Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Beer Battered Onion Rings from Phat Philly

Last time I reviewed Phat Philly, it was for their delicious cheddar beer fries.  You'd think that this time, I'd actually review their signature item, the cheesesteak?  But, you'd be wrong.  I went back, but this time, to try their other fried side dish: onion rings!

I'm really not sure why, but I've been craving onion rings.  And since I was impressed with their fries, I decided to give the rings a chance.

Since I've reviewed Phat Philly before, I won't go into the details much, except to again call out the very friendly staff.  The menu listed the onion rings as coming with either ranch or bbq sauce, and I was unsure of which I wanted, and didn't specify either when I ordered.  The woman taking my order said, "with ranch?" And I replied, "I'm not sure!  Is that the one you'd recommend?"  She smiled, and just said she'd give me both.  Yay!  No decision required.

I also took advantage of the beautiful sunny day and choose to sit at one of their cute picnic tables on the sidewalk, rather than inside.  I was a bit wary of this in the past, as the location is right on 24th between Mission and Valencia, not exactly sidewalk territory that you want to hang out on.  But it was so sunny!  My suspicions about it being a less-than-stellar choice were confirmed within seconds of sitting down.  I was quickly joined by a woman who kept calling me "sister", and started asking me for all sorts of things.

Once my food arrived, I shared a few rings with her, and she went on her way.  But, just something to keep in mind if you want to enjoy the outside seating at Phat Philly.
Beer Battered Onion Rings, Ranch, BBQ.  $4.50.
The onion rings, just like my fries on my first visit, were made to order.  I heard the cook immediate drop them into the fryer after I ordered, and appreciated the sound of the sizzling oil.  I was really looking forward to these!

The rings were obviously fresh.  The breading wasn't too thick, it was oily, but not in a gross way.  It was very crispy.  I didn't taste the beer in the batter, which I didn't mind, as I don't actually like beer.  The rings came in a variety of diameters, although were uniform in their width.  I like having contrasting thin and think ones, since the thick ones can have a much stronger onion flavor, while the thin ones are usually crispier.  But anyway.

The BBQ sauce was thin style, pretty standard, and just not remarkable.  It wasn't bad, but it didn't really add much to the rings.

The ranch on the other hand was clearly the winning choice.  It had a bit of tang, lots of herbs.  Better than your average ranch.  Cooling and creamy.  Yes, it is a little gross to dip deep fried oil soaked things into ranch but ... come on, sometimes, you gotta live it up.  And live it up I did.

Near the end, I started combining the bbq and the ranch, and that was even better, a bit zesty.  I could imagine adding any of their slew of hot sauces to the ranch to amp it up as well.  I'm glad I was able to sample both sauces, as I was leaning towards BBQ if I had to pick just one.

Unlike the fries, the rings come in only one size, $4.50 for a basket.  This was a fine price, and a generous serving.  Probably more appropriate to share with someone with a cheesesteak, or, if you are like me and just craving some fried food, a perfectly acceptable large-ish snack alone.

I enjoyed my onion rings, but I wouldn't call them the sort of thing you have to seek out.  If you are in the mood for rings, by all means, get them, but I'd pick the cheddar beer fries over the rings.
Phat Philly Cheesesteaks on Urbanspoon
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