Hot Doug’s may be gone (RIP), but the little stretch of Roscoe St. between California and Elston in Avondale is still attracting visitors, and it’s the result of Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Here’s a little history on the origin of this fried chicken joint: The two owners became known for hosting their Sunday Dinner Club, a BYOB “underground supper club” that’s (still) held upwards of ten times a month. And while the SDC actually meets on days other than Sunday, it’s a cool concept if you’re into that sort of thing. Fried chicken also happens to be a SDC fan favorite, and evolution led to the emergence of a casual brick and mortar storefront where the SDC duo could peek their heads out from the underground scene.
As expected, the chicken is the real thrill and most important part of HBFC. For starters, it’s unique, because outside of the drumsticks and wings, it’s a deboned poultry party. That means boneless thighs and breasts, which is not the norm for a specialty fried chicken kind of place. The process allegedly allows the chicken to remain moist and flavorful while maintaining the value of their double batter crust, and, even if that’s made up science, we agree with the end result. It’s a juicy and satisfying piece of fried meat with a distinctly seasoned fried crust. Are you a fried chicken purist and have a problem with no bones? Get over it, at least this once.
Bones or no bones, the actual honey butter is where it’s at. If you like honey on your fried chicken, which we certainly do, you will absolutely love smearing this sweet buttery goodness all over your bird. As an added bonus, sweet corn-muffins accompany any order of fried chicken and they are pretty baller too. Add a dollop of honey butter to the corn muffins for similar flavor escalation.
When it comes to the sides, feel free to try one or two but know they aren’t nearly as important. A side of mac & cheese is always a good idea, but the main attraction here is a plate of chicken and corn muffins for less than $15. Putting literal honey butter on fried chicken may sound weird, but try it once and you’ll be hooked.
Boneless and juicy. Put the honey butter on the chicken - all of it.
Fried Chicken + Honey Butter + Bun = Yes, please.
A fried chicken sandwich with the usual reuben ingredients on a pumpernickel bun. Great idea in theory, but the chicken doesn’t really need sauerkraut and thousand island. The pumpernickel bun doesn’t do it for us either.
Great pimento flavor with a little bit of a kick. Crumbled breadcrumbs on top are a nice touch too. Mix it all together for some cheesy goodness.
Eh. It’s mashed potatoes.
The usual with a little bacon thrown in.
Kale slaw in a yogurt and pomegranate base. Know that it’s on the far-end of the creamy side.
There are a number of tasty homemade dipping sauces, including spicy creole mustard and candied jalapeno mayo. They are all good if you want to try something else, but to be honest, the honey butter is just so damn good.