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Feb 21, 2007 06:23 AM

AUS: Need Great Rings

I'm looking for the best onion rings in Austin. My favorites are thick-sliced and lightly battered.

Where would you send me to find these rings?

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  1. For my money, the best in Austin is at Hut's on 6th St. They are very thick cut, but are also thick batterred with a corn (?) black pepper mix. And, they are not at all oily.

    2 Replies
    1. re: avi

      Just went for the first time and tried the onion rings based on these recs. I was disappointed (as with the entire meal). The batter was far thicker than any I've encountered before, and more like a crumb coating than a batter, and it was tasteless except for the occasional touch of stale pepper (much less than I expected from the size of the pepper flakes).

      The onions inside were soggy (which isn't necessarily a strike for me, but I have to mention it since nosh below says they were al dente) and totally devoid of flavor.

      I agree that they weren't oily, but I'd never order them again, and I love onion rings.

      1. re: renz

        Yeah, Hut's rings don't do it for me either---too much batter, too much onion. I prefer 'em at Dirty's, but they're super-greasy soI only indulge once in a while. I'm going to have to try the other suggestions.

    2. I second the vote for Hut's. They're the best I've ever had, anywhere. There is corn meal in the batter, but I think it's mostly wheat flour.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Greg Spence

        Hut's is known for good onion rings, and my family has ordered them during our visits there. They are substantial. Large, very thickly cut, and very very heavily coated. More crusty than delicately crisp, though not oily. Not at all airy, light, or tempura-like. Definitely grainy, corn mealy crust. The inner onion also thick-cut and still al dente, barely softened and not at all caramelized. I must confess my preference is for thinner-cut lighter-battered onion strings with a greater proportion of onion to crust and the onion cooked more.

      2. Spring Hill has great onion rings!

        1. Sullivan's has great rings. Has the beer batter type of batter (not sure what to call it--it's kind of smooth, like the batter on Long John Silvers fish, as opposed to the corn-mealy grainy batter on the Hut's rings). And they are giant.

          1. There's going to be a million answers to this question. The tough part is finding the thick sliced and lightly battered. Some places like Dirty Martin's or Nau's Pharmacy have the classic greasy, kind of stringy and tossed in batter that give you heart burn just looking at them. Players has big ol' rings but these have a heavier batter. Threadgill's has pretty decent rings. Hut's is okay too but I feel that this is another Austin establishment that relies more on nostaligia than good food. The place across from Central Market on North Lamar has pretty better than average rings.

            Personally if I'm in the mood for onion rings I'm usually in the mood for fried chicken as well so I go to Top Notch on Burnet. They may be the closest to what you're looking for but you won't know until you try.

            Happy eating.

            p.s. can you tell I love onion rings like a fat kid loves cake?

            3 Replies
            1. re: hooliganyouth

              I second Top Notch for the onion rings. And I also like to go there for those nostalgic 50's diner-style burgers. Not quite exactly that varietal, but similar. And good.

              1. re: Nab

                I will third the Notch...but they don't satisfy the "thick cut" requirement of the OP. But great rings nonetheless, hand-battered (see pic of actual Top Notch rings attached to this post!). And a good flame kissed thin patty burger. Great place.

                1. re: cstrombe

                  Huh - that's an interesting website your photo came from - I just took a glance, but seems kinda neat.

                  I've seen so many of these drive-up burger joints around Austin, I've come to think it very well might be a haven for these diner-style burgers I love. Don't get me wrong, I like the big burgs too, but they both serve a separate purpose for my tastes. And to bring this back to the topic of discussion, these types of burger joints, at least in my experience, almost always have onion rings, and usually quite good ones. I think it's high time I started exploring some of them.