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Best Onion Rings?

The "best hamburger" post has had literally hundreds of replies. I can make a hamburger at home (don't need to pay $5+ at Char Hut for something I can do better).

Onion Rings, on the other hand, elude me. I had a disastrous experience trying to make these myself (both a terrible mess, and a terrible result).

So I need recommendations. I'd specifically like to find the big, doughy ones that scream "hand dipped" and homemade. The closest I've found is at Tom Jenkins' BBQ in FLL (but I am careful to order them separately, since you will wait 10 minutes for your lunch if they wait for the rings to be ready before handing it all over the counter). They have a curious yellow corn-meal coloring, and are slightly sweet, but otherwise fit the bill.

I was disappointed by Char-Hut, which was recommended to me for rings. They will undoubtedly appeal to some (they are "skinny rings" - probably more healthy for you than the kind I like). I want the inner-tube kind. Anyone found any?

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  1. J. Alexander's in Boca and Palm Beach Gardens. Outstanding.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Alfred G

      I was going to mention them too. Here at the Orlando J. Alexanders they pile them high like the leaning tower of Piza. They are delicious though.

      1. In Jax, go to Mojo's BBQ. Nobody else is even close. It's a big order of hand dipped rings w/ a side of ranch. Consistently great, and I'm hooked on the peppery batter they use to dip these in.

        1. The Yard House does a pretty good job with their stack of onion rings.

          1. I can't help with the thick variety. However, for anyone in the SE part of the state that enjoys the thin variation, I can heartily recommend Flanigan's Tumbleweed Onions. Those things are addictive!

            http://www.flanigans.net/full_menu.html

            1. Fuddruckers always has great hand-battered onion rings. Not super-thick, but they have nice, crispy, rings with slightly sweet, firm onions inside, not those rubber bands you get at places like Burger King.

              On the higher end, Del Frisco's steakhouse in Orlando has amazing, to-die-for onion rings that are as thick as breakfast biscuits.

              1. Tony Roma's onion ring loaf has been a guilty pleasure of mine for years. Bobby Rubino's are pretty much identical, or used to be. I have not been to Rubinos in a long time.

                1. I was lured to "Grill on the Alley" at Aventura mall on the promise of onion rings as a side to their kobe burger with white truffle mayo (regularly $18.50, it is on the summer spice lunch menu for $22 with an enormous salad and dessert (the carrot cake is $8.50 a la carte)).

                  I couldn't taste the white truffle (or the kobe) in the burger, and the rings were another SoFla disappointment (they were thick, but the kind with the appearance of the ones you'd find at burger king, not the "battered" appearance.

                  I think there are 2 schools of thought in the making of onion rings. On the one hand are the "breaded," which me no likey. On the other are the "battered," which elude me. I think there are some good suggestions here though, and the quest will go on. I'd love to find success at BLT... that may be my next move.

                  1. I've had some good ones at Primanti Bros in Ft Lauderdale

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: swoll50

                      There is a Pittsburgh Primanti Bros in Ft Lauderdale??!!! SCORE!

                      1. re: Rusyoak

                        I saw Primanti Bros profiled on a food network show, and recalled that it had a high recommendation from roadfood.com (I'd planned to drop in as a stop on a long haul drive from Toronto to Miami). Food Network said they have locations in Florida, and sure enough they have 3! (see http://www.primantibrothers.com/01loc...).

                        I'd planned to visit for the monstrous sandwiches stuffed with french fries and coleslaw, and now that I know they have rings I'll have to put it on my to-do list (list item to read "kill self with french fry sandwich with side of rings"). I'll try not to eat for a few days before.

                    2. tried char-hut, but they were too "skinny". Skinny can be good too (even a big messy "brick" can be a dangerous find), but the fat battered "inner-tube" variety are the ones that are hard to find.

                      1. Can't vouch for Popeye's, but wow - I have to second Hackney's. I grew up just down the road from the original Harms Road one, and it's one of the places I miss the most moving to Florida. I think Outback "copied them", but NOWHERE near as good! It is a Spanish onion loaf, perfectly battered, and fried. Here's a link: http://www.hackneys.net/famous-food/h...
                        Accompanied by their Hackneyburger on black bread - perfection!

                        1. The best onion rings in SWFL are at Bubba's Roadhouse and saloon in Cape Coral You can take my word for that, The second best are at the Varsity Drive in in Atlanta, and the third best are my wifes

                          1. The rings at Boca Wings and Ribs match your description. Just had some three days ago, yumm....

                            www.bocawingsandribs.com
                            2257 N Federal Hwy
                            Boca Raton, FL 33431
                            (561) 391-9110

                            1. My nominee would be the Shrimp Shack in Ft. Myers. I don't like heavy, over-battered onion rings and these are light and crisp and not overly battered. The only problem is, I haven't been to Ft. Myers in a long time. Business used to take me there all the time. So does anyone know whether the place near the corner of Metro and Daniels Parkway is still in business?

                              It is also interesting to note that while generally Chowhounds disdain chains, a large proportion of the onion rings nominated here come from chains. Is it that the independents don't have the high volume of business necessary to make good onion rings (just a thought), or is it that the chains have more practice doing it right?

                              1. I love the onion rings at Whales Rib on Deerfield Beach.

                                1. try the onion rings at burger and beer joint in south beach.Nice thick cut,not greasy,good crunch.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: travlnmike

                                    MAGGIANOS LITTLE ITALY ONION STRINGS, ADDICTABLE AND AWESOME ON THEIR SALADS TOO