Welcome to the ONION RING BLOG!

I am an eater of onion rings- they fascinate me more than any other food.

Send me your onion ring pictures and I'll post them here!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

De Wese's Tip Top Cafe's Onion Rings

I love really old restaurants that have survived through the decades!  Tip Top Cafe in San Antonio is one of them. 

It's as authentic as an old time diner can come.  Everyone is super friendly as soon as you walk in the door.  You can sit anywhere and service is pretty quick!  The menu boasts that they have "award winning onion rings." So, how do those onion rings measure up to the hype created by Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives?

 As soon as the server came to take our order, she asked, "Would you like to start with some onion rings?" 
     "Yes, actually. . . yes, we would!"  In fact, pretty much every table we saw had their own stack of these gorgeous babies sitting there smiling at us.

 It looks like an awful lot of huge onion rings, doesn't it?  But my family loved them so much they were gone before our server could even bring out all of our sauces.  We just ate them all with the jalapeno ranch. We never really end up fighting over onion rings, but we kind of did over these. 

The breading is flaky and tender- but with a perfect crispness to hold up against those giant sweet onions.  To me there was just a hint of fishyness to them, though.  This would have maybe come from the oil being shared with fried fish at the restaurant or other meats.  Most people would not notice this, or maybe consider it as enhancing the fried flavor, but I tend to be a bit more of a super taster so it bothered me.  

Overall they are superb specimens of the onion ring world.  It is difficult to nail perfectly cooking these type to this golden hue.

The above child ate way more than his share.  The child below was obsessed with the technology of the at-table jukeboxes which fed into a larger music machine in the room.  Someone must have selected a TON of songs before we chose ours so we actually never got to hear the song that we paid our 50 cents for!

If you really can't get enough of the batter that the onion rings are in, they also use it on the delicious chicken fried chicken that they serve on Saturdays and their every day gigantic chicken fried steak. 
Maybe they also use it on their fried fish. . . 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Willie's Ice House Onion Rings

Willie's Ice House Onion Rings
A Family Outing

 Willie's Ice House strikes me as a really strange, chaotic, nonsensical, uncomfortable place.  After you walk in, you stand in a line surrounded by tubs of ice with beer bottles in them.  The idea might be that you could choose a beer, open it, and begin consuming it while in line.  I must mention that you can't see any sort of menu from this place in the line, but then suddenly you turn the corner to see a giant menu on the wall.  You are then required to somehow quickly decide and place your order, except you aren't really placing your order, you are just deciding what you want and a person writes it down for you.  Then, this writing person hands you the paper with your order on it and you're supposed to get your own drinks and wander around and find a seat.  After you find a seat, EVENTUALLY, a server notices you and comes to pick up the piece of paper.   He or she then verifies your order and takes it off to the kitchen.  Um. . . okay.  This would all work flawlessly if you were someone who drinks alcohol and you were getting buzzed while going through the line so you didn't care how long it took you to get food.  But we don't drink.  No, we don't.

Significantly, they have a giant sandbox for kids to play in during this process.  Of course, my kids wanted to play in this sandbox.  Of course, I was rather hesitant to let my kids play in the sandbox because we were, well, just about to eat.  But I relented and had to take them to wash hands right after the food got there.  So now my kids also have no shoes on.  Great. Fun.

But on to the onion rings! The picture below is the large.  It is like a small cookie sheet-sized tray.  It was probably between a pound and a half or two of onion rings.  With a small side of ranch. The type of real buttermilk perfectly runny ranch. Yeah. . . I could already see that was going to need topping off.  But will we ever see our server again?  Doubtful.

 The onion rings themselves are large.  Not quite as big as my 7 year-old's face.  But he is a really, really smart kid and has a large head.
 As everyone in the family ate them, the first comment was "Wow, these are really HARD!"
This was good, though, because if any that play sand mixed in with them, we wouldn't have noticed.  The batter was almost rock hard.  One could use extra, extra crunchy as an adjective also, but it was a little beyond that.  The onions inside were thick and meaty.  They were by no means spicy, salty, or flavorful but there was a slight hint of some sort of red pepper seasoning in there somewhere. It was a hearty meal-like main-dish-type onion ring, if there could be such a thing.
The restaurant has other food, too.  Very greasy fried burgers, giant baked potatoes, huge piles of crawfish, and tons of fries with lots of old bay type seasoning generously used on them.  Most of the customers were just there to eat the crawfish, I think.  Even the parking lot had some crawfish shells in it... with ants tasting them. The kids were pretty amused.  The onion rings were documented.  We probably won't go there again.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

I'm BACK! Let's eat onion rings at Down On Grayson, San Antonio!

Hi fellow lovers of onion rings!

After seven years of serious wheat allergies, my immune system has calmed.  I can eat onion rings again and live.  I might need to do some CPR on this blog.

To celebrate, here is a picture of me with some mighty tasty rings from a San Antonio Restaurant called Down on Grayson.  This place really has the fancy fried food down. They have other yummy fried things like brussel sprouts, too!  These rings are very thin and crispy flavored with plenty of ground black pepper.  I wasn't impressed with the dipping sauce.  But, possibly the best local onion rings in San Antonio. . . but let's keep exploring, shall we?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The state of the Onion Ring Documentary

Shortly after my last post, I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy. As you can imagine, this has been very difficult for me! I have to go without my very favorite food unless I make gluten-free versions at home (which turn out pretty well using rice flour).
If anyone out there is interested in taking over, please let me know.
As it stands, the documentary stands as a monument to my past life in which I could get away with eating at any restaurant I please.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mimi's Cafe

Restaurant: Mimi's Cafe
Location: 71st St, Tulsa, OK
Number and Size of Rings: 6 - 5 inchers or so
Cost: as a 99 cent upgrade on a side
Amazingly, Mimi's cafe offers onion rings as a side on their lunch menu. Also unexpected is how boring they are. I mean, normal packaged beer batter pub onion rings? Come on, Mimi's, you can do better than that! They are exactly the same as here and here and here and here. I guess onion rings are not very French? But maybe on Bourbon street in New Orlean's French Quarter they might have beer batter onion rings somewhere, although I've never seen them.

Mimi's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 21, 2009

Red Robin onion ring tower

Restaurant: Red Robin
Location: 9810 Riverside Drive, Tulsa, OK 74137
Number and Size of Rings: 14 sorted by size
Cost: $7.99

This glorious whimsical Seussian tower of onion rings was sooo good. Especially with the campfire sauce, which tastes like mayo with bbq flavor in it. The rings are marvelous, but not quite as homemade tasting and flavorful as Biggs bbq (see two posts ago).

I was excited about ordering a burger with their "crispy onion straws", so I got the whiskey chicken burger that is supposed to look like this (according to their menu):

But, instead it looked like this with barely a single thread of soggy onion straw on it:Okay, so I got it for free because it was my birthday, but still, for $9.59? Come on, people. Someone at the restaurant could have at least said "Happy Birthday" once, or even greeted us within 10 minutes after seating us. But, the onion ring tower alone is keeping this restaurant alive.
Red Robin on Urbanspoon

Valley View frozen rings from Aldi

Brand: Valley View
Location: sold at Aldi stores
Number and Size of Rings: 1 lb (30 rings)
Cost: $1.19
I do believe I have found the WORLD's CHEAPEST onion rings. Aldi actually makes their own store brand of these pre-formed conglomerations that are meant to resemble onion rings. What really fascinates me about them is that they take about three minutes to make in the oven. And they are almost impossible to mess up when cooking them, because they will always taste weird, no matter what you do to them. When cooked to perfection, they taste kind of like bread and tap water. When slightly undercooked, they taste kind of mildly fishy like fake crab meat. When overcooked, they taste like extra crispy tap water. The great thing is, I've already served them at two meals, and I can probably serve them at two more. It is comforting to know that if my onion ring budget were .75 cents a week, I could survive on these.