Welcome to the ONION RING BLOG!

I am an eater of onion rings- they fascinate me more than any other food. I live near Tulsa, OK, the belly of the US, which I confidently refer to as the "onion ring capitol of the world."

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

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.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bigg's BBQ, Lawrence, KS

Restaurant: Bigg's BBQ
Location: 2429 Iowa, Lawrence, KS
Number and Size of Rings: 12 HUGE towering delights
Cost: $7.49 and worth every penny
A trip to Lawrence, Kansas is a mere 4 hour drive from the onion ring capitol of the world (Tulsa). After our fellow onion ring lovers, Tom and Erin, took us to Bigg's BBQ in their town, I have decided to adopt Bigg's BBQ into the onion ring hall of fame. These folks not only have a great huge tower of onion rings that are perfect and huge and delicious, but they also have an onion brick. How many places do you know that have onion rings done two ways on one menu? Well, we only got the regular onion rings, which were served in a tower with a trio of dipping sauces built into the base (ranch, thousand, and chili). We will have to drive the four hours back again to try the brick another day. Hopefully, my camera will cooperate better next time, but, you get the idea of their magnitude. They also have chocolate covered bacon for dessert. I'm not sure how I feel about the chocolate covered bacon, but the onion rings are a powerful force in the fried food world!(Aren't Tom and Erin cute with that chocolate covered bacon?)
Bigg's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Ted's Montana Grill, Kansas City


Restaurant: Ted's Montana Grill
Location: 1713 Village West Pkwy, Kansas City, KS
Number and Size of Rings: 10 rings
Cost: $6.00

These are called "Salt and Pepper" onion rings, but in my book they are fresh and delicious, almost like homemade. I don't think they actually have any more salt or pepper than any other onion ring I've had, but they had a great texture and crunch that makes me think they used a three-step process for breading them (flour, egg, breadcrumbs). I LOVE onion rings that are freshly made, not from a bag. I also love the conservation-minded restaurant concept of Ted's and their paper straws, etc. And any restaurant that will let you use buffalo on any sandwich on the menu is a winner. Above is the picture from the restaurant website. Below is the night vision picture I took with my cell phone when I ordered the rings as a side dish. I'm not having much luck remembering to take my camera out to eat lately.Ted's Montana Grill on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Denny's Oklahoma Hamburger Company


Restaurant: Denny's Oklahoma Hamburger Co.
Location: 393 E. Main St, Jenks, OK
Number and Size of Rings: a big pile of strings enough for 3 people, or one person who hasn't eaten in a month.
Cost: $2.99
These are my favorite type of onion rings- thin, crunchy, with a buttermilk batter. They are so gourmet. Impressive. These guys mean business with their O- Rings!! Denny's Oklahoma Hamburger Company has newly opened in downtown Jenks (or re-opened as a totally remodeled place, however you want to look at it). If you like the typical Oklahoma Burger Restaurant, this super friendly little shop epitomizes everything you would love. I am generally not a big beef eater (strange, I know considering the types of places I find my onion rings), but my husband had to fight me off his hickory burger. My grilled chicken sandwich with tons of lettuce, ripe tomato, and purple onions really hit the spot because it tasted so dang fresh without all those yucky chemicals the other places put in their food. It makes me wonder why the clueless people who go to the national chain fast food places down on the corner don't get a brain cell and go hang out at Denny's instead. They even have soft serve ice cream (which kept my three year old soooo happy), and a special kid's menu.

Denny's Oklahoma Hamburger Company on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alexia Onion Strips Snacks


Alexia Crunchy Snacks- Onion Strips, Savory Seasoned
Location: Tulsa, OK
Number and Size of Rings:
Cost: $2.00 (at Super Walmart in Glenpool)
I am in love. These are kind of like raiding the canned onion ring topping (the type you put on top of the green bean casserole at Thanksgiving), but so much better. These are large chunks of perfectly crispy onion rings. I can't believe how awesome these are. I ate them over the course of three days, shared them with my husband and one friend, and was thoroughly satisfied by their awesome peppery taste. I need more. It totally cracks me up that Alexia, who sells a lot of semi-health conscious organic stuff would actually trick us into thinking a fat fest like this might be remotely healthy. Oh, my, but they are yummy. I think I'll buy more before Walmart smartens up and raises the price on them. I should have guessed they would be awesome because their Alexia oven onion rings that I tried earlier on this blog rock, too.

The Onion Ring Diet

In case you are wondering about my health. . . well, I often do, too. I don't actually just sit around eating onion rings all day. I try to keep my onion ring consumption to under one plate of onion rings a week. Usually I eat entirely organic, and very well balanced. However, I did have to have my gall bladder removed in January, not long after I started this blog. Hmmm...

The good news is, my doctor said that my cholesterol levels are so good he would have thought that I was a person on some kind of cholesterol lowering drug. Yay for lipids.

Cheeburger, Cheeburger (Tucson, AZ Airport)



Restaurant: Cheeburger, Cheeburger
Location: Tucson International Airport, AZ
Number and Size of Rings: large handful of slender rings
Cost: $4.89
Announcing a new award winner for the world's GREASIEST onion rings. These were so oily I was AFRAID of them. They were unlike any other onion rings I've had, probably partially because of the greasiness. I think they might have cooked them wrong and not had their oil up to the right temperature. They smelled just like onion rings you would get at the fair, which is a lovely smell, not unlike Sonic's onion rings smell, but the batter was super saturated with oil. They use peanut oil, too, so that was pretty much the entire flavor of the onion rings. It was pretty cool that one of the onion rings was literally almost the size of my three year-old's head, though!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hank's Hamburgers


Restaurant: Hank's Hamburgers
Location: Tulsa, OK
Number and Size of Rings: 7
Cost: $2.39
Hanks is a really old little traditional Oklahoma burger joint. It is a pleasure to eat at Hank's because the people who work there are so wonderfully friendly. They are polite, attentive, and very sweet (they make you feel LOVED!) The onion rings are just the average same old beer batter styled ones that you can get at most places, so they are average. They do cook them perfectly crispy, though, so they go just fine with those nice big burgers. I really like the chicken sandwiches there. The burgers are fine. . . they are actually a lot like the way I cook burgers at home. I was really amused by their fire alarm, though.
Hank's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's Greek To Me


Restaurant: It's Greek To Me
Location: At Spirit Bank Center, Tulsa, OK
Number and Size of Rings: 15 medium to large
Cost: $2.69
These onion rings were nice and crispy, served with tzatziki sauce of all things. Not fresh made- I saw them pull out a bag from the freezer and fry these from frozen. Then, they were overcooked. They tasted floury. . . but they seemed like the standard restaurant-supply-store beer batter ones. Except I think that if they are, overcooking them like this may be the key to getting rid of a beer-batter taste. I wish I could have gotten rid of the taste of the criminally horrible moussaka. The gyros aren't too bad, but the moussaka barely resembled what it's supposed to look and taste like. Please, will someone in Tulsa get some real Greek food? I am still looking, and alas, the Tulsa Greek festival is only once a year and even they don't serve moussaka. Well, they don't serve onion rings either, so I'm not sure where that leaves us.
It's Greek To Me on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 3, 2009

KariOkie Cafe and Bakery (Bixby, OK)


Restaurant: KariOkie
Location: Bixby, OK
Number and Size of Rings: Huger than huge plate of thin rings, served with ranch
Cost: $3.99 for a solo, $5.99 for a duet (what we got)
Congratulations to KariOkie, because their Onion Strings are probably the best onion rings I have ever had in Oklahoma. The onions are sweet, the rings are cut thin and crispy, and they are full of perfect seasonings. They are totally addictive. They are thicker then the thin strings I've seen other places. . . in my book, they are just the right size cut to balance coating and onion. No matter how big of a plate they put in front of me, I probably could have eaten ALL of them if I sat there long enough. But, I ordered some other food and ate that, too. But nothing was as good as the onion rings. On the menu, it states that the rings are "reminiscent of the 'Restless Ribbon'," which is an old restaurant that I don't know about because I just moved here from Arizona, but any hand-me-down recipe is a good recipe.
I didn't know that KariOkie wasn't a bar. I honestly didn't. But, they don't even serve alcohol. They are a diner in the traditional American sense, with a karioke machine, and lots and lots of cakes and pies.
And please don't tell my 4th of July dinner guests that the peach pie I am serving them isn't homemade. . . it's from KariOkie.
KariOkie Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Best Choice" store bought onion rings


Brand: Best Choice with whole onions
Cost: $2.49 + tax
I bought these generic packaged onion rings at Reasors, and I just have to say they were quite adequete. They also sell slightly cheaper ones with chopped onions, which I haven't tried yet, and probably won't try unless they run out of the whole onion ones. I totally overcooked the daylight out of them (I did the 450 degrees in a convection oven for 6 minutes - the short attention span cooking), and they still fulfilled my needs for onion rings. They are a lot like ore ida ones. I bet if you actually fried them properly in oil that they would be a little more fabulous. But, I was watching four kids age three and under at the time and even the toddlers ate the onion rings. These are there for you in your time of need. Don't you love the glamour of my well-used cookie sheet? This is reality blogging, folks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

IHOP


Restaurant: IHOP
Location: Glenpool, OK
Number and Size of Rings: 5 very large- up to 5 inches! And almost 3/4 inch in thickness.
Cost: as a side
I would call these onion rings very SUBSTANTIAL. They are just plain filling. They are almost meaty, a little overly juicy inside (overly juicy leading to slimy, but in this case more like they are stuffed with onion juice). They had a really "off" taste to them- they tasted like a thousand other ingredients combined. I left a note in the suggestion box that it may be time to change the frying oil. But they sure are pretty next to that equally as "off" tasting cheesesteak! Stick with the pancakes when you go to IHOP :).
IHOP on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 8, 2009

Arnold's Old Fashioned Hamburgers



Restaurant: Arnold's Old Fashioned Hamburgers
Location: West Tulsa, OK
Number and Size of Rings: 7 rings, and one bonus french fry tagging along
Cost: $1.89 (one size available)
The first thing that struck me about these onion rings is that they are not at all sweet like most of the others I've had lately. If you want sweetness, you have to dip them in ketchup. I think they are advocates of the true flavor of onion at Arnolds, because they also put thick raw onions on their burgers and chicken sandwiches. I really liked the bumpy texture of the onion rings, but my husband thought it was a little too crispy. I thought it was just right! My son pulled the onions out of these, though. It wasn't a batter that really kept the onions fixed inside. The french fries at Arnold's are ho-hum, but I would always suggest ordering these onion rings! I also loved their grilled chicken sandwich. It tasted a lot like a hamburger because it was clearly cooked with the burgers, but it was chicken!
Arnold's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rib Crib


Restaurant: Rib Crib
Location: Sapulpa, OK
Number and Size of Rings: 6
Cost: $2.59 for a side order
Rib Crib's onion rings are especially good, I think, with their mustardy Carolina Honey BBQ sauce. Our server didn't think so, but she let us dip them in it anyway without making too many faces. They are big and have a crispy panko coating. It's a gentle, friendly panko that crumbles when its time to crumble, but holds the onion in like it should. My favorite thing about these onion rings is that they are probably one of the only things on the menu that don't contain MSG. Not kidding. Old-school Chinese food has nothing on the amount of MSG in Rib Crib's food. At this location, our server thought it was funny that we were asking for "Soda" instead of "Pop" and mentioned, "Y'all aren't from 'round here are ya?" Nope, but I'm enjoying my tour of Oklahoma's lovely abundance of onion rings!
Rib Crib BBQ & Grill on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Harden's Hamburgers



Restaurant: Harden's
Location: Tulsa, OK (this was the Sheridan location)
Number and Size of Rings: A huge pile- 19 large
Cost: Large side, $4.50
Harden's requires a flip-top head to eat its famous BOB burger, but as for its onion rings... it takes a bit of determination. These have a VERY UNIQUE batter coating, in that they some how cross the line of crispy into crunchy and then head in the direction of unyielding. They don't look it (they actually look kind of flaky), but these are so miraculously durable. So much so, that you can still get a crunch out of them after a day leftover in the fridge. I kid you not. Each onion is encased in a permanent, protective SHELL!
I asked one of the workers how they made them, and she said, "We cut up them onions and dip them in a fresh batter. Then we fry 'em up." I asked what is in the batter and she said, "We don't know none of that. Nobody knows that for sure 'sep the owners." Then other people in the restaurant started guessing, "Cornmeal?" "No, no cornmeal in there," she said. "Sugar?" "Maybe, dunno." I don't think it's much sugar because they're not THAT sweet. Maybe eggs? Maybe baking powder. It's unknown. They win the prize for the hardest and crunchiest onion rings I've ever experienced, though. Hmmm. HARD- ens. I get it!

Harden's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fronimos Greek Cafe


Restaurant: Fronimos Greek Cafe
Location: Tucson, AZ
Number and Size of Rings: A huge pile
Cost: still looking for my receipt!

These have got to be in my top three favorite onion rings of all time. Fronimos makes them by hand fresh when you order them. They have a sign that says, "We CRY FOR YOU"! They have a way of taking very thin onion rings and putting a very thick knobby batter on them, then cooking them perfectly. The salty seasoning is so addictive. The rings always come with plenty of what they call "fry sauce", which is a mayo and ketchup mix. They are heaven next to some moussaka and spanikopita. When I was pregnant with Paul (now age three), we would go to Fronimos after every ob visit. Therefore, Paul has had these since in the womb! Who knew the Greek folks were the best onion ring makers? I will visit again next time I'm in Tucson.

Fronimo's Greek Cafe on Urbanspoon

Dick Clark's


Restaurant: Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" Grill
Location: Phoenix, AZ (Sky Harbor Airport)
Number and Size of Rings: 9
Cost: As a side with an $8.99 sandwich entree
These are beer batter onion rings, but not typical or gross or greasy at all. These were fabulously crispy, perfectly done, not too thick, and not too sweet.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cafe USA, Sapulpa, OK


Restaurant: Cafe USA
Location: Sapulpa, OK
Number and Size of Rings: 6 large, 5 small
Cost: $4.99 for the "onion ring tower" appetizer
I was a little disappointed because I expected a big tower of some sort, but got a normal-sized unorganized pile. These were quite good homemade tasting onion rings, nice and knobby, not too thick, but still good and hardy. The ranch was super great with them, but they still were a tiny bit greasy (okay, it's not possible to NOT have greasy onion rings that are this good, so it's all relative). They were extremely filling, so much so that we couldn't eat all the rest of our meal. I would suggest just getting them as a side, because for $5, this wasn't much of a bargain compared to other onion ring gangas in the vicinity. The service was super friendly and quick- you couldn't ask for a nicer all-American diner atmosphere.

Cafe USA on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Scott's Hamburgers, Bixby OK


Restaurant: Scott's Hamburgers
Location: Bixby, OK
Number and Size of Rings: 7 very thick, large beefy rings
Cost: $1.60 for a side
This small Oklahoma restaurant serves up traditional Oklahoman food, but their onion rings are fresh and unique, packing a super crunch. They are almost as huge as the ones at Fleming's, but at a tenth of the price! How they get such big huge rings to be perfectly fried through and through (well cooked, but not slimy at all) must be some miraculous secret. Definitely worth a country trip to sweet little downtown Bixby. The ones shown are a little smaller than usual- they can be much larger as well.

Scott's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A&W


Restaurant: A&W
Location: Iola, KS
Number and Size of Rings: 8 rings medium size
Cost: $1.79

These onion rings were okay. The only thing that I really like about them was in that in some of the rings the onion part was pretty think and just nice and juicy. The batter around the rings were also nice and thick and did not flake off very easy when you bite into it.
(Thanks to Tom and Erin for this review)

The Habit Burger Grill


Restaurant: The Habit Burger Grill
Location: Oxnard, CA
Number and Size of Rings: About 10 total in all different sizes
Cost: $1.69
They were pretty good for fast food/restaurant style onion rings. They were a little oily, but the thickness of the batter around the onion ring made them kind of nice.
(Thanks to Tom and Erin for this review)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Freddy's Frozen Custard


RESTAURANT: Freddy's Frozen Custard
LOCATION: Tulsa, OK
SIZE: side
NUMBER AND SIZE OF RINGS: About 8 all different sizes.
COST: we got them added to a combo meal for 50 cents more.
These are very standard beer-batter type onion rings that many restaurants probably get from the same supplier. A little on the greasy and chunky side (more small and fat or double stuck together ones than actual big single ones).
Freddy's Frozen Custard on Urbanspoon