With the recent conflict in Crimea, Russian-American relations have turned as frosty as any point since the end of the Cold War.

But that isn't stopping Brooklyn Nets veteran Andrei Kirilenko from bringing a distinctly American product to his home country this month.

Bloomberg reports that the first of five Hooters restaurants that Kirilenko plans to build in Moscow will open on April 28.

“Russians and Americans are more alike than different -- huge sports fans who are looking for great food and good times,” Kirilenko said. “When you’ve got waitresses that look like ours, it's a slam dunk."

Kirilenko's Russian Hooters restaurants are a part of the company's largest international expansion in its 23-year existence. The Atlanta-based company plans to open 19 restaurants outside the United States this year, including locations in Moscow and Phuket, Thailand.

The 33-year-old Kirilenko, who at age 18 in 1999 became the youngest European player ever drafted by an NBA team, said one of the restaurant's biggest challenges in Russia will be overcoming the notion that it is a "strip bar."

So how does one explain the concept of Hooters to a non-American consumer? It is a chain known for hiring attractive, well-endowed women to wear low-cut tops and tight orange shorts while serving the restaurant's signature combination of chicken wings and beer.

Publicity for the restaurant's opening shouldn't be a problem, as model Irina Shayk (below), the girlfriend of soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, will be working as a waitress at the restaurant for the first week after it opens.

Injuries limited Kirilenko to 45 games with the Nets this season. He averaged 5.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

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By Ryan Herrington
Golf Digest

Masters victory celebrations gloriously come in all shapes and sizes.


We would have given a sleeve of Titleists to have seen the folks behind the counter when Bubba Watson and his crew rolled into this Waffle House early Monday morning, not long after somebody became just the 17th golfer to win his second green jacket.

It is reminiscent of Phil Mickelson's famous visit to the drive thru of a Augusta-area Krispy Kreme after his third win in 2010.

Two mystery questions the photo doesn't solve:

1) Was he wearing his green jacket? (Because that would have made it awesomer.)

2) Why weren't the hashbrowns on the house?

More From Golf Digest:
-- Paulina Gretzky Strips Down For The Fitness Issue
-- The Two Holes That Sealed The Masters' Fates Of Bubba Watson And Jordan Spieth
-- The 20-Year-Old Who Almost Won The Masters
-- A Closer Look At Augusta’s Winners And Losers
-- Eating -- And Grading -- Every Food Item In The Masters Concessions Stand

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By Stephen Hennessey
Golf Digest

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- As I sat at Amen Corner Tuesday morning, watching practice-round pairings play through, I ate all nine sandwiches on the Masters concession-stand menu.

Yes. All of them. And some snacks. And a domestic beer to cleanse the palate.

Two days later, I can write that I'm feeling great. My fast metabolism allowed me even to have a steak-burrito dinner at a Mexican place in Augusta Tuesday night. Oh, and did I mention I started the last two days with a pimento-cheese sandwich, too?

The best part? I paid only $28 at the Masters concession stand. At a baseball game, a hot dog, fries and a beer would cost nearly the same!

I reviewed each Masters selection (in the order I ate them) and give you an honest evaluation. Let me know if you agree!

Grilled chicken sandwich ($2.50). Grade: B+ --> changed to an A. | Antacid level: Low
My first couple of bites were disappointing. I had heard great things about this. All my mouth told me was dry. Don't get me wrong, it has that great grilled-chicken taste. And it got better after the first couple of bites. But then I discovered the barbeque sauce and honey mustard at the condiment stand. A game-changer! That's why my initial B+ went to an A. One insider tip: Golf World writer Dave Shedloski says he eats the sandwich without the top bun. That's a tried-and-true method -- Dave's covering his 20th Masters this week!

More Golf Digest: The Strange Unwritten Rules of the Masters

Egg-salad sandwich ($1.50). Grade: B | Antacid level: High
To me, egg salad is really an acquired taste. For those who enjoy a good egg-salad sandwich, like the group of five guys I was hanging with from Elizabethton, Tenn., they called it their favorite. But to me, it could use some chunkier pieces of eggs. It has a good taste, just a weird consistency. That being said, I've had a number of people tell me it's their favorite food.

Pimento-cheese sandwich ($1.50). Grade: A | Antacid level: High
This is the leading contender for best in show. As a Northerner, I had never even heard of pimento cheese outside of it being a staple of the Masters. I tried my first one before 8 a.m. on Tuesday (with Masters blend coffee). It was as delicious as advertised. Almost reminded me of mac and cheese. The creamy-cheese flavor was so tasty. As a first timer, I see no negatives to it.

Grilled chicken wrap ($3). Grade: B | Antacid level: Medium-to-low
Again, without any condiments this is a plain-jane sandwich. I will say, though, there was a perfect balance of shredded cheddar cheese on the inside of the wrap. That really helps it out in the judging. And if you don't like your lunch spiced up, this might be the thing for you. I threw on hot sauce to make it a solid lunch.

Bar-B-Que sandwich ($3). Grade: C+ | Antacid level: High
I'll certainly allow that it's tasty. But when you've had great barbeque from other parts of the country, this doesn't measure up. It just lacks that good barbecue kick. If you don't have barbecue often, then you might enjoy it.

Veggie wrap ($2.50). Grade: B | Heart-attack rating: Low
This might be your healthiest option. But I'm not at the Masters to watch my weight (if that wasn't already obvious). I'm here to enjoy myself. If you're like me, there are other options that will make your taste buds happier. It stole the shredded-cheddar cheese genius from the chicken sandwich, so it doesn't disappoint.

Ham-and-cheese sandwich on rye bread ($2.50). Grade: A | Antacid level: High
It might sound underwhelming, but this is one of the best offerings on the menu. There are two layers of processed American Swiss cheese -- a glorious surprise. I'm a big cheese guy, and this might be the most delicious slice of cheese I've had. This and the turkey-and-cheese ...

Turkey-and-cheese sandwich on wheat bread ($2.50). Grade: A | Antacid level: Medium-to-high
It's similar to the ham and cheese. You'd think it's simple and not worth your time. But the mayonnaise and mustard combination, along with the same cheese offering as the ham-and-cheese, makes for a delicious sandwich. I gave it a leg up on the ham and cheese for being on wheat bread. But it's still a filling meal. A must-have when you're here.

More Golf Digest: Bode Miller Denied Bringing Quesadilla Into The Masters

Masters Club ($2.50). Grade: B- | Antacid level: Medium-high
To be fair, this was the last thing I tried. When you're putting 2,500 calories into your stomach, there's SOME give. But the turkey-and-ham combination on a seeded hamburger roll didn't do it for me. The rye or wheat bread was a better complement to the taste than the club offered. You're better off with the ham on rye or the turkey on the wheat.

Other snacks:
Chips ($1). Grade: B
Nothing that will blow you away, but definitely solid. They're provided by Cape Cod Potato Chips, which are always quality. There are barbeque or plain chips -- nothing out of the ordinary.

Chocolate-chip cookies ($1). Grade: A
One of the best snacks you can have here. They're the perfect amount of soft -- not too gooey. But the chocolate melts in your mouth. This is a must-try.

Georgia Peach Ice-Cream Sandwich ($1). Grade: A
You can't beat this. Judging by the group of four kids with ice cream all over their face yesterday, they were huge fans. This is a Masters favorite that doesn't disappoint. It'll be the ideal snack later in the week, when the temperatures hit 80 degrees.

Last take: No, we don't suggest you eating every menu item in an hour span. But it sure was fun. If you're a health-conscious patron, there are a few options. But c'mon. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of you. Indulge in the traditions of Augusta National. Eat a chicken or pimento-cheese sandwich, with a cold beverage, and a Georgia Peach ice-cream sandwich. The concession stand in Amen Corner is a perfect spot to soak up the food and the golf.

More From Golf Digest:
-- Paulina Gretzky's Steamy Cover Shoot
-- 13 Burning Questions for This Year's Masters
-- Tour the Augusta National Clubhouse, Host of the Masters
-- Video: Kate Upton Teaches Arnold Palmer to Golf

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Crocodile and kangaroo didn't make the cut at this year's Champions Dinner, but defending Masters champ Adam Scott's menu still had an undeniably Australian feel.

The 33-year-old Aussie peppered his menu with native specialities, including two wines from Down Under and Moreton Bay bugs, a type of lobster from northeastern Australia.


Previous Masters winners have gone all out with their selections -- Scotland's Sandy Lyle included haggis on his menu in 1989 while Canada's Mike Weir selected elk and wild boar in 2004. After winning his first Masters in 1997, Tiger Woods served cheeseburgers, french fries and milkshakes. Last year Bubba Watson called for Caesar salad, grilled chicken breast and confetti cake.

For dessert, Scott had the chefs whip up a pavlova, which is a a meringue-based dish from his mother's recipe. Here's the full menu:


While this looks like quite the feast, there was one dish that Scott wishes he could have added.

"I would love to have served some meat pies at the cocktail hour, but it couldn't be arranged," Scott said. "Next time, if I get another chance to do it, I'd love to serve some."

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A 3-pound sundae (White Sox) and an 18-inch corn dog (Diamondbacks) are among the notable items available to baseball fans these days. So much for peanuts and Cracker Jack, eh?

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Fans who plan on attending the Final Four and national championship games at AT&T Stadium this weekend better come hungry.

The Dallas Morning News provided a first look at the concession items that will be available at "Jerry World" and even for Texas, the state which brought us the bacon-infused beer milkshake, these are pretty special.

There's the Texas Triple Double Sandwich, a $20 monstrosity which combines a hamburger, bacon and a fried chicken breast. And in case that's not big enough, fans can try out the Texas Super Sixteen, a 16-ounce (that's one pound) cheeseburger for $20.

But perhaps the greatest item offered is the Champion Chicken & Waffles, a combination of hand-battered fried chicken and homemade waffles. The sandwich includes onion rings, pepper jack cheese, pecan-maple mayonnaise and bacon.

And oh yeah, it's shaped like the state of Texas.


To check out all the Final Four food items, see here.

Between these and some new offerings at MLB stadiums -- like the bacon cheeseburger Bloody Mary, the 12-scoop, 3-pound banana split and the 18-inch bacon-stuffed corn dog -- it's not a stretch to say we are firmly entrenched in the golden age of stadium food.

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We're not exactly sure when ballpark food turned into such an arms race, but it is a fascinating study of creativity and capitalism.

The Diamondbacks have introduced an 18-inch, bacon-stuffed corn dog that costs $25. The White Sox have unveiled a a 12-scoop, banana split in a full-size batting helmet for $17 .

And now the Twins are taking it up a notch with a new twist on the Bloody Mary. The version being offered at Hrbek's Pub inside Target Field comes with bacon cheeseburger:


It will cost $18. It's a decent bet that thrill eaters would be eager to give this a shot.

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Even as MLB teams are introducing lots of exotic new food offerings -- think 18-inch corn dogs for $25 and poutine dogs -- a new plate that will be served at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago this season may take the cake. Er, the ice cream.

The White Sox announced that fans at their games this year can purchase a full-size batting helmet with an ice cream sundae inside. That amounts to 12 scoops of ice cream (four each of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry), drizzled with caramel, strawberry sauce and chocolate syrup and adorned with two bananas, whipped cream and cherries.


The entire dish weighs three pounds and will cost $17.

The item is meant to be shared, but the team has no illusions that some daring fans will view this monstrosity as a challenge.

"I'm sure a couple fans are going to try to crush it alone, but we're hoping it's for a family," Brooks Boyer, the White Sox's senior vice president of sales and marketing told ESPN. "That being said, we'll have something special for the first person who takes it down by themselves."

The mini-baseball helmet served with a few scoops of ice cream is a popular item across the country, but this may be the first full-sized helmet around. One can only imagine what comes next.

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Of all the gifts that President Barack Obama has received from foreign countries -- and that's probably enough to fill a warehouse -- one that he'll get in Belgium this week may be the most unique.

During President Obama's visit to the country, he'll be presented with a giant cookie version of himself wearing a USA sweatshirt and holding a basketball.

Check it out:



The cookie is 5-feet-4 inches tall and was designed by a 64-year-old baker named Willy Van Oers.

"The hardest part will be the face," Van Oers said, according to reports. "I will have to work on it centimeter per centimeter to work out all the details."

Apparently President Obama's reputation as a hoops fan transcends borders, and that's why Van Oers decided to have his cookie version of Obama holding a ball and wearing a "basketball outfit."

While President Obama may get a good laugh out of this gift, he probably won't think twice about it. After all, he's got bigger issues on his mind during this trip.

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LeBron James has asserted his dominance in many realms -- from basketball to fashion to social media -- and with a new collaboration he's hoping to conquer another field.

Sprite announced this week that it will be releasing a new drink, the Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James, which combines Sprite with orange and cherry flavors. The company released some mockups of what the drink will look like.



"I never imagined I would have my own flavor someday," James said in a statement. "I had a great time working with the Sprite team to turn my favorite flavors into a pretty cool variation of one of my favorite brands. I'm proud of what we created and I'm excited for my fans to try it."

James has had an endorsement deal with Sprite since his rookie year.

The drink will be available for a limited time in 19.2-ounce cans and 20-ounce bottles.

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