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Best Onion Rings

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I would like to nominate Hank's Oyster Bar.

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  1. People will say I'm crazy, but have you ever tried them at Popeye's? Real onions, fresh-battered and fresh-fried (points off for atmosphere, I know).

    3 Replies
    1. re: wayne keyser

      These are my favorite too. I don't know why, but they're the only onion rings that don't leave me with a greasy sick feeling after eating more than a couple.

      1. re: wayne keyser

        Had them for the first time in a long time yesterday evening and they did not match my memory or your recommendation.

        1. re: wayne keyser

          I'm with Wayne! Popeye's onion rings will hold their own against anyone else!

          I would say that its because of one major factor: Volume. Popeye's makes so much deep-fried food that they change their oil quite frequently. Also, I've watched as they prepare those onion rings. They flour them (in the same dredge that is used for the mild chicken) and immediately toss them into the fryer. They are always made-to-order, so while you have to wait a bit, you get smokin' hot, crispy rings everytime.

          (Granted: They are not the traditional beer-battered rings that most people eat. Perhaps, this puts them in a different category.)

        2. I like the onion loaf at Red, Hot, and Blue.

          Whenever I eat/dine at a restaurant, I always ask if their onion rings are homemade or premade.

          1. Agreed. They are otherworldly.

            1. I suggest Burger Brothers in Towson. The onion rings are perfectly crisp and just right.

              1. We loved the onion rings at Ted's Montana Grill.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lewes17266

                  Seconded...particularly with the horseradish sauce...

                2. The Black Squirrel. Thick-cut. Sweet onions. Airy batter and fry. Seasoning is just right, with a heavy helping of salt (which I normally don't prefer) and pepper. These caught me off guard the first time I had them, as I hadn't hear about them being stand outs. But I've ordered 'em at least ten times and think they are really, really stellar.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jfw

                    Where is The Black Squirrel? Sounds intriguing!

                    1. re: Transplanted Texan

                      Adams Morgan - 18th. Dinner only.

                      1. re: Dennis S

                        Thanks, Dennis S!

                  2. cheeburger cheeburger has some very addicting onion rings

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: crownedmouse

                      I second Cheeburger Cheeburger's hand cut onion rings. They are perfectly crunchy, not greasy and not too oniony, I hate when you bite them the onion doesn't all pull out, doesn't happen here. But they are a little different batter than your average, I think this makes them better, but others may disagree.

                      There was a thread probably about a year ago on this same subject that I recall.

                    2. Are you interested in only the rings at more casual dining venues? If not, then I highly recommend Fleming's Steakhouse and the Capital Grille--both have fantastic onion rings. They are huge and virtually greaseless.

                      Ruths' Chris has yummy rings. They are especially delectable with the house remoulade sauce.

                      In the frozen food section of Giant and Whole Foods, there is a brand of onion rings--I believe--Alexa (or Alexia). Now, I know that baked from frozen onion rings will never compare to freshly made, but when I am not in the mood for dining out, these rings satisfy my craving. The brand also has quite good sweet potato fries.

                      As far as Popeye's--I've never eaten anything from the chain as I am not into spicey food. Are their onion rings spiced up like their chicken? If not, I'd certainly give them a try. FoiGras

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: FoiGras

                        Red Robin in Towson has great onion rings, They are extra crispy and stacked in a tower when they come out. Plus their dipping sauces are great too.

                        1. re: FoiGras

                          Foi Gras- You can order Popeye's chicken spicy or mild. Mild has hardly any spice. It is delicious.

                          1. re: chicken kabob

                            Thanks for the input re Popeye's. I've been searching for an alternate to KFC, as the one nearest to my home never seems to have the extra crispy, or they are out of their macaroni and cheese. Usually the KFC has a line of people waiting for at least 15 minutes. So, now I will try Popeye's. Especially since they have onion rings and KFC doesn't. FoiGras

                            1. re: FoiGras

                              FoiGras
                              If you need an alternative to KFC give Royal Farms Stores chicken a try..I think you maybe pleasantly surprised

                              1. re: Hue

                                Thanks Hue--there is actually one near to where I live. But, they don't have onion rings. So, now I'm on MY MISSION--fried chicken (and, of course, onion rings).

                                I will refrain from going for my annual medical checkup until I get this stuff out of my system. All of this fried food, not to foget the cheese binge I've been on. YIPES!!! FoiGras

                          2. re: FoiGras

                            FoiGras, the Popeye's rings are definitely spicy. The flour dredge is spiced up, plus they are fried in the same oil as the chicken.

                            If you don't like the chicken, you may want to avoid the onion rings and fries.

                            1. re: Sean D

                              Sean D--THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I've been told that Popeye's chicken has a milder version, so I thought that the onion rings would be a bit milder. I can take a little heat, but don't believe that Popeye's onion rings would work for me if breaded in the same spicey chicken "Stuff." I am willing to try the "mild" version of fried chicken though.

                              Hey--you will be SHOCKED, along with all Baltimoreans--I rinse some of the seasoning off of steamed crabs!!!! And, I am born and bred in Baltimore. AND, to make matters worse, I don't drink beer with crabs (I hate beer). But, OH WOW, here's another shocker--I drink wine while eating semi-rinsed steamed crabs.

                              Will I have to wear a "Scarlet Letter" announcing my faux pas in the consumption of crabs sans beer and Old Bay seasoning?

                              1. re: FoiGras

                                I usually go for beer or a nice cold iced tea, but a dry white wine is a good pairing with crabs.

                                1. re: FoiGras

                                  I believe that they actually use the mild dredge for the onion rings. However, when you fry them in that spice-infused oil (that everything else is fried in) all bets are off.

                                  Believe it or not, I needed to acclimate myself to eating at Popeye's. Back in the late 70s and early 80s, there were very few in this area. (We used to travel down to the single store located in the old 14th Street "red light district" in D.C., just to get the chicken.) I loved the chicken, but every so often, it would give me some intense stomach pain. It took years to overcome this.

                            2. I had the onion rings at Recessions last night, and was pleasantly surprised. They were clearly real onions freshly battered and fried nice and crisp (granted they needed a little salt).

                              1. Burke's on Light Street in Baltimore used to have great ones....but it's been a few years since I've been there

                                1. Dudas in Fells Point, The Dizz in Remington.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: crosby_p

                                    BGR in bethesda. They're vidalia for one thing: and HUGE. More onion and less breading = perfect!!!

                                    1. re: beauxgoris

                                      Just got back from BGR joint in Bethesda (Had a delicious Greek burger & sweet potato fries.) But I was thinking I should get the onion rings next time, as they looked great- I actually got the rings once (and they were great) but lately have been swayed by the sweet potato fries!

                                  2. I had some really good ones at King Street Blues in Kingstown yesterday.

                                    1. District ChopHouse - -

                                      1. Bourbon in Adams Morgan

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ChocoHound

                                          I second Bourbon. Dee-lish. And I might get chastised a bit here, but i do love the onion rings at Good Stuff Eatery. They use chili of some sort to get this very incredible flavor. It;s not for everyone, but it's for me.

                                        2. The onion straws at Matchbox are to die for. Salty and delicious, and possibly dusted in cocaine to make them even more addictive. Mmmmm.

                                          As for traditional onion rings, nothing in DC jumps out at me right now. In Baltimore, I like Angelo's, Bella Roma and Never on Sunday.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: pomme de terre

                                            I second Matchbox strings- good call!

                                          2. the chips,rings,fries appetizer at the Dogfish Alehouses (germantown, fallschurch (chantillycomingsoon) has my favorite onions by far.

                                            1. Has anyone tried the onion rings at Coal Fire in Ellicott City? We tried them today and they are quite good. Not really "rings", more like onion straws I guess. Very thin slices of
                                              vidalia onion with a nicely spiced breading, not real heavy. When I saw "home made onion rings" on the menu I just had to try them.