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Honey 1 BBQ

Honey 1 BBQ
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  • Post #691 - January 18th, 2015, 8:10 pm
    Post #691 - January 18th, 2015, 8:10 pm Post #691 - January 18th, 2015, 8:10 pm
    Regarding the price of tips vs slabs, usually, the large order of rib tips is about the same as a 1/2 rack of spares. Here's Lem's menu from the website. And this LTH thread has Uncle John's price from 2011 (which, admittedly, is a long time ago in terms of meat prices.)

    I don't agree that the tips and links combo are consistently the only good thing at aquarium joints. I've had plenty of dried-out tips/links, and great spares (and vice versa.) It varies by place, time of day, phase of the moon, planetary alignment, etc. My rule used to be Lems for spares, Uncle John's for tips/links back when UJ's was on 69th. I've tried the inverse a couple of times and was disappointed both times. It may have been a fluke--two samples are not necessarily representative. But I've never been disappointed by going with my usual.
  • Post #692 - January 18th, 2015, 11:12 pm
    Post #692 - January 18th, 2015, 11:12 pm Post #692 - January 18th, 2015, 11:12 pm
    There's gizzards on that menu!
  • Post #693 - January 18th, 2015, 11:15 pm
    Post #693 - January 18th, 2015, 11:15 pm Post #693 - January 18th, 2015, 11:15 pm
    A theme of this thread is the inconsisency of acquarium barbecue joints, e.g. subpar ribs. Query if this is something more prevalent at these places than restaurants that use Southern Pride or other types of smokers (e.g Smoque, Lillie's Q, Rub, Barn & Company...). If so, what is the reason for the inconsistency? Why are the sides an afterthought?
  • Post #694 - January 18th, 2015, 11:26 pm
    Post #694 - January 18th, 2015, 11:26 pm Post #694 - January 18th, 2015, 11:26 pm
    ld111134 wrote:A theme of this thread is the inconsisency of acquarium barbecue joints, e.g. subpar ribs. Query if this is something more prevalent at these places than restaurants that use Southern Pride or other types of smokers (e.g Smoque, Lillie's Q, Rub, Barn & Company...). If so, what is the reason for the inconsistency? Why are the sides an afterthought?

    One theme I feel isn't touched upon enough is that with aquarium smokers, the highs are really high. When it's on, it's transcendent (some might even say transcendental) . . . and even more satisfying than the highs achieved on many mechanical smokers. That's not to say I don't have an appreciation for it all because I do. But in the end, this is the compelling allure of places like Honey 1 . . . the siren's call of that perfectly fatty, juicy, barky, smokey meat that just cannot be duplicated via other cooking methods.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #695 - January 19th, 2015, 12:21 am
    Post #695 - January 19th, 2015, 12:21 am Post #695 - January 19th, 2015, 12:21 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    ld111134 wrote:A theme of this thread is the inconsisency of acquarium barbecue joints, e.g. subpar ribs. Query if this is something more prevalent at these places than restaurants that use Southern Pride or other types of smokers (e.g Smoque, Lillie's Q, Rub, Barn & Company...). If so, what is the reason for the inconsistency? Why are the sides an afterthought?

    One theme I feel isn't touched upon enough is that with aquarium smokers, the highs are really high. When it's on, it's transcendent (some might even say transcendental) . . . and even more satisfying than the highs achieved on many mechanical smokers. That's not to say I don't have an appreciation for it all because I do. But in the end, this is the compelling allure of places like Honey 1 . . . the siren's call of that perfectly fatty, juicy, barky, smokey meat that just cannot be duplicated via other cooking methods.

    =R=



    Okay.

    But how come they can't have really good fries and sides to go along with that?
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #696 - January 19th, 2015, 2:54 am
    Post #696 - January 19th, 2015, 2:54 am Post #696 - January 19th, 2015, 2:54 am
    ld111134 wrote:A theme of this thread is the inconsisency of acquarium barbecue joints, e.g. subpar ribs. Query if this is something more prevalent at these places than restaurants that use Southern Pride or other types of smokers (e.g Smoque, Lillie's Q, Rub, Barn & Company...). If so, what is the reason for the inconsistency? Why are the sides an afterthought?


    The listed restaurants have smokers that use indirect heat and have thermostatic temperature control. Consequently they don't need the constant attention of a pit master. They are not simply set and forget, you do have to monitor the meat as cooking times can vary, but this is nothing like the aquarium where temperature and flame control are strictly manual.
  • Post #697 - January 19th, 2015, 7:47 am
    Post #697 - January 19th, 2015, 7:47 am Post #697 - January 19th, 2015, 7:47 am
    First, let me say, Roger, :P

    Second, as someone who's had BBQ in the South and in Texas, I don't find the best here as good as the best there.

    Which brings me to kinda my third and main point: asking about consistency. I think we have to look at the cause of inconsistency, or put it this way, who's to say that Lillie Q, Smoque, etc. are often inconsistent too. Because the primary problem I think with serving commercial bbq is one of timing. Not timing on the cooker, but timing off the cooker. As I argued above, the problem with aqua-ribs is that they are seldom served enough. Order ribs, and invariably, someone is un-wrapping some foil and chopping ribs cooked who knows when. Hey, I have my druthers still about aquarium smokers, but I don't think they themselves are main culprit. It is you, my friends, for not shopping enough.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #698 - January 19th, 2015, 7:58 am
    Post #698 - January 19th, 2015, 7:58 am Post #698 - January 19th, 2015, 7:58 am
    Thanks. What kind of smokers do they use in competition (e.g. Memphisin May) and at commercial restaurants in the barbecue meccas (e.g. Memphis, Austin, KC, the Carolinas)? I lived in Memphis for 2 years and didn't encounter consistency issues at the many joints that I visited (Neeley's, the Rendezvous, Corky's, Germantown Commissary, the late lamented Willingham's).
  • Post #699 - January 19th, 2015, 9:44 am
    Post #699 - January 19th, 2015, 9:44 am Post #699 - January 19th, 2015, 9:44 am
    Vital Information wrote:Which brings me to kinda my third and main point: asking about consistency. I think we have to look at the cause of inconsistency, or put it this way, who's to say that Lillie Q, Smoque, etc. are often inconsistent too. Because the primary problem I think with serving commercial bbq is one of timing. Not timing on the cooker, but timing off the cooker. As I argued above, the problem with aqua-ribs is that they are seldom served enough. Order ribs, and invariably, someone is un-wrapping some foil and chopping ribs cooked who knows when. Hey, I have my druthers still about aquarium smokers, but I don't think they themselves are main culprit. It is you, my friends, for not shopping enough.


    My last visit to Smoque about a month ago left me kinda pissed. The brisket was jerky. I go to Smoque for brisket. Their supporting cast dishes are fantastic, or very good as well - I'm NOT taking anything away from them there, but I go to Smoque for BRISKET. Just sayin'. I don't think that means I should avoid it just yet.

    Also, Ronnie_Suburban...
    Thanks for pointing out the fact that the Aqua Q joints absolutely have fantastic q when they are on point. I am still craving Lem's rib tips that I had the other day. Knocked them out of the PARK, and the highs those places hit, when they are good, make them absolutely craveworthy, as anyone who is familiar with these places will no doubt attest to. If you go to these joints lookin for pulled pork and fries, you are missing the point. I don't think that anyone will argue with the fact that these places SHOULD have better sides, and SHOULD have better spare rib control, (I guess I should just say product quality control in general.) Smokin M's tried for the quality sides, and they are still in business. No idea if they are THRIVING or not, but they are still in business, and last I saw, they had another location opened. My knock on Smokin M's was the quality of the pork q, (mostly shoe leather,) and their hot links are just not to my liking at all.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #700 - January 19th, 2015, 12:14 pm
    Post #700 - January 19th, 2015, 12:14 pm Post #700 - January 19th, 2015, 12:14 pm
    Had a small combo yesterday at around 1:00pm and it was excellent. The tips were fresh off the fire, and were lacquered a beautiful dark bronze, with a nearly crunchy bark, and completely rendered of fat. Unbelievable. Links were perhaps not as snappy as they could have been but spicy with a hint of sage, dunked in H1's bbq sauce (on the side) and smothered in soft white bread, they were still excellent.

    I really don't understand they naysayers here. To each his own and all that but saying you think H1 sucks is like saying you don't like good sex. Even my worst experience et H1 was far better than anything I've had on the North Side. I find that offset machine smoked ribs (which are common in NY as well now) often end up churning out ribs that resemble the meat jellos that so many of us decry here. A typical place will serve a rack that is smoky yes, but mushy, disgustingly fatty in parts, completely devoid of any bark, and where the bone literally slides out of the meat at the slightest tug. This method may work for brisket, but I haven't enjoyed it for pork ribs.

    In my mind Bucktown's loss is Bronzeville's gain. I'll certainly make the trek (who knows I may be moving to the South Loop anyway). Long live Honey 1!!!
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #701 - January 19th, 2015, 1:48 pm
    Post #701 - January 19th, 2015, 1:48 pm Post #701 - January 19th, 2015, 1:48 pm
    I'm a big fan of Honey 1 but I do understand the naysayers. That is, if you've only visited once, maybe twice, I can see where maybe you got a bad order (dry, no fat, mostly bone). It's happened to me. But the vast majority of times, I've been very happy with my tips (mostly why I go there).
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #702 - January 19th, 2015, 2:45 pm
    Post #702 - January 19th, 2015, 2:45 pm Post #702 - January 19th, 2015, 2:45 pm
    Habibi wrote:Had a small combo yesterday at around 1:00pm and it was excellent. The tips were fresh off the fire, and were lacquered a beautiful dark bronze, with a nearly crunchy bark, and completely rendered of fat. Unbelievable. Links were perhaps not as snappy as they could have been but spicy with a hint of sage, dunked in H1's bbq sauce (on the side) and smothered in soft white bread, they were still excellent.

    I really don't understand they naysayers here. To each his own and all that but saying you think H1 sucks is like saying you don't like good sex. Even my worst experience et H1 was far better than anything I've had on the North Side. I find that offset machine smoked ribs (which are common in NY as well now) often end up churning out ribs that resemble the meat jellos that so many of us decry here. A typical place will serve a rack that is smoky yes, but mushy, disgustingly fatty in parts, completely devoid of any bark, and where the bone literally slides out of the meat at the slightest tug. This method may work for brisket, but I haven't enjoyed it for pork ribs.

    In my mind Bucktown's loss is Bronzeville's gain. I'll certainly make the trek (who knows I may be moving to the South Loop anyway). Long live Honey 1!!!


    The worst I've had at H1 has certainly not been as good as the best of Smoque, or Smalls, both Southern Pride joints.

    But if 1PM on Sunday is your normal time for H1 you have been getting the best of what they do. Freshly cooked and usually with Adams Sr. at the pit.
  • Post #703 - January 19th, 2015, 6:08 pm
    Post #703 - January 19th, 2015, 6:08 pm Post #703 - January 19th, 2015, 6:08 pm
    Ya'll know they're different products, right? These days very few people would try to compare 30's style burgers from Schoops or In n Out with charcoal grilled thickass pub burgers apples to apples or claim one sux because they prefer a different style. (This used to be quite common, though.) Bottom line is that at their best, all legit regional BBQ styles are excellent. But we are definitely losing our one Northside example of direct heat, mid-south rooted, urban glass pit 'que. We have very little of other exclusively wood and fire styles from other regions (but what we have is pretty great) and a number of pretty solid put in the pellets and turn on the machine till morning 'que.
  • Post #704 - January 21st, 2015, 6:12 pm
    Post #704 - January 21st, 2015, 6:12 pm Post #704 - January 21st, 2015, 6:12 pm
    So disappointed to hear they'll be moving... was in there about a week ago, and had perhaps the best tips I've ever gotten! Juicy and meatier than I can ever recall.

    I gave Robert Jr. a hard time, because when I first heard of the Bronzeville location last fall and asked him about it, he assured me it was an additional outpost and not a move. I had JUST moved to the neighborhood at the time and was so looking forward to get in there on a regular basis again. Not long after they opened at that location, I worked near Fullerton & Elston so it was in my regular lunch rotation for about 3 years. Then I took a new job in the Loop 5 years ago, and only got in there 2-3 times a year until our recent home purchase. Been in there probably 5-6 times since Oct. and hope to stop by a few more times before they close up shop.
  • Post #705 - February 4th, 2015, 1:18 pm
    Post #705 - February 4th, 2015, 1:18 pm Post #705 - February 4th, 2015, 1:18 pm
    Honey 1 was "firing on all cylinders" during our final visit to the Bucktown shop last weekend. The place was hopping. In fact they ran out of tips by the time we left at 8:30. They were so good, the large combo we split wasn't enough for the two of us and we were fortunate to receive the last of the tips in our follow up order of a small combo (which was bigger than the large). The pit was roaring when we got there and our tips came out piping hot and about as juicy as I've ever had there, all fat rendered melt-in-your-mouth, but with plenty of very smoky, toothsome bark. My wife declared them the best she's had. For me, in my how-many-dozenth visits in 9 years, it would be hard to make such a statement. They were on point. As were the peppery links.

    The counter guy told me they'd be closed by Valentine's Day, for what its worth. I caught Robert Jr.'s eye as he breezed in and out, and as always, he took the time to say what's up. In terms of welcoming service, Honey 1 has always been near the top of my personal favorites. I will miss the convenience of Honey 1 on Western, but regardless of Westside, Northside, Southside, they will always have my allegiance. I feel very fortunate that they set up shop in an accessible location to spread the gospel of aquarium smoked tips and links to white boys like me.
  • Post #706 - February 4th, 2015, 3:53 pm
    Post #706 - February 4th, 2015, 3:53 pm Post #706 - February 4th, 2015, 3:53 pm
    For those a wee bit north, there is a spot, "Uptown Pizza & BBQ" at 1031 w Wilson. I've never been, and I see one mention of it on LTH with the word "abysmal." I have a co-worker, however, who says it's really decent stuff, and she is the one who turned me on to Exsenator's. I'm not saying that Uptown is gonna be good, or great or anything. Just saying that they have an aquarium smoker, they do tips and links, and they've been around for a long, long time. Maybe they could scratch an itch for the northsiders looking for aqua q when H1 is gone.


    Uptown Pizza & BBQ
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #707 - February 4th, 2015, 4:11 pm
    Post #707 - February 4th, 2015, 4:11 pm Post #707 - February 4th, 2015, 4:11 pm
    For those a wee bit north, there is a spot, "Uptown Pizza & BBQ" at 1031 w Wilson. I've never been, and I see one mention of it on LTH with the word "abysmal." I have a co-worker, however, who says it's really decent stuff, and she is the one who turned me on to Exsenator's. I'm not saying that Uptown is gonna be good, or great or anything. Just saying that they have an aquarium smoker, they do tips and links, and they've been around for a long, long time. Maybe they could scratch an itch for the northsiders looking for aqua q when H1 is gone.


    For anyone looking for an experience similar to H1, Uptown is not it...I won't go into detail, cause my mamma told me if I can't say something nice......

    to be fair, I've never had their pizza
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
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  • Post #708 - February 4th, 2015, 4:42 pm
    Post #708 - February 4th, 2015, 4:42 pm Post #708 - February 4th, 2015, 4:42 pm
    rubbbqco wrote:
    For those a wee bit north, there is a spot, "Uptown Pizza & BBQ" at 1031 w Wilson. I've never been, and I see one mention of it on LTH with the word "abysmal." I have a co-worker, however, who says it's really decent stuff, and she is the one who turned me on to Exsenator's. I'm not saying that Uptown is gonna be good, or great or anything. Just saying that they have an aquarium smoker, they do tips and links, and they've been around for a long, long time. Maybe they could scratch an itch for the northsiders looking for aqua q when H1 is gone.


    For anyone looking for an experience similar to H1, Uptown is not it...I won't go into detail, cause my mamma told me if I can't say something nice......

    to be fair, I've never had their pizza


    Let me put it this way: if you want to eat some locally owned fast food, Uptown BBQ isn't the worst option in the world. It has a special place in my heart, but that might have more to do with how close it was to my first apartment in the city. I've never had pizza from there, but one of my friends did swear by the rib tips, which I determined to be...adequate.
  • Post #709 - March 10th, 2015, 1:01 pm
    Post #709 - March 10th, 2015, 1:01 pm Post #709 - March 10th, 2015, 1:01 pm
    Hi,

    FYI - Honey One is still open on Western. The new place is not quite there yet. They believe it is weeks away, though they have been working on this for seven months.

    If you were coming some distance for their food, I would certainly call to verify they are open on Western or at their new location.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #710 - March 10th, 2015, 2:07 pm
    Post #710 - March 10th, 2015, 2:07 pm Post #710 - March 10th, 2015, 2:07 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:FYI - Honey One is still open on Western. The new place is not quite there yet. They believe it is weeks away, though they have been working on this for seven months.


    Exactly the answer I just came to LTH to try and find out! Wanted to hit them up for dinner before bowling at Fireside this evening... was hoping they weren't gone for good just yet. Recently moved to the area, and had wanted to get in a few more visits before they closed but haven't been in for a few weeks, as my kosherish non-pork eating father-in-law was in town for a month.

    Tips and hot links are in my near future :)
  • Post #711 - April 8th, 2015, 8:33 pm
    Post #711 - April 8th, 2015, 8:33 pm Post #711 - April 8th, 2015, 8:33 pm
    Last Chance on the North Side

    Tomorrow, 4/9/15, is Honey 1's last day of operations at the Western Avenue location*. They've passed all of their health dept. inspections and the new Bronzeville location will be open starting Friday.

    * For a short period of time, the Western location will be open on weekends while they wind down operations and move out, but I'd advise calling ahead before making a trip. It is a BBQ shack, after all.

    Honey 1 BBQ
    746 E. 43rd Street
    Chicago, IL 60653
    872-244-3158
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #712 - April 8th, 2015, 9:26 pm
    Post #712 - April 8th, 2015, 9:26 pm Post #712 - April 8th, 2015, 9:26 pm
    Any idea if they bought a new smoker or will be using a seasoned one?
  • Post #713 - April 8th, 2015, 9:33 pm
    Post #713 - April 8th, 2015, 9:33 pm Post #713 - April 8th, 2015, 9:33 pm
    scottsol wrote:Any idea if they bought a new smoker or will be using a seasoned one?


    They bought a larger aquarium. I don't know if it's brand new or if it's used.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #714 - April 8th, 2015, 9:48 pm
    Post #714 - April 8th, 2015, 9:48 pm Post #714 - April 8th, 2015, 9:48 pm
    stevez wrote:Last Chance on the North Side

    Tomorrow, 4/9/15, is Honey 1's last day of operations at the Western Avenue location*. They've passed all of their health dept. inspections and the new Bronzeville location will be open starting Friday.

    * For a short period of time, the Western location will be open on weekends while they wind down operations and move out, but I'd advise calling ahead before making a trip. It is a BBQ shack, after all.

    Honey 1 BBQ
    746 E. 43rd Street
    Chicago, IL 60653


    Thanks for the update, Steve. Hmm, my new digs actually make the 43rd St location easier to access but I will lament the loss of true "Southside" BBQ from the Northside. I know some have had mixed, or even bad, experiences with H1 but I could always count on them to deliver a great tips & links combo. I look forward to trying out the new location. I notice their website doesn't have any updated info at all but that's not surprising for a small establishment that no doubt relies on a 3rd party to perform all of their online updating (I'm just assuming).
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #715 - April 9th, 2015, 5:25 pm
    Post #715 - April 9th, 2015, 5:25 pm Post #715 - April 9th, 2015, 5:25 pm
    Yes, there are a few restaurants that I've been to more than Honey 1. However, there is no single seat that I've sat in more than the south facing chair at the northwest table of their dining room. It truly is the perfect seat. It's far enough from the TV to not let SportsCenter distract (hence detract) from the Q, yet still within eyeshot for the occasional highlight worthy of a head turn; Really Derrick Rose...really? It also allows for a close watch on the happenings and clientele in the dining room, as kinship enhances the experience. Not only does that seat offer a great view of Western Ave., but puts one in the perfect position to help smoke-seeking first-timers confused by which door to enter, as the dining side is bigger, brighter, and altogether more inviting. I'd need a few sauce-caked hands to count the number of times I've gestured "down one more" to a Honey V. After dozens of visits, I have only deviated twice from this spot to accommodate the large party I was dining with.

    I'm damn near sure that today marked my (7th) last trip to Honey 1. As the thunder echoed, and the rain poured down, the smell of smoke was foreboding. Was this really going to be the last time I sat in this chair? I didn't ask, as I didn't want to sour my potential last meal here. Today's view of Western was of Adams and Co. packing up drinks, random office supplies, but no large quantities of boxed smoke into double-parked VW's (a pair of black and white Jettas parked side by side like the salt and pepper shakers that adorn each green and white checkered table cloth). As the rain continued to pour, it felt more like a divorcee's move than a catering gig. Through it all, no corners were cut. Today's smoke was no joke, and my combo was on.

    I have lived four blocks from Honey 1 for close to eight years, so today's last visit really hit me hard. Will they continue to make great BBQ in Bronzeville? Yup. Will I make the drive when the impulse hits and time allows? Damn straight. But my seat... my seat. I'm pretty sure that part of the story is over. I can only hope that it takes a couple more weeks to make the move, and that the northwest table set is the last thing to go. (sticky) Fingers crossed.

    Image
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #716 - April 10th, 2015, 9:02 am
    Post #716 - April 10th, 2015, 9:02 am Post #716 - April 10th, 2015, 9:02 am
    Sweetbread-

    Great tribute. Thanks for sharing.
    -Mary
  • Post #717 - April 21st, 2015, 5:21 pm
    Post #717 - April 21st, 2015, 5:21 pm Post #717 - April 21st, 2015, 5:21 pm
    Hi,

    Friends and regulars of Honey 1 visited the new location over the weekend. Robert Sr and Jr were thrilled they had moved with them to the new location.

    FYI - it is cash only.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #718 - April 22nd, 2015, 12:29 pm
    Post #718 - April 22nd, 2015, 12:29 pm Post #718 - April 22nd, 2015, 12:29 pm
    When I wear my H1 BBQ T-shirt to the gym/pool people walk up to me and say how much they like H1's BBQ

    Hope they get new T-Shirts printed. :)
  • Post #719 - April 22nd, 2015, 1:02 pm
    Post #719 - April 22nd, 2015, 1:02 pm Post #719 - April 22nd, 2015, 1:02 pm
    The "official" Grand Opening in Bronzeville is this Saturday.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #720 - April 25th, 2015, 8:06 pm
    Post #720 - April 25th, 2015, 8:06 pm Post #720 - April 25th, 2015, 8:06 pm
    From today's official Grand Opening:

    honey1cut.jpg

    honey1pig.jpg

    honey1pit.jpg

    honey1cue.jpg

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