“Brisket-stuffed onion rings.” They sound like the State Fair’s idea of an unholy miracle. Or like a mad scientist decided to start randomly mashing together all your favorite unhealthy foods. “Cookie dough pie! Bacon grilled cheese tacos! Sriracha guacamole lasagna!”
But brisket-stuffed onion rings are a real thing. They’re a bar snack staple at Ivy Tavern on Lemmon Avenue, and we had to visit to see what the heck they are.
We sort of assumed it would be a regular onion ring, but with brisket shreds somehow wedged inside the ring along with the onions. We asked our bartender, “Those onion rings…?” and made a skeptical, are-they-a-stupid-idea face. She said: “Delicious! It’s more like a hockey puck shape. They put the brisket and cheese in the middle and bread it all together in one piece.”
And that is absolutely true. It’s like a hockey puck of brisket and cheese, formed into a patty, with a round frame of an onion slice. The whole thing is breaded and fried, like a great, big mozzarella stick with meat. The onion is kind of there as a token gesture, honestly, to qualify the food as an actual onion ring. It doesn't hurt, of course, because onions are always welcome. In fact, in case this classy ring isn’t enough for you, Ivy Tavern serves it with raw red onions, pickle and barbecue sauce.
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The Ivy Tavern's immaculate brisket grilled cheese sandwich was already a barbecue-based success story for the Park Cities-adjacent bar. And it turns out that when their team of mad scientists withdrew to the laboratory, experimenting on how to cross an onion ring and a slab of meat, the results were a success. What’s next, Ivy Tavern? Fried chicken burritos? Pastrami caesar salad? Doughnut pizza? Whatever it is, those crazy fools will probably make it delicious.