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Honey 1 BBQ

Honey 1 BBQ
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  • Post #211 - May 11th, 2006, 7:14 pm
    Post #211 - May 11th, 2006, 7:14 pm Post #211 - May 11th, 2006, 7:14 pm
    dodger wrote:After reading so much about this place I finally got to try it. I went there Saturday. I had a full slab dinner with the sauce on the side. Well I don’t know if it was my expectations or what? But I was very disappointed. The ribs were over-done, dry, and tough. They just weren’t very good. I didn’t even finish them they were so bad. I thought the sauce was excellent.


    It happens, especially with BBQ joints. I would say, don't give up. Try again. I have a friend over right now who tried Honey 1 on my recommendation and was bitterly disappointed. He ordered tips and they were bone dry, as well. I haven't been able to figure out if there's certain times that are better than others when visiting BBQ shacks, but no matter where I go, Honey 1's, Lem's, or BA's, there's on days, and there's off days. More often than not, though, they're on their game. I hope next time you get a batch that'll make you realize all the praise here.
  • Post #212 - May 25th, 2006, 12:39 am
    Post #212 - May 25th, 2006, 12:39 am Post #212 - May 25th, 2006, 12:39 am
    The ribs were huge slabs of fat that on the inside layer contained huge rib bones and if you looked closely enough, there was some meat hiding underneath the burned outlayer. On the actual quality of the meat I would them a "D". Even though I searched for meat, when I found it the smokey flavor was delicious. The sauce is an "A" but it isn't enough to rate this rib dinner above a "C-".

    The fries were bad and the slaw was average as well.

    I would much rather have Twin Anchors ribs with Honey 1's sauce.
  • Post #213 - May 25th, 2006, 7:15 am
    Post #213 - May 25th, 2006, 7:15 am Post #213 - May 25th, 2006, 7:15 am
    I had some tips from Honey 1 this past Saturday night and I too thought they were too dry and overcooked. That being said, the sauce almost makes up for it and on my previous visits the quality was much better.

    When I called in to place the take out order I asked how far in advance they prefer people to call in the order. I was told 20 minutes. That would seem to imply that the tips are somewhat made to order. However in this case they tasted as if they've been sitting out for far too long.

    Finally, their fries really need some work. Mediocre at best. (not to mention that the okra was actually bad, almost completely devoid of taste.)
  • Post #214 - May 25th, 2006, 9:50 am
    Post #214 - May 25th, 2006, 9:50 am Post #214 - May 25th, 2006, 9:50 am
    Defiantly don't give up... Real Q is not like McDonald's in that consistency is nearly impossible. Much of this is due to the meat involved. Two slabs of ribs that look the same may cook very differently in the same smoker.

    Having been back in the city for less than 2 weeks I've eaten at Honey 1 only twice. Last Saturday the Tips were dry and the ribs were not good at all. Of course we were late (8:30pm-ish). Last night on the way home I stopped by for a link/tip combo and it was spot on! The tips had that great bacon like crust I love buit were dripping (everything was rendered...just jucy). The links were dry, as seems to be the norm, but tasty. I'll keep going back.
  • Post #215 - May 25th, 2006, 6:31 pm
    Post #215 - May 25th, 2006, 6:31 pm Post #215 - May 25th, 2006, 6:31 pm
    My combo was quite good on Saturday. I may have been there earlier than 8:30pm but if so it wasn't by much. The tips were very good and the hot link was even better. Sadly, H1 was completely empty of customers for the few minutes I was there.

    I guess I better knock wood 'cos my BBQ pals and I haven't had bad or even "just okay" 'Q from H1 in over a half-dozen visits.

    Kurt
  • Post #216 - May 25th, 2006, 7:00 pm
    Post #216 - May 25th, 2006, 7:00 pm Post #216 - May 25th, 2006, 7:00 pm
    Well there were 2 tables eating when we came in and none when we left, though it was after 9.

    The one thing I did forget to mention in the earlier post that I'm not so hot on is that the ribs on saturday still had the membrane on them. This is such an easy thing to deal with and really is an essential to good ribs IMHO. Not only does that film hurt the smoke ring but it turns into nasty burnt paper from the smoker...who wants to eat that stuff? Anyway, it's a small gripe for the best Q that's 10 min from my apt.
  • Post #217 - May 31st, 2006, 8:57 pm
    Post #217 - May 31st, 2006, 8:57 pm Post #217 - May 31st, 2006, 8:57 pm
    Ralph Wiggum wrote:I had some tips from Honey 1 this past Saturday night and I too thought they were too dry and overcooked.



    I take back everything I said. I had some tips tonight and they were literally the best ribs I've ever had! Perfectly tender and smoky. Rock on Honey 1.


    Of note, was there an LTH get together there at about 7:15? I saw a large table full of people who looked vaguely familiar and had brought their own bottles of wine, which I can't imagine is a common occurrence there.
  • Post #218 - July 1st, 2006, 11:32 am
    Post #218 - July 1st, 2006, 11:32 am Post #218 - July 1st, 2006, 11:32 am
    LTH,

    Just learned Honey One BBQ is open both Monday July 3rd, and Tuesday July 4th. Personally I'm going to roll my own, but this is good news for those without the time, patience or equipment to smoke their own BBQ.

    According to Robert Jr. they will be closing early on both days, call first.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Honey 1
    2241 N Western
    Chicago, IL
    773-227-5130
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #219 - July 6th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    Post #219 - July 6th, 2006, 1:49 pm Post #219 - July 6th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    I stopped in today for lunch, having not satisfied my craving with the haul I brought to a party on the fourth, and not only was it packed (six tables of people eating at 1:30pm), but they've added a big flat panel LCD in the dining area.

    Today it was showing the washington nationals baseball game.

    Here's hoping the crowds stay.

    Oh, and the food was excellent both tuesday and today.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #220 - July 8th, 2006, 7:25 pm
    Post #220 - July 8th, 2006, 7:25 pm Post #220 - July 8th, 2006, 7:25 pm
    Stopped in tonight for the links/tips combo along with some slaw. My 2nd visit.

    The large TV is a nice addition. They mentioned they are in process with a number of changes, including some upcoming painting.

    While in line, I overhead that they are going to be featured on TV soon. It sounds like the filming hasn't occurred, so nothing to watch for yet.

    As for the food, the tips were not as tender as on the initial visit. Still good, but not as perfect. I really enjoyed the cole slaw, a mayo based version. The portion is relatively small, but very tasty. I wish they offered some other sides to balance things out. They also had okra, but I didn't want it fried, which is how they prepare it. I'd love to see some baked beans or corn.
  • Post #221 - July 10th, 2006, 12:21 pm
    Post #221 - July 10th, 2006, 12:21 pm Post #221 - July 10th, 2006, 12:21 pm
    kithat wrote:I'd love to see some baked beans or corn.


    The lack of baked beans has been something that sticks in my craw about Honey 1. Have not been to a "premier" BBQ place that did not serve them.

    PS: Am heading to a major BBQ competition in Kansas City in early October to check out the fare. Should be fun!!
  • Post #222 - July 10th, 2006, 12:27 pm
    Post #222 - July 10th, 2006, 12:27 pm Post #222 - July 10th, 2006, 12:27 pm
    HI,

    I have mentioned the baked beans to Robert Jr, which I am not alone in suggesting. I know it is being considered, thus making sincere inquiries just might give the idea a little more momentum.

    I've been to someplaces where they dress up canned baked beans with their house BBQ sauce and chopped bits of pork. You're right they are a natural addition to the menu.

    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 #223 - July 10th, 2006, 12:28 pm
    Post #223 - July 10th, 2006, 12:28 pm Post #223 - July 10th, 2006, 12:28 pm
    The TV was set to the White Sox game yesterday afternoon. I asked, since we were the only ones in the dining room, if we could possibly watch the World Cup instead. Robert Jr explained that there were three tvs in the place and they were all wired to show the same thing. Since I'd seen Robert Sr. with one eye on the tv and the other on the smoker when I came in, I knew when I was defeated.

    Bill had the combo and couldn't stop raving about how great it was. I think he's feeling cheated that he hadn't tried the hot links on any of our many previous visits. I had the ribs, which were perfect, and, if possible, even meatier than usual.

    I also picked up a bucket of tips to bring along for a visit to a new baby. Who wants another pan of lasagna, anyway?
  • Post #224 - July 10th, 2006, 1:03 pm
    Post #224 - July 10th, 2006, 1:03 pm Post #224 - July 10th, 2006, 1:03 pm
    Ann Fisher wrote:

    I also picked up a bucket of tips to bring along for a visit to a new baby. Who wants another pan of lasagna, anyway?


    The baby sure doesn't!!
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #225 - July 15th, 2006, 9:22 pm
    Post #225 - July 15th, 2006, 9:22 pm Post #225 - July 15th, 2006, 9:22 pm
    I finally made it to Honey1, after having read about it often in these pages. It was most gratifying to see the LTH GNR award prominently posted in their front window.

    The ribs lived up to all that has been said of them, I'm glad (but not surprised) to say.

    I am slowly but surely trying to get to as many LTH-recommended spots as possible. (And if I'm lucky, I'll even get to LTH before the year is out.)

    Thanks to all for making this place known.
  • Post #226 - October 29th, 2007, 9:42 am
    Post #226 - October 29th, 2007, 9:42 am Post #226 - October 29th, 2007, 9:42 am
    MrsF and I stopped here on our way downtown for the Dylan/Costello/Adams show last night (Verdict: Adams ***1/2, Costello *****, Dylan *), and we were happy to worship at this temple to pork.

    She ordered a 1/2 slab, I ordered a large tips/links combo and fried okra.
    The ribs were perfect: texture, taste, meatiness, wonderful.

    The tips I thought could have spent a little more time on the smoker, render out some large blobs of fat, but were a terrific mess (note to self: bring sturdier napkins).

    The links were very tasty, a rather soft sausage, and none of the gristle I've been exposed to on previous link experiences at other shops. I'd have liked a little higher link/tip ratio.

    Both included large steak-cut fries (why don't more fast food places do these -- so much superior to shoestrings), that are even better than the white bread to sop up sauce and grease.

    The okra were good, but not great -- they were rather small diameter nuggets, which may have gotten dried out a bit frying.

    Lots of fun, I'll go back again.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #227 - October 29th, 2007, 9:50 am
    Post #227 - October 29th, 2007, 9:50 am Post #227 - October 29th, 2007, 9:50 am
    After probably 20 or so dinners from there, the wife and I had our first bad Honey 1 experience this Saturday night. Both the tips and links were dry and overdone. It tasted as if they'd been sitting out for a while. (It was 7PMish so it wasn't a late night problem.) I guess we got a bad batch.

    The real problem though was that we were picking up the ribs to head to a friend's place where 4 of us were going to have a rib-off. The other couple are die-hards of Smoque and bought some slabs from there. They were sure they'd outdo Honey 1. We had high hopes for winning the challenge but there was no such luck.
  • Post #228 - October 29th, 2007, 10:10 am
    Post #228 - October 29th, 2007, 10:10 am Post #228 - October 29th, 2007, 10:10 am
    IMHO, both in general and especially with the ribs, Smoque takes Honey 1 behind the woodshed a couple dozen times and beats it senseless. It's really not close in any category except arguably Honey 1's tips and links - that's the only offering that Honey 1 puts out warranting even a discussion on the same plane as Smoque's food.

    Smoque is the only Chicagoland BBQ joint (which I've been to) that may be able to compete on some level with any BBQ one can find down South in Texas.

    Bster
  • Post #229 - October 29th, 2007, 10:32 am
    Post #229 - October 29th, 2007, 10:32 am Post #229 - October 29th, 2007, 10:32 am
    Remember when there was no real BBQ on the north side? Back in '05?
  • Post #230 - October 29th, 2007, 11:15 am
    Post #230 - October 29th, 2007, 11:15 am Post #230 - October 29th, 2007, 11:15 am
    Bster wrote:IMHO, both in general and especially with the ribs, Smoque takes Honey 1 behind the woodshed a couple dozen times and beats it senseless.



    I guess it's all a matter of opinion. Even though the sides at Smoque are orders of magnitude better than Honey 1's, for my dollar, I'd pick Honey 1 every time. For me, it comes down to the strongly seasoned dry-rubbed taste of Smoque taking second place to the perfectly smoked taste of Honey 1.


    As an aside, would it really kill Robert Sr & Co. to put some effort into the sides? Tasting the fries and mac and cheese at Smoque makes me realize how pathetic it really is.
  • Post #231 - October 29th, 2007, 11:29 am
    Post #231 - October 29th, 2007, 11:29 am Post #231 - October 29th, 2007, 11:29 am
    Bster wrote:Smoque is the only Chicagoland BBQ joint (which I've been to) that may be able to compete on some level with any BBQ one can find down South in Texas.


    Bless your heart.

    Out of curiosity, what other BBQ joints have you been to?
  • Post #232 - October 29th, 2007, 11:50 am
    Post #232 - October 29th, 2007, 11:50 am Post #232 - October 29th, 2007, 11:50 am
    Off the top of my head, the other BBQ/rib spots I've been to are:

    Smokin Woody's
    Calvin's
    Barbara Ann's *
    Honey 1
    Fireplace Inn
    Twin Anchors *
    Gale Street Inn
    Carson's *
    Robinson's *
    Leon's *
    Smookin' Woody's
    Grizzly's *
    L. Woods
    Herky's (sp?) Evanston/Skokie *
    Weber Grill (Wheeling - think it's gone now?) *

    Chains -
    Famous Dave's
    Portillo's

    * - denotes that it's been awhile since my last visit

    Bster
  • Post #233 - October 29th, 2007, 12:23 pm
    Post #233 - October 29th, 2007, 12:23 pm Post #233 - October 29th, 2007, 12:23 pm
    Ralph Wiggum wrote:As an aside, would it really kill Robert Sr & Co. to put some effort into the sides? Tasting the fries and mac and cheese at Smoque makes me realize how pathetic it really is.

    Like I said above, I liked the fries a lot, and the okra is a rare-enough thing that it's worth going back for (the only other place I know I can get it is Cracker Barrel, and I'd just rather not).

    The smoke flavor at Honey 1 was definitely prominent and fantastic. I was at Carsons just a couple weeks ago, and much as I love them as a childhood memory, their 'cue just isn't 'cue on the same scale as Honey 1. Great texture, high quality, decent (but not outstanding) sauce... but just no smoke.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #234 - October 29th, 2007, 4:12 pm
    Post #234 - October 29th, 2007, 4:12 pm Post #234 - October 29th, 2007, 4:12 pm
    Question for Gary (or anyone who knows the Adamses and/or the business side of Honey 1):

    Sometime last year, someone (I think Gary) posted to the effect that business prospects were gloomy, the neighbors were unhappy, and the place might not make it past the summer. Obviously it has, so my question is, have things turned around to some extent? Or are they still barely scraping by?
  • Post #235 - October 30th, 2007, 5:46 am
    Post #235 - October 30th, 2007, 5:46 am Post #235 - October 30th, 2007, 5:46 am
    Bster wrote:Off the top of my head, the other BBQ/rib spots I've been to are:

    Barbara Ann's *
    Herky's (sp?) Evanston/Skokie *
    Bster


    An impressive list (thats Hecky's, BTW). However, the place *I* think is best is
    the one place you *havent* been to :-) That would be Uncle John's down on
    69th street. (Barbara Ann's *used* to be my favourite, but their pitmaster
    left and started Uncle John's a couple of years ago... if your trip to BA's was
    within the last 2 years or so, you missed the "better" place IMHO).

    And Lem's down on 75th is considered pretty good too. (Me, I like Smoque's
    brisket a lot... but for links etc I think UJ's is king, it has long IMHO blown
    Honey1 out of the water as far as tips and links are concerned. It just isnt
    as convenient to get to :-)

    c8w
  • Post #236 - October 30th, 2007, 6:31 am
    Post #236 - October 30th, 2007, 6:31 am Post #236 - October 30th, 2007, 6:31 am
    cilantro wrote:Sometime last year, someone (I think Gary) posted to the effect that business prospects were gloomy, the neighbors were unhappy, and the place might not make it past the summer. Obviously it has, so my question is, have things turned around to some extent? Or are they still barely scraping by?

    Cilantro,

    Problems with the neighbors have been resolved and they are well past the summer of '06 doldrums. Honey 1's appearance on Check Please in October 2006 gave them, and continues to, give them a boost, so yes, things have turned around to some extent.

    This is not to say business is great or they don't continue to need the support of loyal customers, just means I haven't heard Robert Sr. talk about returning to Arkansas for a while. ;)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #237 - October 30th, 2007, 6:45 am
    Post #237 - October 30th, 2007, 6:45 am Post #237 - October 30th, 2007, 6:45 am
    Bster wrote:Off the top of my head, the other BBQ/rib spots I've been to are:

    Bster,

    I've been to all the Chicagoland BBQ, and I use the term loosely, joints you list plus many more* and would rate Honey 1, along with Uncle John's, Barbara Ann's and Lem's in the very top tier of local BBQ.

    Far as Smoque ribs vs Honey 1's ribs they are completely different styles of BBQ leading me dredge out one of my favorite quotes from LAZ, "Perhaps, when it comes to ribs, you and I belong to the same Orthodox tradition, but follow different rabbis." Though truthfully I think you and I belong to entirely different BBQ denominations.

    Smoque does not offer hot links or tips so I am unclear how you made the Honey 1 vs Smoque comparison.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *ReneG, Joel Smith, myself and a rotating core group went to approximately 35 Chicagoland BBQ joints in researching the BBQ section of The Slow Food Guide to Chicago
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #238 - October 30th, 2007, 7:55 am
    Post #238 - October 30th, 2007, 7:55 am Post #238 - October 30th, 2007, 7:55 am
    nobody likes I57 ghetto fab ribs??? 8)
  • Post #239 - October 30th, 2007, 8:13 am
    Post #239 - October 30th, 2007, 8:13 am Post #239 - October 30th, 2007, 8:13 am
    dddane wrote:nobody likes I57 ghetto fab ribs??? 8)


    I like them well enough, but they are not in the same league as H-1, Uncle John's, Barbara Ann's, Lem's or even Smoque.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #240 - October 30th, 2007, 8:45 am
    Post #240 - October 30th, 2007, 8:45 am Post #240 - October 30th, 2007, 8:45 am
    The big difference between Smoque and Honey 1 is that Smoque's Barbecue is machine-made, whereas Honey 1's is handmade. Smoque uses a state-of-the art barbecue "machine" (as Gary calls it). It is full of electronics and moving parts, and is fully automatic. The devices feature self-basting rotisseries, thermostatic controls, and patented convection air-flow systems. Once you figure out the optimum settings, you can turn out absolutely uniform and consistent product every time. The machines are also highly efficient, using gas to actually cook the meat, with wood added for the smoke. They can run all day on the smoke produced by just two pieces of wood. Robert Adams, on the other hand, makes barbecue pretty much the way it has been done in the smokehouses of his native Arkansas for the last 150 years, with just wood and meat. His process takes constant attention to the fire and to the meat. Narturally, his product is less consistent. Both systems produce smoked meat, but they are entirely different creatures, and cannot be directly compared.

    Here are some quotes from the Southern Pride website:

    "The amazing thing about all Southern Pride wood burning barbecue pits and smokers is their simple, automatic operation. There's no guesswork, no need for constant attention, no need to turn the meat while it's cooking. Southern Pride does it all...automatically."
    "With our ovens, there's no need for special cooking skills, no need for constant attention, no need to spend extra money training employees to cook your meat for you. Simply load the product, set the thermostat, and forget about it until your taste-tempting barbecue is ready."

    The SP machines may turn out a perfectly tasty product, but is it "real" barbecue? Personally, I lean towards the method that does require "special cooking skills", which the Adams family possesses in abundance.

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