ojos Locos. After returning home to tell B the story, though, he insisted that I take him there on our next trip. Gee, I wonder what the appeal is?

It took almost a year, but the Seahawks vs. 49ers game while we were away for the holidays gave us the opportunity to visit… if an opportunity is what you would call it. Just to be clear, I don’t have an issue with Hooters. If women want to wear pantyhose and ugly, orange shorts while serving beer and wings, that’s their business. They’re adults. I apply the same opinion to places like the Tilted Kilt. Most of these establishments actually require that their servers wear some sort of clothing, though.

On my first visit, they had short shirts and short skirts on. Okay. No big deal. This time, though… This time, they were all decked out for the holidays. We walked in the door and after a few seconds, I realized I was unabashedly staring at the… outfit… the hostess was wearing. It was basically underwear and a bra with fishnet stockings and a string holding the middle of her bra to the middle of her underwear. It had a vague Santa motif, mostly meaning it was red.

I cautiously looked around and realized that she was one of the more clothed employees (female employees, anyway) in the building. From the server wearing a red, lace bra and hardly much else to every variety of slutty Santa costume, it was jarring to say the least. It also seemed rather unhygienic. I had the same thought I used to have when driving by the strip clubs in Albuquerque advertising bargain prices on prime rib and lobster dinners. It just never sounds appetizing to eat food served in such close proximity to so much exposed skin.

Once we sat down, I was relieved to discover that our server was not only friendly, but at least wearing a corset. We ordered drinks and chips y chipotle queso (because throwing an “y” in the middle makes it authentic) to start while we waited for the game. One thing I will say for Ojos Locos, they’ve got a great set up for sports. Since we were the Sunday night game, all the TVs were showing it with full, clear sound. During commercials, they switched back to music. Aside from the rather violent tables full of 49ers fans sitting across the room from us, we were in excellent shape for game viewing.

I really wanted a beer and they had Guinness, so I ordered one. My mistake. It was quite possibly the worst pour of Guinness I’ve ever had… and that’s saying something. Really, though, who orders Guinness in a place called Ojos Locos? B’s beer was just fine.

The chips y chipotle queso were pretty much what one would expect and were enjoyable enough. We also had the Popcorn Camarones (aka shrimp). They were also fine. They were mostly batter, but I can’t say I was terribly surprised. They fit the bill for greasy, football watching, bar food.

Come the second half of the game, we were ready for more food. After a long and exciting first half of loud cheering (and a near run in with a big talking, nasty, 49ers fan), we were hungry. We opted for the Alitas (aka boneless wings). We had half green chile garlic parmesan and half buffalo. They were… bad. I mean, really, really bad. I couldn’t even eat them. B didn’t seem to hate them quite as much as I did, but I managed to choke one down, take a bite of a second and then realized it didn’t make any sense that I was struggling  through this nastiness, so I stopped and watched the rest of the plate congeal on the table. You can see that they looked as appetizing as they tasted. I had a giant tub of sangria to wash the horrid taste out of my mouth.

Near the fourth quarter, two of B’s friends from his time in Texas, JJ and CJ, joined us. They’re also Albuquerque natives, but the Air Force took them to Texas. Though they’re currently living away from New Mexico, they were also home visiting family for the holidays, so we were really glad to have the chance to spend some time with them.

After they arrived and ordered some chips and guacamole, I decided to brave the ceviche. It wasn’t terrible. JJ and CJ didn’t think it looked so good, though, and offered some of their guac. I was pretty well done with the idea of food at that point, though.

I know it probably doesn’t sound that way, but we actually had a really great time at Ojos Locos and it wasn’t just because the game was a total blow out in our favor. We had our fair share of laughs at the absurdity of our surroundings, the game watching conditions were fantastic, and we had a wonderful time catching up with JJ and CJ. I don’t know that there is a return visit in our future, but a few bad boneless wings were a worthwhile price for this experience.

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