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.
Honey Butter as a whole is a bit of a roller coaster, except you can at least be any height or age to ride. 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 overall we tend to agree. It results in a juicy and satisfying piece of fried meat with a distinctly seasoned fried crust. But if you consider yourself a fried chicken purist, you may be turned off by the lack of bones.
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.
The rest of the Honey Butter ride is a little lackluster. We haven't seen much value in the experimental sandwiches, and outside of the mac and cheese, the sides don’t cut it. At the end of the day, the 2-piece fried chicken with corn muffins and a side of mac and cheese for $12 is worth a return. But we are reluctant to advocate strongly for the rest of the offerings, even if the honey butter holds a special place in our hearts.
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.
Kind of plain for the extended cooking explanation you can find on theirwebsite. Made with a confit of red potatoes, garlic, and chicken fat, there's also rosemary gravy over the top. A little heavier on the seasoning wouldn't kill.
The usual with a little bacon thrown in. Better than the slaw and potatoes, but nothing to rave about.
Kale slaw in a yogurt and pomegranate base. Our problem with this slaw is that it's way too creamy. The kale base is fine, but we prefer it in a lighter vinegar-based sauce.
There are a number of tasty homemade dipping sauces, including spicy creole mustard and candied jalapeno mayo. They are all solid, but we can't justify $1.50 extra each when the honey butter is so d*mn good and free.