Most onions are fried as rings and strings; Outback popularized whole-bulb blooming onions; then there are onion chips, a unique hybrid that belongs on every fried food-lover’s itinerary. A chip is vaguely potato-chip shaped, a slim, bite-size piece from one layer of an onion that when battered and fried, makes a snack food / side dish that is simply impossible to stop eating.
Chips are a specialty of Tastee Inn & Out, a Sioux City Drive-In that has been run by the Calligan family since the mid-1950s. Tastee Inn & Out chips are sold in sizes that range from individual to a party tub; and they are accompanied, as is local custom for all fried onions in Siouxland, by a creamy white dip that is a local cognate of what Utahans know as fry sauce.
The other item on the menu that all visitors need to know about is the Tastee sandwich, this drive-in’s version of the locally popular loosemeats. It is ground beef on a bun, sort of like a fallen-apart hamburger but with extra seasoning in the meat. Tastee’s version bears virtually no resemblance to the ground beef dishes that are known elsewhere in other parts of America as the sloppy Joe (Midwestern), American chop suey (Yankee), New Joe Special (San Francisco Bay), or Cheez-br-gr (southern Indiana). Compared to any of these other presentations, the Tastee is veritably Spartan: just meat and seasoning, no sauce at all. (But pickle and onion on top, please! And of course some melting orange cheese.)
As you can infer from the name of the restaurant, Tastee Inn & Out is a drive-in with a walk-up order window but no seats whatsoever inside. Most people place orders at a drive-by menu that is equipped with a speaker and microphone and pick them up through the car window farther down the line. There is a picnic table and a large parking lot for in-car dining