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Sonic onion rings.... is this nationwide or just my sadness in the Midwest?

Was starving. Hadn't had Sonic or onion rings in forever. Stopped by. Did get a carhop on skates. Nice. Very polite and was well tipped. Was looking forward to hot, cripsy onion rings.

OMG.

They are sweet. Like sugar in the batter sweet. Like my corgi that will eat anything looked at me like "hell to the no." Is this just a local thing or are they all that way? OMG. It was like dessert onion rings!

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  1. They fry them in the oil they use for french toast sticks. YUCK!!
    I ordered their fried pickles one time and they had that awful sweet taste too. Never will I order fried things from Sonic again.

    7 Replies
    1. re: smithareeny

      I never complain to corporate. This one warranted a complaint. They were inedible. They were like donut/onion rings.... which maybe if you're really really drunk sound good.... but not so much in real life. Thanks for the possibly explanation Smithareeny. I'm not sure if I've had onion rings there since they started making those.

      1. re: smithareeny

        wow. this is horrible. Like I'm trying not to puke horrible.... it's sitting in my gut and I still have the taste in my mouth after brushing my teeth. and I LIKE sonic!

        1. re: smithareeny

          So that's why they have a faint vanilla taste to me?

          The tater tots taste fine though.

          1. re: viperlush

            believe me... I'd give sonic the benefit of the doubt. I used to love them. Want to like them.... but holy crap. That was foul. The burger was edible

            1. re: Firegoat

              I usually like Sonic as well, but my wife got some rings yesterday, and I thought they were unusually sweet as well. I wondered if they just spilled a little extra sugar in the batter, but maybe it is some kind of nationwide change. I hope not because we used to like their rings.

          2. re: smithareeny

            Maybe the staff got the French toast batter and onion ring batter mixed. Many years ago my Mom and I went to Friendly's for breakfast. She ordered scrambled eggs...when they came out they were very, very sweet & had cinnamon. Turns out they scrambled French toast batter, not the egg mixture.

            1. re: Janet from Richmond

              That's why I won't go to chain breakfast joints, your story is too common.

          3. To be fair to Sonic (who I still love despite the gross onion rings) I did get two email responses from them today.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Firegoat

              And?? Did they address your complaint to your satisfaction? Also, I get it that you neither expected nor wanted _sweet_ onion rings. But many folks put sweet condiments on savory fried fastfood (ketchup on onion rings and french fries, honey mustard on chicken nuggets, etc..). The concept of savory fried X - made sweet with Y - is not unheard of. Of course, I've been known to dip my fries in my strawberry shake...

              1. re: silence9

                The first time we rented a house in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, we were pretty excited to plan a first visit to Sonic on our way back home to NJ. We are not a fast food family in any way, shape or form. We did order onion rings. Nobody liked them. I've got a pretty good palate, and all I could taste was cheap vanilla flavoring. After a few hours on the road, my guess is they get double use out of the pancake batter. The onion rings tasted like pancakes without the syrup. Our first and only visit, even though Sonic now has locatins in NJ.

                1. re: chefdaddyo

                  Sure, I do agree that vanilla is generally out of place in savory preparations. I've always found it disconcerting to read of cooking recipes that employ vanilla bean in the assembly of an otherwise savory sauce, for example Same goes for cinnamon...

                  1. re: silence9

                    Cinnamon is very common in savory sauces globally.

                    DT

                    1. re: Davwud

                      Makes sense, especially in light of a recent Cook's magazine blurb about the thickening capabilities of a bit of cinnamon in sauces, hot beverages, etc., in place of cornstarch...

            2. Not sure about national issues, as I'm also in the Midwest, but: I had the same perception the one time I went to Sonic. Happened to order onion rings, and the bizarre sweetness (not to mention the crappy burger my son ordered) made me write the place off forever.

              1. I love onion rings and order them anywhere I can, instead of fries. But I'll echo everyone else on the bizarre sweetness of Sonic onion rings. At first I wondered if it was some kind of sweet cornmeal batter they use, like how corn dogs are sweet. Regardless, I won't be making that mistake again. I go to Sonic for drinks and desserts only.

                1. Sonic has seemed to make the exact wrong choice for the past decade now in terms of what's good and what is not.

                  On the flip, here in Hattiesburg, MS we've got a burger place that should be a chain as it's great. Inch thick burgers and onion rings the way you remember. They use a Hawaiian bread type that made me go "yuck, sweet" but on a burger that thick they taste just right. Their seasoned fries are actually seasoned and all in all a great burger place.

                  Oh, it's name is Tophers.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Shadowcran

                    That sounds incredible. I've been making homemade burgers (sirloin or buffalo) on King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls lately, and they go perfectly with the rich, salty savoriness of the meat.

                    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                      yes, and they're surprisingly fast to be making good burgers.

                  2. We live in So. CAL. Went for the first time to one in Victorville (High Desert in So Cal). NO car hop on skates but sevice was really great. They also made my grilled chicken w/o bread (lettuce wrap) which I appreciated. LOVED the tater tots. NO sweet fried flavors, just tater tots. Also had a oreo shake. Good for what it is but, I wouldn't rush back. (Not in my area anyway).

                    1. Having worked at Sonic many years ago, I can tell you definitively why they taste sweet. They use Vanilla Ice Milk mix and dip the sliced onions in that, then breadcrumbs. This gives them a sweet taste (meant to simulate a Vidalia onion (which are too expensive and seasonal, Sonic uses Spanish Onions). Most people love the sweetness, there are of course people that hate it. To each their own! (i.e. Mustard vs. Mayo vs. Catsup on a burger)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: gsd3986

                        Wow, with Vanilla Ice Milk mix there are likely to be all kinds of artificial aromatic flavorings that just don't go well in onion rings. If they wanted sweet, they should just use sugar or even Karo syrup. However, most big fat white onions have plenty of sweetness when made into onion rings.

                      2. The onion rings are really weird. Had some today and was totally surprised. Also didn't get the burger that I ordered. I went back inside to complain. The manager was unconcerned and downright rude. Called corporate to voice my opinion. They didn't seem to care. Guess I won't be eating at Sonic anymore!