Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Move Over Tulips...There is something else blooming in town

Blooming Onions! I love, love, love blooming onions and only ever have the opportunity to eat them when I go to Outback Steakhouse (and being a vegetarian you can guess how often I find a reason to go in there). So imagine my surprise, when driving back on what I call the 'secret way' behind BJ's (Railroad Ave. Extension), I saw a stand on the side of the road advertising Blooming Onions"... screeeeech..... I pulled over and started talking to Pete, the proud owner 'Billie Jo's Blooming Onion' stand. I later found out that his wife, who was helping out that day, was the stand's namesake, and that they had been taking their onions on the road for 22 years. (They will even be at Tulip Fest this weekend, so if you see them tell 'em Small-bany sent you)Blooming Onions and W.F. Ryan Produce... BFFs.
All the onions and other produce used here are from W.F. Ryan's.

But why, I asked him, were they there, on the secret road behind BJ's? That's when he told me he was working with W.F. Ryan Produce (conveniently located across the parking lot) and then took me in to meet Mike Ryan, the son of W.F. Ryan himself. It was a little strange to be going from drooling over an onion to meeting the owner of 'the largest year-round indoor farmer's market' in the area, but Pete and Mike were obviously so glad to be working together and talking about their respective businesses that I quickly felt at ease. They have known each other for a long time and are, according to them, always looking for ways to support each other and other local businesses. W.F. Ryan is also celebrating 99 years in business and is looking to bring other treats to the parking lot as well, such as fruit smoothies and a Chicken Barbeque (with the BBQ, they will be featuring a local hot sauce, Miss Sydney's).

Anyway, long story short, I was late to pick up my daughter from pre-school so I didn't even get to try a blooming onion, but plan to go back tomorrow for my fill. The prices at the stand are extremely reasonable, check out their menu.

They don't stop at onions either. As I was talking to Pete he was busy chopping up other fresh produce for the fryer (really, is there any better way?)

So what in the world does this have to do with your kids you ask? I am helping you to expand their delicate palettes. Whatever, this one was for me.

Buy onions, buy often.

Here's your chance to win some yummy stuff. Let me know what food you think tastes better fried and/or what is the strangest thing you have ever eaten fried, and you could win a bottle of Miss Sydney's 'Earthquake Eddie's Hot Stuff' hot sauce and a bottle of their Original Marinade, courtesy of W.F. Ryan. Or even better.. send me a pic of you or a loved one enjoying a Billy Jo Blooming Onion... and that sauce is as good as yours.


  1. Lordy I love bloomin' onions. Hmm, I think I might have to make one later this week, then!

    Does anything not taste better deep fried? I made tortilla chips from leftover tortillas last night - they were really crisp since they had already been cooked. I've done it before with raw dough, which makes more tender chips.

  2. hmmm.. everything tastes better fried.

    weirdest thing? deep fried twinkies... i had heartburn for weeks.

  3. The weirdest food I ever saw fried was "fried squid on a stick" in Taiwan. I didn't actually eat it though. Does that count for the contest?

  4. Hmmm, bloomin' onions are my to french fries!

    ....the strangest fried food though, would have to be deep fried Snickers (yes, the candy) that they have at carnivals! Didn't try it but fried nougat .... mmmm , mmmm, mmm


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