Here is a review of onion rings from Brann's Steakhouse & Grille. My companions were too many to name, but you know who you are.
Presentation and Appearance: 3/5
Coated in a reasonably consistent covering of golden brown batter, these onion rings are marred immediately by a somewhat patchy breading. While they appear smooth at first blush, the gaps in the batter portend grave danger just ahead. Even from a distance vantage point, I can see the thin sheen of grease peaking over and among the rings.
The presentation is roughly standard for bar fare. Plain white wax paper lines a reasonably good facade of a basket (made of plastic, but designed to vaguely resemble wicker). The onion rings don't quite fill the container, making the portion size seem more scanty than it otherwise would. The haphazard toss of a plastic container of the purported "Bistro Sauce," which, to the best of my limited knowledge, doesn't resemble in any way, shape, or form what one would get in a bistro, speaks to an apathetic lack of care in the plating.
The batter, though delicately coated in a fine mist of grease, characteristic of the morning dew on a cool Spring day, holds a delicate and light flavor. Seasoned with a pinch-and-a-half of salt, it manages to approximate a sweet-spot between "bland pile of batter" and "explosion of every spice in the kitchen." Generally, I prefer a more flavorful batter, but I felt the mild taste worked well for these onion rings.
This may have been helped by the utter tastelessness of the onions. Though the onions were sufficiently soft to release flavor, very little of it made its way through the light batter. Indeed, the slight seasoning on the surrounding batter was enough to overpower the onion.
However, both were not just blown out of the water, but set on fire, capsized, and collapsed to the bottom of the sea by the "Bistro Sauce." While I'm generally a fan of strong flavor, this sauce completely and utterly overpowered any hint of flavor in the other two primary components of the onion rings. While it delivered a unique tang, that tang marked the death knell of both batter and onion.
The standard Sola Cepa review, to the astute reader, is a mess of foreshadowing. Issues that crop up in Presentation and Appearance and Taste should signal (at least, to an onion ring expert) further issues in texture. The onion rings here are no exception.
The softly cooked onions, while flavorless, generally could score some points on texture. However, when combined with the delicate batter, the inevitable result is iteration after iteration of slippage. The underlying texture of these onion rings was, in one word, weak. The batter falls apart as strands of what was once an onion ring slip out into the void. Integrity is gone. Peace is lost.
$3.00 nets a meager portion of onion rings, drowning in an overpowering Bistro Sauce and ready to crumble at the slightest provocation. They were mildly filling, and looked pretty, but that's about the size of it.