The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Located almost within walking distance of Newsday headquarters is the new Buds Ale House, which used to be Hooters. Based on location alone, this local spinoff of an Astoria sports bar and grill seemed a likely lunch destination one recent afternoon.
First thing noticed: Most of the clientele seems to be male, most but not all of the crew, female. Everyone properly attired. It's easy to lose count of the TV screens that virtually line the wood-paneled walls and hang suspended from above.
From the pub-style menu, chicken wings ($8.99 for 8), fried and coated with Old Bay seasoning, were good, if a bit salty. In the case of an appetizer of grilled skewered shrimp wrapped around chorizo ($8.99), the highly spiced sausage overwhelmed the shellfish. Still, not bad.
But a burger ($8.99), ordered rare, came up dense and dry, accompanied by undercooked previously frozen sweet potato fries. Much more successful was a Chicago-style hot dog ($5.99), a firm Karl Ehmers frankfurter on a very good if slightly too thick brioche bun. Fish and chips ($12.99) were a trifle oily but decent. Surprise winners: A tart Key lime pie and a multilayered chocolate mousse tart ($3 each), both from an outside supplier.
In case you're wondering about another Hooters makeover under the same ownership as Bud's, 58 American Grill in Islandia, it closed a little over a month ago.
Buds Ale House is at 25 Smith St., Farmingdale, 631-249-5250.