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Onion Rings

Kind of a budget topic, but I like onion rings. I'm trying to get my kids to like them. Who has the tastiest? Seems like some places have the thin and crispy, and others have the thick and bready version.

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  1. For the thick version, I like Hut's

    1 Reply
    1. re: PappyAustin

      yep, Hut's does it for me. artery clogging goodness

    2. I don't know the best place for onion rings (I get them occasionally from Top Notch, and they're fine, but not homemade). As far as getting the kids to like them, what about starting with tempura? My mom made tempura with lots of different vegetables a few times when I was pretty young, and it was such a special deal that I probably would have tried anything. Maybe that would convince the kids that deep-fried onions are good. Or if you don't want to make it at home, the big mixed vegetable tempura at Kome has onion in it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kosheri

        Ha - an excellent response! A tempura party is an great idea. Sometimes, I can trick them into onions by finely dicing and incorporating them into dishes, and then tell them later that they ate onions. My daughter's expression is awesome. But fried up stuff can take the cake.

        1. re: rudeboy

          Exactly! Whether they try them on purpose or "by accident," hopefully they'll end up liking them.

      2. There's basically two types of frozen onion rings available commercially, breaded & batter dipped. Moore's (now owned by McCains) & Anchor are two of the biggest brands. Most casual places use frozen because they are messy to prepare and the frozen ones are quite good. At home I just thin slice an onion, dip it in milk then flour and deep fry. Yum!

        1 Reply
        1. re: zackly

          I have actually seen them advertised on restaurant menus as "Anchor Onion Rings". Both companies are owned by McCain's - it's an onion ring monopoly!


        2. Coincidentally Mike Sutter has a few opinions and pics on this very topic. Good call bringing this up. I usually go for tots or fries, but will gladly indulge Doc's sometime because they look like what my favorites were as a kid, that sort of spackling dipped batter look instead of thick stuff. but then again, I always prefer less breading on my fried treats. To name a few, we've enjoyed Phil's icehouse, Dirty Martin's, Hoffbrau's as the more thin cut, lightly battered and extra greasy variety. Scoff as some may, we really like Cheddar's rings too. Good dipping sauces.


          Or you could get yourself a ninja frying system for the house and kids for your fry party:


          3 Replies
          1. re: slowcoooked

            i'll second dirty's. since flattop closed those are my favorite again.

            1. re: ieathereforeiam

              actually ieat, the flat top rings were indeed fantastic. so many places here seem to last only a year or less. i wonder if they'll sprout up somewhere else?

              1. re: slowcoooked

                allegedly whatever the owners are opening there is supposed to include some of the flattop menu, but we shall see.

          2. Mighty Fine Burgers' onion rings are pretty tasty. I had them at the Arbor Walk location. You can see them make the rings in the glass walled room. Looks like they had some kind of contraption for breading.

            I'd consider them thin style with lots of black pepper flakes.

            3 Replies
            1. re: topodrinko

              Sounds like my next destination. I kind of like the thin ones sometimes. So, when going to Arbor Walk, one just stops at the Arbor then walks?

              1. re: rudeboy

                walking might be easier then driving because that place is a clusterF :)

                for other crispy, thin style rings, try Frisco. Thin slices in a tangled pile

              2. re: topodrinko

                These are very good. They seem to cook to order, they've been super hot and crunchy when we've had them.

              3. Culvers and Sonic are my two favorites in Austin.

                1. The best thin are at Phil's Icehouse Burnet or S. Lamar

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chauvina

                    I made a special stop there last night (South Lamar) just to get some onion rings and they were "out of onion rings". How does a hamburger place run out of "fresh cut hand breaded" onion rings"?

                    If you're running low on onions and not expecting a delivery in the near future, you send somebody to the grocery store to get some. Could have even walked across the street to Phonecia and bought some.

                    I left empty-handed and hungry. Not impressed with my first (and probably last) visit to Phil's.


                    1. re: sqwertz

                      A little off topic, but I have one better than that. I couple of months ago I tried to get a sandwich from Delaware Subs and they were out of bread.

                  2. Maybe I've just had bad luck at Hut's, but I consider their onion rings a crime against humanity. Hey, opinions...

                    I generally like the thinner variety, with a flaky batter. The Frisco has some of my favorite in town. Hand battered, good level of batter, nice mix of tender and crispy.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: popvulture

                      This takes us back to the essential problem of restaurant reviews: how do you know your experience was the norm? Because the last time I ordered O-rings at Frisco, there was (I am not exaggerating) a quarter cup of grease in the bottom of the basket by the time I quit the field. Ironically, the cook even bragged in my hearing about how beautiful they were, which was true: they were magazine-worthy visually. Just nauseatingly greasy.

                      So what's, as you say, "bad luck" and what's par for the course? I'd give a lot to know, but the fundamental weakness of this board (and all restaurant reviewing, I think) is that you simply can't.

                      1. re: Oliver Oyl

                        Yeah that is really tough to quantify, and of course consistency is a factor that should be scrutinized. In the end, that's one of the biggest things that makes or breaks a place.

                        The Frisco's rings have always been a little greasy, but your experience sounds pretty extreme. I definitely like a little grease... not that much, though.

                        As for Hut's I doubt it was even bad luck – it just wasn't at all to my liking. Hugely thick rings that almost seem like small-denominator fractions of an onion. Crust that's light yellow instead of golden... so pretty undercooked vibe. ZERO salt. Ugh, I get mad just thinking about em.

                    2. The problem with onion rings is
                      - Either the batter is too thick and separates from the onion
                      - Or they are too greasy

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sweet100s

                        ...Or the batter is too thin and flakes right off the onion

                        ...Or the onion is too tough inside so it all pulls right out with the first bite, leaving you with fried shell.

                        ...Or they're made out of "chopped and formed" onions (I forget which restaurant I encountered this, but usually reserved for the crap you buy at supermarkets)