Restaurant Review: Honey 1 BBQ

We’re still in a renewed suburban exile but I had to spend the evening in the city for a condo association meeting and figured I’d treat myself to some good takeout while back in the neighborhood. I had read so many glowing reviews of Honey 1 that I felt negligent about not having tried it prior to now. After our last time at Smoke Daddy and our not-so-impressed try of Smoque I was hoping this would be the rib place for us. Especially since its just blocks from our place.

I got there around 5:30 p.m. on a Thursday night and was the only one there. A friendly guy took my order. I got a full slab (it said it served 2-4 people but if it’s a slab I can manage it myself if I’m hungry and I was starving). It came with fries and cole slaw so I figured I might have leftovers. It took about ten minutes to get the order ready and the cost came to $19+ after taxes, I think the menu price was $17.99.

I got back to our pad and unpacked the Styrofoam container and was greated with two half slabs on top of each other smothered in plenty of sauce (I forgot to ask for extra), a pile of fries underneath them, two slices of white bread and a small container of cole slaw.

I’m not sure why anyone would want white bread. If you’re not going to put in corn bread or something special just don’t bother. For $20 white bread wasn’t going to impress me.

The Ribs
I will say the sauce was good. Tangy, with just a bit of kick. It was actually the best part of the meal. I even dipped the fries in it. The ribs though were typical of what I’ve experienced in Chicago. They were smoked and overcooked. The meat was tough and there wasn’t much of it on the bones. When I go to Costco and buy ribs there is tons of meat on them. You would think a rib place would have an even better supplier of cuts.

The fires were just ok, steak fries nothing special. The cole slaw also resides on the average side.

Don’t get me wrong, I finished everything, I was starving. But I didn’t feel good about it. I felt like I wasted one of my precious few times I’m allowed to get ribs. That’s just not right. At the price of eating out for ribs I can easily do my own recipe. It may take me all Sunday to do it, but the payoff is so much better.

Writing this up I’m a little bit surprised at the universal praise for the place. Kind of like Smoque, although I would rate that higher. But it doesn’t seem like anyplace in the city is really a destination for ribs fans. I’m heading to Memphis on business at the end of the month, I’m going to try and find a “destination” type rib joint there and see if it’s just Chicago or not. Heck, when I was visiting family in Temecula, California last year we found a really interesting rib joint that I would rate higher than the three Chicago places mentioned here. I’m thinking I may just have to open up my own rib joint if no one else can make a better rib.