Another Chicago recap post… while writing my 2014 year-in-review, I realized that I still have several posts left from Chicago that I haven’t written.
We visited Honey Butter Fried Chicken not once, but twice during our short 5-day trip, because yes it was that good. At the time we were there, S’s sister V was working there as a line cook, so we got some extras along with our meals.
The restaurant is located a bit out of the way of city center (although still quite easily accessible by the metro and bus). It’s actually right down the street from the ever-famous-but-now-closed Hot Doug’s… which we didn’t get to visit because the lines were crazy long. Sob.
S and I have really missed good fried chicken since moving to California, so we were both ultra excited. V told us that basically everything on the menu is good, so we ordered a variety of items to try out (good thing we had four people).The special thing about the fried chicken here is that it’s de-boned. Sounds blasphemous, I know, but HBFC (sort of) makes up for that by brining the chicken so that it’s still juicy as ever. The batter is perfectly crisp and has amazing flavor – we especially loved the smoky paprika. V didn’t tell us beforehand that we could ask for all dark meat, so we got a mix of white and dark here, but obviously the dark meat was better.
We also didn’t know that we were supposed to slather their house-whipped honey butter ONTO the fried chicken… Sounds like a heart attack, but trust me, you need to do this. The light sweetness of the honey complemented the smoky fried chicken really nicely, and of course, it added some extra juiciness. It was so, so good.We also tried the fried chicken sandwich. To be honest, I’ve always been a bigger fan of straight-up fried chicken than the sandwich version, but this was also really good – the candied jalapeño mayo was super yummy.
Finally, we also shared an order of the honey buffalo wings.The flavors were good, and the wings were fried quite nicely. I sort of wished that we had ordered a few more pieces of fried chicken instead, though – just couldn’t get my mind off of them, hehe.
On that visit, we tried several of their sides – collard greens, creamed corn, roasted sweet potato salad, and watermelon salad. I really loved the creamed corn and watermelon salad – unfortunately, my pictures didn’t turn out so well…
Anyway, on our last full day in Chicago, S and I insisted to V that we make another trip. She was kind enough to go with us, even though I’m sure she was looking forward to having her day off from working there…
We ordered another four-piece fried chicken, and this time, we did things right from the beginning – slathering honey butter all over that fried chicken.
V said that we should try the mashed potatoes, which were served with a house-made chicken fat gravy. We also wanted the watermelon salad again, and both sides were delicious.
Overall, we loved this place – the fried chicken is different than what we had expected, but really yummy nevertheless. Not only was the fried chicken amazing, the sides were impressive as well. If S and I ever visit Chicago again, I would definitely be down for another trip to HBFC.
Did I mention that this place is actually quite hipster? I could totally see it being successful out here in California… If only they would really open another location here, haha!
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
3361 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60618