Missing Porky's Onion Rings!
I LOVE onion rings and am always searching for truly good ones and by that I mean made from scratch ones - no commercially prepared frozen ones popped into hot oil for me. And I prefer a solid bite of onion so rings are better than strings. I have tried so many places around the Twin Cities and been disappointed so many times. The only onion ring booth at the state fair has some really good ones as does Norman Quack's in Forest lake, and TGIF's used to have good tempura battered ones but now just have the run-of-the-mill frozen ones, and won't give out their old recipe. I've made so many versions at home and even though some are quite good, nothing compares to the ones I used to get at Porky's or Nora's. They were unique and oh so delicious. The breading was more soft than crunchy and the flavor was an incredible compliment to the onion. My mouth waters just thinking about them, and now my dilemna is that they are no more! Nora's and Porky's are closed and Tryg's no longer serves them (although theirs were not an exact match anyway). There was some talk of a booth at the state fair but the last I heard that idea was scrapped. Now, since all batters have most of the same ingredients, I believe what made Porky's so special was in their method of preparation. Does anyone know any of the employees who worked at either the University Ave location in St. Paul or the Central Ave location in Minneapolis who would be willing to share how they made those little pieces of onion heaven? Or if there is ANYPLACE that makes the exact same ones? I found a place where their rings look and sound scrumptious but it's in New Orleans and since I am NOT independently wealthy my chances of trying theirs are very slim. HELP!!!
I adore great onion rings! I make a pretty mean one at home, but hate to use all of that oil and make such a mess; plus, they are not diet food, exactly!
That said, wow, I think you and I have different tastes in onion rings! I like them light and crispy/crunchy.
I had Porky's rings once and they were large, soft, and doughy, and absolutely dripping with grease. I wasn't sure if I was there on a bad day, but I certainly wasn't risking another trip there!
I'd say we were kindred spirits Sandy. I don't make onion rings at home frequently because of the mess and because I then eat 3 times as many as I would if I just got an order somewhere. And even though Porky's were my favorite, my 2nd was the light, crispy and crunchy ones they used to have at Friday's that you can't get anymore. And you and Davydd are both right about Porky's - I used to go there in high school back in the late 60's and everything was good quality then, but when I went to the one on Central after it opened, they seemed to have gone the way of other fast food places and things were made up ahead of time and sat around for awhile before you got them, so the quality just wasn't there. In the last couple years before the one on University closed, I would be their 1st customer when they opened in the morning and the only 2 items I would get would be the onion rings and the french fries as everything else was pretty bad. But...it was their onion rings that made them famous and a lot of people must have liked them as they served them up for over 40 years. I wish there was one left just as I wish there was one Lincoln Del left too, but times they keep a changing.
This thread reminded e of the onion rings that we got as kids travelling thru southern Indiana. We used to stop at King's Food Host and get the most amazing onion rings - crackly crisp with limp onions inside. Part of the breading was cornflakes. I looked up the restaurant and discovered that it was a chain that went bankrupt in the seventies; however, there is one remaining in Bismarck ND that claims to be using the original recipes of King's (but under a different name). Might be a road trip someday - or, maybe not, as our memories usually enhance things like onion rings!
Ok- I know this seems wrong-
But the onion rings I had at Emma Krumbees in Inver Grove Heights were surprisingly good! I too miss Porky's shakes and rings- the ones at Emma Krumbees were the closest I've had- thick cut, "doughy" and chewy batter, and loaded with grease :)
The shakes were pretty darn good too!
(the rest of the food was not worth mentioning)
Have not tried the Albertville (or whatever town it's in up there) location, so cannot vouch for their rings.
Great question. I too LOVE a truly awesome side of onion rings, so I will keep an eye on this thread. I actually forgot how fantastic Nora's rings used to be until I read your post. As a kid I would go to the Nora's on E. Lake St. with my parents. An Uncle Nels sandwich (which I am still trying to find out how it was made) with a side of onion rings ranks up as one of the best meals I recall eating as a kid.