Dining

Side Effects

The sides are the stars at the new Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Avondale

More than 4,000 pieces of bird left the kitchen during Honey Butter Fried Chicken's first three days in business.

The restaurant's namesake is astoundingly juicy and flavorful, enveloped in weighty, peppery crust and served with whipped honey butter to gild the deep-fried lily.

But we'll get to that in a moment. First, we need to talk about vegetables--specifically, the seasonal rainbow that accompanies any well-composed plate at the new Avondale restaurant.

"We're almost more excited about the sides than the chicken. Well...almost," says HBFC's Christine Cikowski. She and partner Josh Kulp, who together ran the supper club Sunday Dinner for the past five years, are using the "sides" section of the menu as an outlet for vegetable-inspired creativity.

HBFC's fried chicken sandwich and interior (Photos: Kaitlyn McQuaid)
On a recent visit, this meant roasted corn tossed with dill vinaigrette and heirloom tomatoes, and Chinese broccoli with roasted red pepper sauce and fresh chèvre (sides are $3.50 each).

Sweet potato is diced, roasted and then slicked with lime vinaigrette; kale-cabbage slaw nods to the Mideast with yogurt-cumin dressing and dried pomegranate.

"We go for bright, acidic sides because they clean your palate for another bite of chicken," says Kulp.

Make that bite a chicken sandwich ($8) starring a fried thigh. All of HBFC's chicken, save for drumsticks, arrives to the plate deboned. We like it best when flanked by candied-jalapeño mayonnaise, cabbage slaw and a buttery Highland Baking Co. bun--and, of course, those sides.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken 3361 N. Elston Ave. Chicago IL 60618 773-478-4000

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