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Honey 1 BBQ

Honey 1 BBQ
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  • Post #91 - September 25th, 2005, 7:39 pm
    Post #91 - September 25th, 2005, 7:39 pm Post #91 - September 25th, 2005, 7:39 pm
    Ann Fisher wrote:I'm not the type to normally start up chats with strangers, but I figured that any random group of people waiting for their orders in the first few days at the new Honey 1, odds were good that there'd be another LTH-er


    On my first visit Friday evening, without thinking, I just asked the counterpeople, "So, has Gary been in yet?" And they responded, without blinking, "Yes, twice so far; we're expecting him again before the weekend is over!"

    Ann Fisher wrote:They were out of turkey legs, to their surprise, at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The young man working the counter said they'd been added almost on a whim, but they're clearly a keeper.


    Yes, the turkey legs are wonderful, as was confirmed by myself and the rest who picked away at one this afternoon. Who would've thought turkey could taste so much like pork? And there are no words (least not from me) to describe the skin on that turkey leg.
  • Post #92 - September 26th, 2005, 9:04 am
    Post #92 - September 26th, 2005, 9:04 am Post #92 - September 26th, 2005, 9:04 am
    okra was great too. better batter than the corn-meal stuff. Btw, i did not throw that T-leg over my shoulder.
  • Post #93 - September 26th, 2005, 10:10 am
    Post #93 - September 26th, 2005, 10:10 am Post #93 - September 26th, 2005, 10:10 am
    Steve, Cathe2, Jim, LAZ,

    Guess I missed you guys. I must've been the first in Sunday.

    My half slab and small links were really great!

    :twisted:
  • Post #94 - September 26th, 2005, 1:37 pm
    Post #94 - September 26th, 2005, 1:37 pm Post #94 - September 26th, 2005, 1:37 pm
    The meeting of five of the six bagel tasters at Honey One yesterday afternoon wasn't precisely coincidental, not after stevez put the idea in our heads....

    After all, while some of the bagels were very good, but none of them were, well, meaty. (More on the bagels anon, elsewhere.)
  • Post #95 - September 28th, 2005, 7:36 pm
    Post #95 - September 28th, 2005, 7:36 pm Post #95 - September 28th, 2005, 7:36 pm
    LTH,

    Met friends who were headed back to Motor City, along with King's Thursday and Steve Z, at Honey 1. My buddy had never heard me rave about a BBQ joint before, aside from Cooper's in Llano, Texas, and, being a BBQ guy himself, wanted to Check out Honey 1.

    Brad and Hollye with Robert Sr.
    Image

    Suffice to say he was blown away by the BBQ. Hollye, who likes BBQ, but loves fried food, thought the chicken wings and fries top-notch.

    Honey 1 12-piece wing basket
    Image

    In addition to wings, tip/link combo and a rack of spares we also ordered a turkey leg. These are some delicious turkey legs, smokey, chewy, with lots of flavor.

    Honey 1 Turkey Leg
    Image

    I eat lunch with Mike G, who was unable to join us today, fairly often, but almost never with King's Thursday, who is the much better half of Mike G. I'm wondering if there is anyway I can trade Mike for King's Thursday as the more frequent lunch companion, not that she's that much better company than Mike, or anything like that. :)

    We also ran into PaulSL and a friend in for lunch.

    Another enjoyable Honey 1 lunch in the company of LTHers.

    As an aside, I may be BBQed out for a while. This was my 4th time at Honey 1, if you count the link I had at the counter yesterday when I met Mike G to pick up his Madden/Katrina order, in the last week. I also attended a BBQ at MAG's on Saturday, including a terrific whole pig on a La Caja China, not to mention homemade sausage, and I cooked BBQ on Sunday at my house. Maybe Thai or even vegetarian is in order for a few days. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Last edited by G Wiv on September 29th, 2005, 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #96 - September 28th, 2005, 8:09 pm
    Post #96 - September 28th, 2005, 8:09 pm Post #96 - September 28th, 2005, 8:09 pm
    Went tonight for the Turkey Leg. I would nominate this for a last meal on Earth ...not because it's the greatest thing I've ever eaten (but very good indeed), but because it is so large.

    Honey One's Turkey Leg: The gift that keeps on giving.

    tp
  • Post #97 - September 29th, 2005, 5:19 am
    Post #97 - September 29th, 2005, 5:19 am Post #97 - September 29th, 2005, 5:19 am
    trixie-pea wrote:Went tonight for the Turkey Leg. I would nominate this for a last meal on Earth ...not because it's the greatest thing I've ever eaten (but very good indeed), but because it is so large.

    Honey One's Turkey Leg: The gift that keeps on giving.

    tp


    It's funny, the Turkey Leg was completely off my radar until ReneG mentioned it -- now, it seems to be favored by many including you, King's Thursday, others. The Roberts might do well to increase their inventory of these poultry appendages.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #98 - September 30th, 2005, 12:49 pm
    Post #98 - September 30th, 2005, 12:49 pm Post #98 - September 30th, 2005, 12:49 pm
    There's a big write-up on Honey 1 in this week's Reader. Notice the casual mention of LTH and its brethren when the author refers to "online food forums."

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/pdf/050930/050930_restaurants.pdf

    Many other Chicago BBQ places are blurbed in this issue. I did a very brief run-thru and saw that they cover many places but their official Reader ratings are given for very few restaurants. Barbara Ann's is mentioned as being temporarily closed but no ink is given as to the reasons why. I saw that Fat Willy's Rib Shack is given pretty good food ratings, though, which I would imagine would not be an opinion that is universally agreed with here on this board. Are their ratings given by reviewers or readers?

    Fat Willy's Rib Shack
    2416 West Schubert
    Chicago, Illinois 60647
    773.782.1800
  • Post #99 - September 30th, 2005, 2:28 pm
    Post #99 - September 30th, 2005, 2:28 pm Post #99 - September 30th, 2005, 2:28 pm
    listerine wrote:There's a big write-up on Honey 1 in this week's Reader. Notice the casual mention of LTH and its brethren when the author refers to "online food forums."

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/pdf/050930/050930_restaurants.pdf

    Many other Chicago BBQ places are blurbed in this issue. I did a very brief run-thru and saw that they cover many places but their official Reader ratings are given for very few restaurants. Barbara Ann's is mentioned as being temporarily closed but no ink is given as to the reasons why. I saw that Fat Willy's Rib Shack is given pretty good food ratings, though, which I would imagine would not be an opinion that is universally agreed with here on this board. Are their ratings given by reviewers or readers?

    Fat Willy's Rib Shack
    2416 West Schubert
    Chicago, Illinois 60647
    773.782.1800


    I have a few thoughts on the Reader BBQ listings that I will blog on, but the gist is that the listings are very good this week because they pull no punches. Both good and bad are pointed out. Which means if you read the Fat Willy's blurb by Gwiv you will see he's pretty balanced about what he thinks about the place--hint it aint no Honey1.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #100 - October 1st, 2005, 7:50 am
    Post #100 - October 1st, 2005, 7:50 am Post #100 - October 1st, 2005, 7:50 am
    Hit Honey 1 last night at about 7:30. When I arrived, there were maybe 4 people milling about, deciding what to order. I was second in line and by the time my order was placed, the line reached to the door. If my large link and large tip order are any indication of the food they were turning out last night, everyone that was there will be back (I saw some people with The Reader article for reference). Links were great as usual and the tips were some of the best I have had at Honey 1, from either location. Most people did seem to be ordering the slabs, which is kind of funny: Now that you generally don't need to order ahead for slabs, I never get them, but at the old location that would be the mainstay of my orders.
    I also don't order sauce on the side. My experience is they do not drown the links/tips and the amount they put on is perfect, with most of it draining off onto the fries (which then makes the cold fries edible on a take out order). Plus I love their sauce :)
    Jamie
  • Post #101 - October 1st, 2005, 3:57 pm
    Post #101 - October 1st, 2005, 3:57 pm Post #101 - October 1st, 2005, 3:57 pm
    Stopped by Honey1 for lunch today. We had the Link/tip combo, Chicken Wings with Hot Sauce - we ordered sauce on the side, it came on top, but it wasn't a big deal, their Hot Sauce is good and they didn't soak them, and a Turkey Leg. All, of course, top notch. The chicken wings were so large my husband jjoked they must have come from turkeys.

    They've installed a soda fountain, but don't have all the flavors running yet.

    The most interesting thing though -

    The Fire Department paid a visit, in full gear plus the Captain. My husband thought maybe they came for lunch - but no, someone had called 911. They had Robert Sr. come out and check the chimney - "No, that's the smoker", he said.

    Robert Jr. told us this was the 3rd time this week this has happened.
    I asked if anyone had been complaining, he said, "No, they just aren't used to having us around yet."
  • Post #102 - October 2nd, 2005, 12:52 am
    Post #102 - October 2nd, 2005, 12:52 am Post #102 - October 2nd, 2005, 12:52 am
    LTHers chowing down at Honey One on Metromix
  • Post #103 - October 3rd, 2005, 11:21 am
    Post #103 - October 3rd, 2005, 11:21 am Post #103 - October 3rd, 2005, 11:21 am
    Based one everyone's praise, I finally got to Honey 1. But I have to say, we were a bit disappointed.

    A couple of notes: If you score a parking place, right in front of the store, you are in a bus stop. Hard to see the sign in the rain and trees.
    Thank goodness the rain was too much for the cops to stop and give me a ticket.

    They can not accept credit cards, just now. They hope to have the machine installed in a week or so. There is a bank across the street, and down the block. My group of three only had $25.00 between us, and it was pouring rain, so no trip to the ATM. One couple left when they found out that they could not use a CC. The customer said that he did not have money in his checking account, payday is the 5th, but had lots a credit on the card.

    Only three or four flavors of pop. They say that there will be more in a week of so. Jewel still sells cans, that could be resold at Honey's.

    The bath room was built for munchkins.

    Entire store was clean enought to eat off the floors. If it is raining, when you go, be careful of the marble floor, just inside the doorway. Watched one lady almost take a fall.

    With out going into the food, there were a couple of things that bothered us. No salt or pepper on the tables. No napkins available, unless you ask for more.

    And something I do not think I have ever seen before. My wife, who has no adventure in her life, ordered a hamburger, which comes with fries. The fries came with already dressed with ketchup but no salt.

    We had the hamburger, a small slaw, and a large or extra large tip and link combo, two fountain drinks, and the bill was just over $25.00.

    The food took about 12 minutes to be prepaired. A bit long, we thought. When we started, we were all suprised that the fries were stone cold. I mean almost from the refrigerator cold. The burger was a step above being paper thin, yes I know, but that is what she wanted.

    The tips were good, and my daughter and I enjoyed them a bunch. Wife did not. The hot links were not our favs. But that is all a matter of taste. Some folks like icing and some folks like cake.

    Enjoyed the sauce. Slaw was, for us, so-so.

    Will be go back, doubtful. As it was, when we left Honey, and we had a great parking place, we almost went accross the street to Cafe Bolero, but when we saw the Bus sign, we knew it was a sign to leave.
  • Post #104 - October 4th, 2005, 2:37 pm
    Post #104 - October 4th, 2005, 2:37 pm Post #104 - October 4th, 2005, 2:37 pm
    Based one everyone's praise, I finally got to Honey 1. But I have to say, we were a bit disappointed.


    I have my own issues with Honey1 (well, not issues per se... but Iam comparing
    it with Barbara Ann's, and so my standards are very high. Tips are good, almost
    as good as BA's, maybe as good. Links at BA's are on a whole different
    level, not comparable IMHO. And at BA's you can get twice as much food for
    9.52 as you get for 10.06 at Honey1...)

    But. Given all that. Honey1 is good - its close to a highway, they do good BBQ,
    they actually have a clean place you can sit down to eat. Thats three *huge*
    plus points - is there another place in the city or burbs that can say that?
    Probably not IMHO.


    They can not accept credit cards, just now. They hope to have the machine installed in a week or so. There is a bank across the street, and down the block. My group of three only had $25.00 between us, and it was pouring rain, so no trip to the ATM. One couple left when they found out that they could not use a CC. The customer said that he did not have money in his checking account, payday is the 5th, but had lots a credit on the card.

    Only three or four flavors of pop. They say that there will be more in a week of so. Jewel still sells cans, that could be resold at Honey's.

    The bath room was built for munchkins.


    See, now these things youre looking for a quality "restaurant" - which is
    a whole different ballgame IMHO. Honey1 was a BBQ shack, and the way I
    look at it, its now offering more conveniences. That doesnt mean Id try
    and compare the conveniences and service to other restaurants - they
    clearly would not stack up. But they have much better *food* than those
    other spots, so I know which place *Id* rather go to :-)

    Compare them with, say, Johnnies Italian Beef on North Avenue. A Chicago
    original - a fantastic spot. They have *no* seating indoors, only outdoors -
    which is useless in the winter. They offer like 2 pops. And dont even ask
    for a bathroom, there isnt one. You dont go there for the conveniences,
    you go there for the food. And theyre the best at what they do IMHO -
    but you cant go hoping to get the conveniences youd get at other
    "restaurants". I cant think of *any* BBQ shack (or Johnnies) who offer
    Credit-card service for instance. Honey1 will next week... which will
    still not make it a great "restaurant" per se, but a BBQ shack with great
    conveniences. And thats a very good thing IMHO - like I said, its probably
    the best in the city at that (since all other good BBQ spots are purely
    carryout, most with bullet-proof glass and turntables for the money/food
    exchange. This is actually a place you can go to with non-foodie
    friends :-)

    Entire store was clean enought to eat off the floors. If it is raining, when you go, be careful of the marble floor, just inside the doorway. Watched one lady almost take a fall.

    With out going into the food, there were a couple of things that bothered us. No salt or pepper on the tables. No napkins available, unless you ask for more.


    Again, just like Johnnies IMHO - you have to ask for napkins, you dont get
    em at the table :-) Its basic, and heavily self-serve in a way. But the food
    is awesome.

    And something I do not think I have ever seen before. My wife, who has no adventure in her life, ordered a hamburger, which comes with fries. The fries came with already dressed with ketchup but no salt.

    We had the hamburger, a small slaw, and a large or extra large tip and link combo, two fountain drinks, and the bill was just over $25.00.


    The food is probably reasonable for the area - they havent raised prices
    *that* much from the Westside. But, as I said above, its a whole lot more
    expensive than some places that are just as good or better on the
    Southside. Which isnt unusual or unexpected I suppose.

    The food took about 12 minutes to be prepaired. A bit long, we thought. When we started, we were all suprised that the fries were stone cold. I mean almost from the refrigerator cold. The burger was a step above being paper thin, yes I know, but that is what she wanted.


    12 minutes? Bah. On Saturday night I had to wait for 45 minutes! Id much rather
    pickup at Barbara Anns usually, with better food and no waiting. But again,
    its just pickup there - you have to eat on or in your car. At Honey1 you at
    least have a table :-)

    Seriously, for decent BBQ, 12 minutes isnt so bad. They were announcing on
    Saturday that the wait for a slab would be an hour to an hour-and-a-half!
    They were out of them, and they werent about to speed up the cooking
    process for the next batch. Which is OK by me - I'll just make sure to
    call in the next time or something.

    The tips were good, and my daughter and I enjoyed them a bunch. Wife did not. The hot links were not our favs. But that is all a matter of taste. Some folks like icing and some folks like cake.

    Enjoyed the sauce. Slaw was, for us, so-so.


    The tips were pretty good IMHO as well. The links were ok - but Iam spoiled
    by BA's, they are just so much better than anyone else that nothing else
    tastes particularly good to me anymore. The slaw is rarely better than
    so-so at any of these BBQ shacks IMHO - Ive rarely had a really good
    one.The fries were better than usual on Saturday.

    As for the sauce... I went with established LTH dogma ans ordered it "on the
    side". Next time I shall flout LTH-orthodoxy and not say those words - it
    was pretty damn good sauce, and I dont see why it wouldnt enhance the
    meat if its left on.


    Will be go back, doubtful. As it was, when we left Honey, and we had a great parking place, we almost went accross the street to Cafe Bolero, but when we saw the Bus sign, we knew it was a sign to leave.


    I will go back, myself. It sort of depends on what you want, and what
    youre looking for, and where you live IMHO. If I lived on the southside,
    I might *never* go - BA's would be my own preference (though sadly it
    is still closed as of the moment). However, living on the Northside... this
    is the best BBQ that is *not* on the Southside, it is only a mile off the
    94 (thus very convenient), and it even has a place to sit down! Just those
    things ensure I'll be back I think.

    c8w
  • Post #105 - October 4th, 2005, 2:46 pm
    Post #105 - October 4th, 2005, 2:46 pm Post #105 - October 4th, 2005, 2:46 pm
    You know, I actually prefer Honey 1's links to BA's.

    I like BA's a fair amount, but unless you order it "well done", you get, in my experience, very large chunks (1cm cubed) of unrendered fat in the sausage. And if you do ask for a "well done" link, you'll apparently sometimes get a deep fried one.

    I still like 'em, but I don't like having it *that* coarsely ground.

    I also find the ribs to be a fair amount larger and meatier at Honey 1, but that may have just been a fluke.

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #106 - October 4th, 2005, 3:32 pm
    Post #106 - October 4th, 2005, 3:32 pm Post #106 - October 4th, 2005, 3:32 pm
    You know, I actually prefer Honey 1's links to BA's.

    I like BA's a fair amount, but unless you order it "well done", you get, in my experience, very large chunks (1cm cubed) of unrendered fat in the sausage. And if you do ask for a "well done" link, you'll apparently sometimes get a deep fried one.


    It was me with the deep-fried one - the only time Ive ever asked for it that
    way :-) Iam not sure about thhe "large chunks of unrendered fat" either -
    Ive had that in there once or twice, but thats out of a couple dozen plus
    attempts, probably. Not a usual thing, I dont think. Ive asked a couple times
    for "the more well done pieces" - but most of the time I forget, and still
    end up getting pretty good stuff. I suppose it may depend on the time
    of day etc - if theyve been in there for a while maybe theyre automatically
    more well-done already, who knows.

    I still like 'em, but I don't like having it *that* coarsely ground.

    I also find the ribs to be a fair amount larger and meatier at Honey 1, but that may have just been a fluke.

    -ed


    Thats where personal preferences come in I suppose :-) Ive not found
    anything remotelyc omparable to BA's links - not even in the same
    ballpark. Maybe thats because of the coarse grind - I dont know. But
    everywhere else Ive tried, its a whole lot smoother link, more like
    a dog or sausage almost, and nowhere near as good to me. Honey1's
    wasnt bad - but wasnt a patch on BA's in my opinion either (probably
    because it wasnt as coarsely ground - apparently I just find coarser
    stuff to be better :-)

    So, does *anyone* know what the coarsest grind out there is, apart from
    BA's? I57 Ribhouse has been suggested, havent tried that yet - but
    everything else Ive tried isnt remotely close (someone suggested Heckys
    a while ago - Heckys is a nice *hot* sausage, but way too smooth as
    well in comparison).

    c8w
  • Post #107 - October 4th, 2005, 3:37 pm
    Post #107 - October 4th, 2005, 3:37 pm Post #107 - October 4th, 2005, 3:37 pm
    I'm glad it's not the norm. It just seems to happen a little too frequently for me (maybe twice out of five trips). I do wish Honey 1's were a little more coarsely ground, but it's good enough (and it's close enough to work) that I can't imagine making the trek to BA's very often.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #108 - October 4th, 2005, 4:44 pm
    Post #108 - October 4th, 2005, 4:44 pm Post #108 - October 4th, 2005, 4:44 pm
    I picked up $100+ of BBQ for a party that I had on Sunday.*

    The verdict? The goods were alright.

    A few of my guests remarked very favourably on the sauce, and I am inclined to agree; it is a really good sauce.

    But, comments on the ribs, tips, and wings were largely restricted to polite criticisms.

    "A bit tough." "A little fatty." "Not a whole lot of meat." "Not a whole lot of smoke." "Not much pork flavour." Etc.

    And, again, I am inclined to agree.

    ----------------------------------

    My father was fond of saying, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

    I think that was a part of it.

    And, maybe there is something to be said for this "seasoning the smoker" business.

    But, I also think that it is is getting harder and harder to sort the hype around here.

    E.M.

    * Three full slabs, one small rib tip bucket, two smoked turkey legs, and twelve fried wings.
  • Post #109 - October 4th, 2005, 5:04 pm
    Post #109 - October 4th, 2005, 5:04 pm Post #109 - October 4th, 2005, 5:04 pm
    Erik M. wrote:"You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

    Erik,

    You mean sow's ear as in tips/spare ribs, Honey 1 or the Adams family?

    Erik M. wrote:But, I also think that it is is getting harder and harder to sort the hype around here.

    Can you tell me where there's better BBQ within reasonable driving distance? Not talking Texas Hill country, Kansas City, Dallas or North Carolina, but a reasonable, even excursion distance, drive.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #110 - October 4th, 2005, 5:22 pm
    Post #110 - October 4th, 2005, 5:22 pm Post #110 - October 4th, 2005, 5:22 pm
    I took the kids there for a late lunch on Sunday and I have to say I was really impressed with the chicken wings. Juicy, great crust, just about perfect fried chicken to my admittedly nort' side Chicago tastebuds. I will certainly be having that again for lunch and probably sooner than later.

    Kids loved the tips, the links not so much...more for me!
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #111 - October 4th, 2005, 6:03 pm
    Post #111 - October 4th, 2005, 6:03 pm Post #111 - October 4th, 2005, 6:03 pm
    G Wiv wrote:You mean sow's ear as in tips/spare ribs, Honey 1 or the Adams family?


    Sorry for any confusion. I meant the tips, spares, and turkey legs.

    G Wiv wrote:Can you tell me where there's better BBQ within reasonable driving distance? Not talking Texas Hill country, Kansas City, Dallas or North Carolina, but a reasonable, even excursion distance, drive.


    At various times in past years I have had superior tips and spares from BA's, Lem's, and Honey 1, in their former location. Nothing (in this town) has done it for me, though, for nearly a year.

    ---------------------------------

    The racks were "shiny," Wiv, and you know what I am talking about. In addition, the racks were poorly trimmed.*

    As for the tips, I found them terribly chewy and tough. I gave up on them altogether.

    Maybe I just don't "get" smoked turkey legs. I'll spot you that one.

    ---------------------------------

    I have said it to you privately, and now I will say it publicly: I think that I am going to hang up on Chicago BBQ; it has been prankin' me for a long, long time.

    At any rate, for you to take umbrage with my remarks is a real gas. [Get it? Gas?] Your BBQ is twice as good as any commercial product in this town. I don't see how you can possibly get behind (any of) it.

    E.M.

    * I sampled from both ends of all three racks.
    Last edited by Erik M. on October 4th, 2005, 6:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #112 - October 4th, 2005, 6:42 pm
    Post #112 - October 4th, 2005, 6:42 pm Post #112 - October 4th, 2005, 6:42 pm
    c8w... I do not want to get into one of those contests, but I would like to comment a bit further on Honey1.

    When they left the West Side and opened this two storefront wide place, it changed from being a shack into a sit down restaurant, serving BBQ.

    If I was at Johnny's I would not expect nothing but Johnny's. But Honey1 no longer looks like a shack, and should not start acting like one. Having salt and pepper on the table, is not an odd request. Having food items inherently more sloppy than a beef, kinda calls for on table napkins.

    12 minutes for the food. Gee, it was just a burger, tips, links and fries. The only thing that had to be cooked was the burger. The tips and links had been smoked earlier, and probably only needed a warm up. If they were fresh from the smoker, then the time delay is even worse. How does this explain the very cold fries?

    Credit cards. In today society, it is not unreasonable to think that a restaurant would except credit cards, even Mickey D does. I can not speak as to the truth of the next part, but perhaps someone else can confirm or deny this. On Monday my wife, at work, was talking about Honey1. A co-worker, asked her why she was on the west side, and she told him that Honey1 had moved. She told him about our experience, and he mentioned to her that in all the years he had gone to Honey1, they always said that they were going to get a credit card machine the following week.

    I was in the food service industry for a number of years and along with other bits of wisdom I learned was that to stay in business you have to provide what the customer wants. On the west side you can be a shack, and be profitable. But when you move into an area with a lot of good restaurants, you have to be at least as good, or better, than your competition, in all ways, not just the food. LTHer's might enjoy the difference between a shack and a restaurant, but Joe average is looking for what he knows and wants.
  • Post #113 - October 4th, 2005, 7:30 pm
    Post #113 - October 4th, 2005, 7:30 pm Post #113 - October 4th, 2005, 7:30 pm
    To put in my .02 regarding the discussion of napkins, salt, pepper & credit cards at Honey 1, I think that Honey 1 is very much still a work in progress. The cooking part of the equation is pretty much there and has been since the West Side days. As far as what I will call the "creature comfort" half of the equation, you must remember that the Adams' are not formally trained restauranteurs. They are learning as they go. I think both Robert Sr. & Robert Jr. are pleasantly surprised by the volume of business they are doing right off the bat and were caught somwhat flat footed by the sudden demand for eat in facilities, since they were only use dot doing a carry out business. I know that they worked their butts off just trying to open on time and I'm sure there will be many improvements as time goes by. For example, there is a soda machine on order that will offer many more flavors of beverages that what they have right now, but they are at the mercy of the machine's distributor as to the delivery date. I think we all would agree that it would not be worth holding up the opening of Honey 1 just because the soda machine isn't in yet. I really only care about the BBQ. They've got plenty of napkins available for the asking, although I would agree that napkins or even a roll of paper towels on the tables would be a nice touch.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #114 - October 4th, 2005, 8:15 pm
    Post #114 - October 4th, 2005, 8:15 pm Post #114 - October 4th, 2005, 8:15 pm
    I think that Honey 1 is very much still a work in progress.


    Yeah, sheesh. I don't expect any family-run place to have their act 100% together the minute they open, the fact that they got a little LTH-alanche of people expecting perfection when they were still working the kinks out shouldn't be held against them. As I commented, some things about how they transferred a west side shack straight into Bucktown will probably need to be worked out and changed to suit a new audience they're still getting to know. Other things-- well, lots of places don't take credit cards. That's life.

    As for Erik's complaints, well, thank god somebody is going upstream against the lovefest. I think there's a little truth to what he says (apart from the validity of his opinion as one opinion) in that BBQ is something best eaten on its own schedule, not yours, and any restaurant is going to be at a bit of a disadvantage serving it to order versus a top home BBQ cook serving it at its peak of perfection. Also, I (like GWiv) like a fair amount of rub, so I like the way mine come out more than how Honey 1's (which have little or no rub on them) come out. But now we're really talking, if not apples and oranges, at least oranges and tangelos. As BBQ you can have within ten minutes rather than six hours goes, Honey 1's is mighty fine.
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  • Post #115 - October 4th, 2005, 9:09 pm
    Post #115 - October 4th, 2005, 9:09 pm Post #115 - October 4th, 2005, 9:09 pm
    Man, there is a real disconnect going on on some levels here. What I see above includes some thoughtful, legitimate criticisms of where Honey1 is vs. where it was and where it should be. But much of what's up there strikes me as seriously under-informed.

    Las Islas Marias doesn't have burritos, Harold's doesn't have chicken tenders with honey mustard, and Carol's Pub doesn't have Perrier Champagne minis.

    Honey1 is a South Side/West Side BBQ place. No plexiglass lazy Suzan, but it otherwise looks the part -- and rightly so. Like I said on a less erudite forum recently, the ambiance and the amenities are apparent and they billow out of a chimney down Western like no other place on the northside with the possible exception of the east-side-of-Ashaland Pasadita. That's the comparison (except for price, I will grant you, and it's a big except). La Pasadita has no chicken chimichanga and the bathroom is a complete mess. The people who work there speak no English. Double ick. Right?

    Now then, in my limited (twice since the move) experience, I would say that the BBQ at Honey1 is rather easily the best BBQ on the Cubs side of Madison. I do not think that the links are comp for BA's or Lem's. But that is a supplier/starting product issue. The course, meaty Grant Park Uncle John's link, in my opinion, is one of the world's great sausages. The somewhat mealy textured run-of-the mill link used by H1 and many other BBQ places, while a tasty tubesteak, doesn't do much for me.

    I also perceive, maybe wrongly, that H1's ribs are overly-trimmed to please the very people who are knocking it now. I'm a big fan of fat in BBQ, and I didn't see enough of it in my ribs and tips.

    Consistency is the problem with BBQ. There is no formula that is foolproof, and ribs, more than anything, are fickle friends. Maybe the demand has caught H1 flat-footed and they need some time to catch up. Give them a chance.

    But I think some of the criticism attacks a style. H1 is clearly within the parameters of that style, so I can't see some of the criticism as properly aimed at the place rather than the genre. At this point, I've had all the BBQ styles, and I am still convinced that the Chicago tip and link combo, hot on the side, cooked in an aquarium as served at at Lem's, BA, H1, sometimes the original Leon's and Coleman's, I-57, Best's, and a few places in Indiana, Bellwood and the far west side whose names I now forget (hell, even some Kenny's outlets) constitute a unique and great regional BBQ style.

    But back to the point: some folks just don't like BBQ, and they didn't know it until they tried Honey1. Some folks just don't like Chicago fast food in the West Side, South Side (you know) style, and they didn't know it until they tried Honey1. You might not like Shark's or Harold's, either. Some folks know BBQ and are mildly disappointed in H1's new incarnation. That I can see, though it has not been my (limited) experience.

    Last, I will admit that I found the large tip and link combo to be very light for the price, by the standards set out above. I'l chalk it up to rent, but also wonder out loud whether volume couldn't make up for the difference.
  • Post #116 - October 4th, 2005, 9:26 pm
    Post #116 - October 4th, 2005, 9:26 pm Post #116 - October 4th, 2005, 9:26 pm
    I had the chance to try Honey 1's ribs last week and now I feel that I can add a few observations to this discussion:
    a. The ribs had the perfect amount of 'smokiness'----Taste reminiscent of the smoked pork tenderloin at Paulina Market.
    b. Texture was almost perfect although I would have preferred a slab with a little more fat.
    c. Fries and coleslaw--Not the worst/Not the best.
    d. Friendly, quick service albeit a Tuesday at 1:30 P.M.

    Recognizing that the new store is a work in progress, I would offer the following suggestions:

    a. Add more high profit side dishes---Gizzards and coleslaw just don't cut it.
    b. Add creature comforts as mentioned in prior posts.
    c. This might be heresy, but , here goes: He must expand his menu with items such as beef brisket and pork shoulder in order to cater to a wider variety of diners. I personally don't think that ribs/tips/links are enough to pay the bills at this new location----My 2 cents
  • Post #117 - October 4th, 2005, 10:35 pm
    Post #117 - October 4th, 2005, 10:35 pm Post #117 - October 4th, 2005, 10:35 pm
    The course, meaty Grant Park Uncle John's link, in my opinion, is one of the world's great sausages.


    Dammit, you made me drool on my desk. As of today, still no answer to phone calls at Barbara Ann's. I may try to track mac down if there is no sign of life in the place by this weekend.

    For the record, i've probably eaten at Honey 1 30 times. I can't tell you whether the fries are gopod or bad because I've never eaten them.

    The 12 minute criticism seems kind of petty to me.
    Last edited by YourPalWill on October 5th, 2005, 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #118 - October 5th, 2005, 9:26 am
    Post #118 - October 5th, 2005, 9:26 am Post #118 - October 5th, 2005, 9:26 am
    Erik M. wrote:At any rate, for you to take umbrage with my remarks is a real gas. [Get it? Gas?]

    Erik,

    Didn't mean to sound strident in my response, and I agree Honey 1 is going through growing pains. I'd guess they are doing more business in a day at the new location then they did in a week at the old.

    I've heard from a couple of people that they received tips and spares that could have used more time on the smoker, hasn't happened to me personally, but I don't doubt it in the least. My suggestion, better to let people wait then succumb to impatient customers. Not that the couple of people I heard this from were impatient, but that does seem to be a recurring theme.

    There's a few other little things I'd like to see, rolls of paper towels and sauce on the table, attractive waitresses, but, as has been said in the thread, it's gilding the lily, and a near perfect lily at that.

    It's true I have a deep appreciation, and respect, for Robert Adams, and I tend to be (overly) effusive when I really like something, but the man is serious about BBQ, has not succumbed to Southern Pride gas cookers and shortcuts, as have many (most) of his peers, and once Honey 1 hits their stride will handle the increased, and hopefully increasing, business with aplomb.

    Erik M. wrote:Your BBQ is twice as good as any commercial product in this town.

    Thanks for the compliment, anytime I'm cooking BBQ my door is open to you.

    Erik M. wrote:I don't see how you can possibly get behind (any of) it.

    In general I don't eat much commercial BBQ, but it's nice to have a few legit options, Honey 1, Lem's and Barbara Ann's, when the mood strikes suddenly.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #119 - October 5th, 2005, 9:40 am
    Post #119 - October 5th, 2005, 9:40 am Post #119 - October 5th, 2005, 9:40 am
    G Wiv wrote:... There's a few other little things I'd like to see, rolls of paper towels and sauce on the table, attractive waitresses...


    Ahem.

    I believe one is encouraged these days to say attractive waitpersons.
    :o

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #120 - October 5th, 2005, 9:55 am
    Post #120 - October 5th, 2005, 9:55 am Post #120 - October 5th, 2005, 9:55 am
    G Wiv wrote:I've heard from a couple of people that they received tips and spares that could have used more time on the smoker, hasn't happened to me personally, but I don't doubt it in the least. My suggestion, better to let people wait then succumb to impatient customers.


    I am in full agreement.

    To be perfectly clear, I placed my order in person, and with Robert Jr., three hours ahead of time. When it was time to collect the goods there was a line out of the door. My initial order included 4 links. These were not ready, and we decided to forego the estimated 10-15 minute wait.

    ------------------------

    I have witnessed the care and attention that you pay to selecting the racks that you cook, Wiv, and I am convinced that this is--in no small measure--part of your tremendous success.

    In a similar fashion, I have witnessed the (huge) groundswell of interest in Honey 1's new enterprise, and I am convinced that this is--in so small measure--part of the "problem," as I see it. I don't imagine that the Adams can afford the time, presently, to supervise and baby the process as well as they might have in the past.

    Make no mistake: I want them to succeed.

    Regards,
    E.M.

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