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Onion rings - MSP

bkastner Jun 2, 2006 09:40 AM

I'm relatively new to Chowhound, so if the subject of onion rings has been recently examined, tell me and I'll wait for a decent interval.

But, failing that, where can I find onion rings that haven't been hopelessly mistreated. Onion rings that are actually ONION...RINGS instead of extruded or reassembled or God knows what and have been fried in oil somewhere close to the optimal temperature for something approximating the proper length of time and are...well, you get the picture.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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  1. m
    MSPD RE: bkastner Jun 2, 2006 11:14 AM

    To clarify: do you like the wide cut or thin cut, tempura style batter (smooth) or the crunchy, rolled in ground up corn flakes type coating (rough)? It's kind of like pizza and fries -- there are some pretty diverse definitions of "greatness".

    That said, and shocking I know, the Red Robin burger places have pretty good onion rings in my opinion. They're wide cut, thick, and have the rough coating. That's my onion ring style preference, so it works for me.

    The Gold Nugget out in Minnetonka has thin, tempura style that people swear by. I've had them and they're fine, but it's hard to not have that stringy quality with thin onion rings. The bigger ones in the container were a bit too chewy for me.

    I'm sure I'm forgetting many notable ones I've had -- I'm looking forward to seeing other replies.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MSPD
      Sven RE: MSPD Jun 2, 2006 12:15 PM

      Thanks for the warning about The Gold Nugget. I was there for the first time a few weeks and had fries with my burger. The burger was fine (not worth driving across town for) but I didn't like the fries at all. Undercooked. I planned to order onion rings next time but perhaps I'll stay away from those as well and just get another beer.

      I think the onion rings at Skinner's Pub in St. Paul are pretty good. Although I only had a few as I stole them off someone else's plate.

    2. d
      diesel RE: bkastner Jun 2, 2006 12:13 PM

      You might try the Wild Onion on Grand Ave in St. Paul. I was always skeptical of this place, but I've been pleasantly surprised when I've eaten there with coworkers. It's pretty good for bar & grill type food!
      They have the smooth flour batter-type rings. They're presented very dramatically, in a leaning tower anchored by a long skewer. Good luck!

      Disclaimer: This recommendation is based on a) my visual observation of the rings (they looked fabulous), and b) my coworker's testament that they were really good.

      1. b
        Bob S. RE: bkastner Jun 2, 2006 12:35 PM

        My all-time favorite rings are at Porky's on University Ave. in St. Paul. A single ring is put on top of each burger, but I usually buy a separate side as well.

        They were also served at Nora's and may still be served at Tryg's on West Lake Street in Minneapolis near Lake Calhoun.


        11 Replies
        1. re: Bob S.
          Davydd RE: Bob S. Jun 3, 2006 03:40 PM

          Porky's is not the same anymore. I had their onion rings last month and they were absolutely terrible. You're living in the past even mentioning that place.

          1. re: Davydd
            Bob S. RE: Davydd Jun 4, 2006 12:13 PM

            That's really too bad. I haven't been there in over a year, so I didn't know that it had changed so drastically.


          2. re: Bob S.
            ssioff RE: Bob S. Mar 29, 2010 07:48 AM

            I'm with you Bob S - Porky's, even if it has gone down hill. There is just something about them that is unlike any other.

            I also like the onion straws at 5-8.

            1. re: ssioff
              Davydd RE: ssioff Mar 30, 2010 07:29 AM

              Here's some Porky's onion rings for ya! :)

              1. re: Davydd
                ssioff RE: Davydd Mar 30, 2010 07:59 AM

                Makes me want to run out and get an order. Thanks Davydd.

                1. re: Davydd
                  bob s RE: Davydd Mar 30, 2010 05:06 PM

                  So has your opinion changed on Porky's or their onion rings, Davydd?

                  1. re: bob s
                    Davydd RE: bob s Mar 30, 2010 06:02 PM

                    The onion rings were actually terrible, overly greasy and stuck together. I'll never go back to Porky's. First of all it is just a cheap take out place and no longer a traditional drive-in. The pork tenderloin sandwich I had there was the worst I've had in the Twin Cities against over 30 other restaurants. It is nothing but a tired fast food joint that has cut its cost to the bone and living off the goodwill of the past for unsuspecting patrons that might believe the press clippings of decades ago. Sorry, telling it like it is.

                    1. re: Davydd
                      bob s RE: Davydd Mar 30, 2010 06:07 PM

                      That's fine. I was just surprised to see that you had posted a picture of the rings from Porky's given your 2006 statements above! I've been back since my 2006 statements - I still like the rings, but most of the other stuff is still pretty bad.

                      1. re: bob s
                        Davydd RE: bob s Mar 30, 2010 06:33 PM

                        Did you look at the photo? :)

                        1. re: Davydd
                          bob s RE: Davydd Mar 30, 2010 07:29 PM

                          Yes - I don't know if it says more about me or the onion rings, but they look like they always do... ;-0

                          1. re: Davydd
                            Foureyes137 RE: Davydd Mar 30, 2010 09:09 PM

                            I also thought they looked awesome in the photo...Made me want to eat onion rings.

                            If you want to make someone not eat onion rings, show a picture of Burger King rings...worst. on. the. planet.

              2. c
                Chris Mitra RE: bkastner Jun 2, 2006 01:17 PM

                I typically don't go out of my way to order onion rings, because of the objections raised so far. Take one bite, and you pull the whole onion out of its shell, leaving just the batter for the remaining bites.

                However, recently I ordered the Cook's Revenge at the Triple Rock, and it came with onion rings. I was actually pretty impressed with them, and even mentioned this to my dining companion at the time. The batter was a little thick, but they were really done perfectly. Each bite had both onion and ring, and the inside melted away effortlessly.

                You might also consider one of the local Japanese restaurants (Midori's being our current favorite) and see if they can do a batch of tempura onion rings for you... they would probably do them well, with a lighter batter than Triple Rock, depending on what you prefer.

                1. d
                  Danny RE: bkastner Jun 2, 2006 01:31 PM

                  The Onion Rings at the Town Talk Diner look amazing, those would be the real deal. (If you really want to go deep fried crazy, get their fried cheese curds too.)

                  1. f
                    fish RE: bkastner Jun 2, 2006 03:07 PM

                    Well, if you are open to different shapes, then might I suggest the onion strings at the 5-8 Club? I like them, and prefer them to their mediocre onion rings.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: fish
                      Loren3 RE: fish Jun 2, 2006 03:55 PM

                      i get the walleye basket at 5-8 probably once a week at lunch. it comes with serviceable home fries. next time i'll get the upgrade to the o-rings! thanks for the tip.

                    2. l
                      Loren3 RE: bkastner Jun 2, 2006 03:59 PM

                      Gluek's on 6th between Hennepin and 1st Ave, across from Block E in downtown Minne.

                      Big fat smooth-battered yummy greasy o-rings, just the way I like 'em! Wash 'em down with some of their famous home-made beer. Go on a Thursday night and rock to the sounds of Hookers and Blow. Does it get any better than this?

                      1. r
                        RGT RE: bkastner Jun 3, 2006 10:17 AM

                        The Lexington and the Cherokee Sirloin room have very good, real onion rings. However, they are a bit spendy -(about $7)for a large plate full.

                        1. v
                          venus_de_mpls RE: bkastner Jun 11, 2006 02:27 PM

                          Mannings Cafe offers up some very odd onion rings, almost like onion doughnuts. Both an acquired taste and a guaranteed hangover cure. I haven't been there for years but I can't imagined it's changed much.

                          Mannings Cafe
                          2200 Como Ave SE
                          (651) 331-1053

                          1. d
                            doogette RE: bkastner Nov 26, 2006 02:05 AM

                            Psycho Suzy's.

                            Best onion rings Category:Smooth coat.

                            Town Talk's are good but if I have to travel to onion rings, which I have to do for both, I'll take Psycho Suzy's every time.

                            1. AnneInMpls RE: bkastner Nov 26, 2006 03:36 AM

                              The Lake Street Garage in Mpls has wonderful onion rings - at least, they were wonderful as of my last visit 1.5 years ago. Perfect with a burger and a root beer float on a warm sunny day.


                              1. s
                                savvyguy RE: bkastner Mar 28, 2010 12:57 PM

                                The 5-8 Club has great, pretty non-greasy o-rings. The rest of the food is not worth commenting on though.

                                1. k
                                  keithinmpls RE: bkastner Mar 28, 2010 01:22 PM

                                  Buster's on 28th has by far the best onion rings I've ever tasted. I haven't had any at the establishments mentioned here but I would wholeheartedly recommend Buster's

                                  Buster's on 28th
                                  4204 28th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: keithinmpls
                                    BigE RE: keithinmpls Mar 29, 2010 07:32 AM

                                    Buster's are very good (and hand dipped to order), but can be pretty greasy.

                                    1. re: keithinmpls
                                      jfood RE: keithinmpls Mar 30, 2010 12:50 PM

                                      This is only from a one time visit but they were very disappointing. They were enormous (a good thing) the crust was poofy (also a good thing)> But the coating was barely attached and was falling off and the onions were not fully cooked, still quite hard.

                                      Jfood will try again as the burger was outstanding, but his one time try was less than great.


                                      1. re: jfood
                                        BigE RE: jfood Mar 30, 2010 02:22 PM

                                        I think the prep makes them that way. From what I could tell, the rings (raw) are sitting in a tub. When ordered, they are dipped (in batter only, no flour that I saw) and straight into the oil. I could be wrong, since my view was somewhat obstructed, but this would cause a loose crust.

                                        1. re: jfood
                                          kevin47 RE: jfood Mar 30, 2010 03:33 PM

                                          I'd try the chips before venturing back to the rings. Fresh, zesty with salt and pepper, and a nice dip on the side (which is also great on the burger).

                                          1. re: kevin47
                                            BigE RE: kevin47 Mar 31, 2010 06:41 AM

                                            Absolutely. The chips are the star of the show, with the fries second and rings third.

                                      2. jillbcooks RE: bkastner Mar 28, 2010 02:22 PM

                                        Seriously, Leo's in Stillwater. It's worth the drive. They are the best onion rings I ever had, and I do lurves me some onion rings. It is a malt shop type place on the main drag. They are almost sweet, with a tempura type batter coating. The onions inside are perfectly cooked, with just the tiniest bit of bite. I tend to hate the rings which don't maintain their shape, but are flaccid, greasy messes.

                                        1. d
                                          diearzte2 RE: bkastner Mar 29, 2010 06:43 AM

                                          They've both been mentioned already, but Pyscho Suzi's in Northeast hand batters onion rings to order, as featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

                                          Town Talk Diner also sells some pretty excellent onion rings.

                                          Town Talk Diner
                                          2707 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                                          1. Foureyes137 RE: bkastner Mar 29, 2010 08:58 AM

                                            Since this thread has been resurrected and I can't seem to find mention of them here, I feel obliged to praise Mac's Industrial's very non-traditional "Burning Ring of Fire". More like onion-straws than rings: of the crunchy variety they are a bit greasier than I'd like, but they compliment a beer like nobodies business.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Foureyes137
                                              cookkevin RE: Foureyes137 Mar 29, 2010 09:04 AM

                                              Serum's Bar in Anoka has great onion rings.

                                              1. re: Foureyes137
                                                dc1515 RE: Foureyes137 Mar 29, 2010 11:37 AM

                                                I've had the "fried plate of death" at Mac's and these onion straws were part of this sampler plate. I'd agree that they were a little greasy, and I would further agree that they were well paired with some beer. I'd get them again.

                                                1. re: Foureyes137
                                                  soupkitten RE: Foureyes137 Mar 31, 2010 06:43 AM

                                                  dude. i love the mac's super-thin spicy onion rings as well. the polar opposite to the fat hand-dipped ring style above, and delicious.

                                                2. l
                                                  liney714 RE: bkastner Mar 29, 2010 09:59 AM

                                                  5-8 club by far. Crisp well battered rings. cooked until chrisp but not gressy. These are medium cut rings with a breading batter but the best I have had anywhere

                                                  1. princebaal RE: bkastner Mar 29, 2010 09:24 PM

                                                    Buffalo Tap in Burnsville has decent onion rings, but Pyscho Suzie's are the BEST.

                                                    Buffalo Tap
                                                    4990 W 123rd St, Savage, MN 55378

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