HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Best Onion Rings

mnadel May 25, 2009 01:23 PM

I would like to nominate Hank's Oyster Bar.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. w
    wayne keyser RE: mnadel May 25, 2009 06:23 PM

    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
      2stepper RE: wayne keyser May 27, 2009 10:44 PM

      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
        skipper RE: wayne keyser May 29, 2009 12:15 PM

        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
          Sean D RE: wayne keyser Jun 1, 2009 09:33 AM

          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. c
          Chownut RE: mnadel May 25, 2009 09:03 PM

          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. biscuit RE: mnadel May 25, 2009 09:44 PM

            Agreed. They are otherworldly.

            1. o
              onocoffee RE: mnadel May 25, 2009 09:52 PM

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

              1. Lewes17266 RE: mnadel May 26, 2009 05:33 AM

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

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lewes17266
                  theoneontheleft RE: Lewes17266 May 26, 2009 07:27 AM

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

                2. j
                  jfw RE: mnadel May 26, 2009 06:58 AM

                  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
                    Transplanted Texan RE: jfw May 27, 2009 08:47 PM

                    Where is The Black Squirrel? Sounds intriguing!

                    1. re: Transplanted Texan
                      Dennis S RE: Transplanted Texan May 28, 2009 05:40 AM

                      Adams Morgan - 18th. Dinner only.

                      1. re: Dennis S
                        Transplanted Texan RE: Dennis S May 29, 2009 09:41 AM

                        Thanks, Dennis S!

                  2. c
                    crownedmouse RE: mnadel May 27, 2009 08:58 PM

                    cheeburger cheeburger has some very addicting onion rings

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: crownedmouse
                      ktmoomau RE: crownedmouse May 31, 2009 06:25 PM

                      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. f
                      FoiGras RE: mnadel May 28, 2009 04:17 AM

                      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
                        bmore_flavor RE: FoiGras May 28, 2009 08:24 AM

                        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
                          chicken kabob RE: FoiGras May 30, 2009 06:49 AM

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

                          1. re: chicken kabob
                            FoiGras RE: chicken kabob May 30, 2009 07:43 AM

                            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
                              Hue RE: FoiGras May 30, 2009 08:51 AM

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

                              1. re: Hue
                                FoiGras RE: Hue May 30, 2009 11:01 AM

                                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
                            Sean D RE: FoiGras Jun 2, 2009 01:59 PM

                            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
                              FoiGras RE: Sean D Jun 2, 2009 04:34 PM

                              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
                                pomme de terre RE: FoiGras Jun 3, 2009 07:21 AM

                                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
                                  Sean D RE: FoiGras Jun 3, 2009 12:46 PM

                                  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. a
                              aburkavage RE: mnadel May 28, 2009 08:59 AM

                              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. h
                                Hue RE: mnadel May 28, 2009 01:53 PM

                                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. crosby_p RE: mnadel May 30, 2009 05:54 AM

                                  Dudas in Fells Point, The Dizz in Remington.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: crosby_p
                                    beauxgoris RE: crosby_p May 31, 2009 04:05 PM

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

                                    1. re: beauxgoris
                                      chicken kabob RE: beauxgoris May 31, 2009 04:18 PM

                                      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. a
                                    ambergersa RE: mnadel Jun 1, 2009 09:39 AM

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

                                    1. b
                                      Bethheth RE: mnadel Jun 2, 2009 05:51 AM

                                      District ChopHouse - -

                                      1. ChocoHound RE: mnadel Jun 2, 2009 08:13 AM

                                        Bourbon in Adams Morgan

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ChocoHound
                                          foie grasias RE: ChocoHound Jul 22, 2009 06:49 AM

                                          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. p
                                          pomme de terre RE: mnadel Jun 2, 2009 12:23 PM

                                          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
                                            chicken kabob RE: pomme de terre Jun 2, 2009 12:57 PM

                                            I second Matchbox strings- good call!

                                          2. c
                                            Crocken RE: mnadel Jun 2, 2009 02:57 PM

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

                                            1. i
                                              ivysmom RE: mnadel Jul 19, 2009 01:29 PM

                                              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.

                                              Show Hidden Posts