CUSP Magazine: Winter Issue 2014


CUSP Magazine is a Chicago based publication focused on helping up and coming creatives gain exposure for their brand and products. Our company is a collective of highly motivated individuals who work together to bring a new voice to the creative community.


diners and staff, and an aesthetic and atmosphere that was less consumption-driven and more about

community. Word of mouth helped the Dinner Club grow quickly. Now, nine years later, foodies across

the city covet an invitation to dinner with Josh and Christine. Although the Dinner Club is still inviteonly,

its lists of diners have grown exponentially over the past decade and events are held monthly

for broke but determined food loving hipsters, families, corporate groups, and just about anyone who

can manage to get an invitation. The Dinner Club was where the concept for Honey Butter began.

As they tell the story, one summer night when they were serving fried chicken with cornbread cakes,

they accidentally spilled the honey butter meant for the cornbread on the chicken, but decided to eat it

anyways. When they discovered how delicious it was, Christine said she ran back into the dining room,

frantically advising her guests that they had to try the chicken with the honey butter on top.

I have to agree with their assessment. The chicken is an amalgam of many flavors that complement

and contrast one another perfectly. I was seduced into eating five pieces and a chicken sandwich. The

chicken coated in a heavily seasoned and spiced flour mix that reacts really well with the sweet, salty

butter. It isn’t the only contrastive flavor combination on the menu. Wisconsin cheddar cheese, spicy

pepper, and “garlicky crumbs” are mixed into one of the best macaroni and cheese combinations I have

ever tried. They also have a cream corn that is mixed with a little bit of Thai coconut green curry that

would be perfect to slurp when you get a cold, brownies infused with spicy paprika, a lemony coleslaw

variation they call “kale-slaw,” and of course, lots of innovative iterations of fried chicken.

“We were consciously seeking

restaurant. “We wanted to crea

holistically fulfilling for us and


I am pretty partial to the Honey Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, their take on the classic buffalo chicken

sandwich. But, you can’t go wrong with The Original Fried Chicken Sandwich either. It’s covered in

candied jalapeño mayonnaise and served on a warm buttery bun. There are vegan and vegetarian

options on the menu as well, including the Fried Onion String Sandwich.

Even non-vegan eco-freaks can rest easy that they are not screwing up the world with their

consumer choices. The produce at HBFC is environmentally sustainable and locally sourced as much

as possible (as Josh reminded me that there are no pomegranates in Illinois). They buy their chickens

whole from Miller Amish Farms in Indiana and butcher them in house. The chickens are humanely

raised, antibiotic free, and raised in the kind of socialist utopia environment that I wish that I lived in.

They fry it in non-GMO, trans fat-free canola oil, so it’s healthy, or at least as healthy as fried chicken

can be. The rest of the chicken is put to use too, with the bones being put into chicken stock that they

use to make their gravy and soups. They even sell the oil they cook the chicken in to be used as biofuel.

“We were consciously seeking an alternative to the normal restaurant,” Christine said. “We wanted

to create a restaurant that was more holistically fulfilling for us and the people who work for us.” The

feeling of community pervading the atmosphere at HBFC go beyond their commitment to sustainable

food. I was impressed by service at Honey Butter as I was asked multiple times if I needed anything by a

nice young bartender with the most luxuriant mustache I have ever seen. I was tempted to ask for more

chicken or a second Chocolate Toffee Cocoa Nib Cookie, but I had probably already consumed more

calories than I would burn off in a week


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