What do you get when country music meets a Sir Mix-A-Lot video? Trace Adkins’ song Honky Tonk Badonkadonk. Part of us wishes Sir Mix and Adkins would collaborate with DJ Khaled on a remix because that would be something that might actually break the internet. This little tidbit obviously brings us to our next question, which is where do you go in Pilsen when looking for barbecue food and live music? Answer, Honky Tonk BBQ, so get your own badonkadonk over there.
The barbecue scene in Chicago works well because all of our favorite spots are different. Depending on the situation, there’s always a barbecue joint that fits the bill better than another, and if you’re looking for a little live music and a few drinks, Honky Tonk is your spot. On the corner of Racine and 18th Street, the lack of windows and inability to see inside or out makes Honky Tonk a rather unsuspecting destination. But upon entering, the free flowing drinks, barbecue smells, and live music Wednesday through Sunday should ease any second thoughts you may have. Make no mistake, the live music is as much of a draw as the food itself and it makes for a fun time.
Honky Tonk is divided into two rooms, with the music and party in the front, definitely not the back. The back room serves a needed purpose though, because the high ceilings and long tables are ideal for larger groups, while seating up front is limited.
When it comes to the food, we could tell you all about the exquisite smoke rings, elegantly complex dry rubs, and time and temp the meats are cooked. But let’s be honest, outside of BBQ snobs loyal to one particular style, BBQ food is either good or it’s not. And our official take is the food at this honky tonk joint tastes pretty damn good.
This bacon makes our heads badonkadonk. Can’t pass up tasty, thick cut, caramelized bacon. Options include a full appetizer with multiple pieces to share or the signature $5 bacon and a brew, which comes with a single piece of bacon and a good ol’ PBR.
Hearty and meaty bowl of brisket based chili with a mountain of macaroni and cheese over the top. If this is wrong we don’t want to be right.
You’re not gonna not eat corn bread muffins if they are in front of you. Hot and fresh.
Greens means healthy. Greens cooked with smoked fatty meats means healthy and delicious. Right? Right.
The one thing we’ve eaten but could do without. A little chewy for our liking.
Unlike the tips, the ribs are smoky, tender, and fantastic. Good enough to stand alone with no sauce if you choose.
Also really tender and tasty. We like to mix any of the pulled meats with the wide array of sauces available on the table.