Onion Ring Ravage: Ted's Hot Dogs vs The Chicago Hamburger Co.
See Also: Top Ten Hot Dogs in Greater Phoenix
Oh Onion Rings -- so unhealthy but so delicious. The golden fried rings are one of our biggest guilty pleasures.
This week, we're pitting the onion rings from two of our old school favorites -- Ted's Hot Dogs in Tempe and Phoenix's Chicago Hamburger Co. -- against each other. One place is famous for their charbroiled dogs and the other is known for their tasty little sliders. One shop hand makes their rings daily and the other opts for the pre-made variety.
Let's find out who fries up a better ring...
In This Corner: Ted's Charcoal Broiled Hot Dogs
The Set Up: This hot dog chain opened their one and only non-New York location in the heart of Tempe back in 1983 and it has since become a destination eatery for hot dog lovers across the state and beyond. The interior of the McClintock and Broadway hot dog shop is clean and simple with big booths and classic tiles. The staff is friendly and works quickly to keep the constant line short.
The Good: Ted's makes their onion rings by hand every single day and they never see the inside of a freezer. The onions are sliced paper thin and coated with a lightly seasoned breading then tossed in hot grease till they are golden brown. There isn't a whole lot of breading, so the flavor of the onion really shines through on these guys.
The Bad: The fried onions are more like onion strings than onion rings and since the breading is a little sparse, the grease really likes to cling to the onion. If you don't eat them right away, they tend to turn into a bit of a soggy, greasy mess.
In The Other Corner: The Chicago Hamburger Co.
The Set Up: This Chicago-style slider joint has been in business at their location on Indian School and 40th Street since 1975. Their Windy City Sliders are legendary and you'd be a fool to pass up one of their handmade chocolate shakes. The interior probably hasn't seen much in the way of upgrades since that era either. Chicago sports memorabilia line the wall and the big flat screen TV almost always has some form of sports on.
The Good: Our order of rings arrived at our table nice and hot. The freshly fried onions rings were a perfect shade of golden brown, the breading was nice and crispy, and the onions were sliced just thin enough. The flavor of the onion didn't over power the slightly sweet coating and they stayed crispy throughout our entire meal.
The Bad: The Chicago Hamburger Co doesn't make their own rings -- they come out of a bag and they were a little on the greasy side. You're definitely going to wind up with a case of fried food guilt after scarfing down a whole basket of these tradition rings.
The Verdict: We will always have a soft spot for our favorite hot dog joint but the Chicago Hamburger Company rings have 'em beat. They may come out of a bag, and we're not sure what's in that grease that makes them so tasty, but these are so crispy and delicious, we'll probably end up back there the next time we need to sate our craving for the golden fried rings of guilt.
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