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When the Long-Suffering Husband proposed, I specified that I didn’t want him to buy me an engagement ring. But there’s one type of ring I never turn down.

This big, bold stack of rings is served at Dante Bocuzzi in Akron. The thick-sliced red onions are advertised as “tempura,” though the batter is heavier than you get with a really good tempura. The crust is golden brown and crispy, and they are served with a ranch sauce spiked with hot Sriracha.

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Dante encourages you to play with your food.

Dante himself is easy on the eyes. The Akron restaurant has a rock ‘n’ roll theme, with guitars here and there, and menus printed on vinyl record sleeves. This is especially appropriate given that the predecessor restaurant at the spot was owned by Chrissie Hynde. Dante also has a fancier place in Cleveland and is building a restaurant empire…

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Play Freebird!

You can judge onion rings by the Three C’s: cut, color and crust. A perfect ring is truly a thing of beauty.

These are the onion rings at Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, Mass. A very pleasing, light and crispy batter, but a bit too greasy. Still, I highly recommend Veggie Galaxy, for any vegetarian who ever fantasized about walking into an old-fashioned diner and being able to order anything on the menu.

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Onion rings and beer. Mmmmmm.

This is Christian, the Veggie Galaxy chef! Doesn’t he look delicious?

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Photo from the Veggie Galaxy blog. Click to see the other denizens of the VG kitchen!

My favorite onion rings may just be the ones at Nino’s, our local. They are probably frozen rings that Nino buys from a supplier and deep fries. The crust is bumpy and crispy, and the onions inside are well-cooked and slightly sweet.

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With a pint of Stella and some ranch dressing, these really hit the spot.

You might not be as enamored of Nino if I showed a picture of him. Let’s just say he looks like the late, great James Gandolfini.

“Mangia, mangia!”

In case you’re wondering what happened with the engagement ring, my plan for a solo wedding band was vetoed by his mother, who insisted that he buy a proper diamond ring. So I chose one with a band of tiny diamonds instead of a big solitaire. That was more my style. I wonder if they ever make cocktail onions into rings…