The Honeybaked Ham shop on Riverside Dr. may be known more for their mouth-watering, prepared hams, ribs and turkeys, but their Grill is something to write home about, too. I have eaten here at times over the past few years, but my most recent visit stands out for one of the most memorable Reubens ever. The Reuben is my most favorite deli sandwich – I have fond memories of these sensory-overloaded sandwiches at Chuck’s on M Street in Syracuse, NY, and at the famous Carnegie Deli in New York City. While Los Angeles delis Canter’s, Jerry’s and Nate and Al’s make a decidedly delicious standard Reuben, Honeybaked has eclipsed them all with a California twist.
Take some fresh rye bread and pile pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and avocado in between the slices. Forget about the drippy Thousand Island dressing (typically included in a Reuben, but this is California – use avocado instead.) Grill that sandwich in butter and serve it up with red potato salad. Voila – a less messy and possibly even more delicious sandwich is created.
Honeybaked has taken on the Papoo’s menu since the erstwhile-named Hot Dog Show closed down in 2011. They also hired two of Papoo’s servers and their cook and expanded the menu, adding burritos. salads and more veggie dishes. While Papoo’s specialty was the hot dog, Honeybaked’s is ham, so many items are built around ham. The highly-customizable menu’s emphasis is on healthy home-cooking and offers several vegetarian and lighter options on standard grill fare. Deli salads and sliced lunch meats to go are also available.
At a recent Honeybaked Grill lunch with friends, we also ordered a turkey plate, for someone who did not get enough of the good stuff at Thanksgiving. A large portion of turkey (choose dark or light meat or both), plus mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and a side of cooked cranberry sauce can be yours for $10. Also on the bill, a cheeseburger served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and avocado on a fresh sesame bun. The patty was handmade from freshly ground beef for maximum flavor. Onion rings and fries rounded out the meal and can be served with blue cheese, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise or ketchup, as you like.
Honeybaked has stepped up a notch in my book, from solidly good to reliably delicious… before I proclaim this terrific restaurant with plenty of table space and a quick to-go turnover time to be the Tops, I need to return a few times to try other items on the menu. So, top-billing On The Marquee it is for right now. My friends tell me breakfast is awesome, but I need to taste it myself to believe.
Clean bathrooms, friendly servers and parking in the lot out back make this Toluca Lake/Burbank restaurant a haven for lunchtime in the city. Honeybaked also delivers lunch between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Let’s not forget those deliciously prepared meats for holiday feasts, with a fast-moving line for pickup, and catering. During the week before Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, the Grill shuts down to facilitate pickup of its renowned hams and turkeys, so make sure to confirm Grill hours with the shop around those holidays.
A few times a year, I stop by the shop to pick up mustards and the lentils/bean soup mix for use at home. While I’ve looked at Honeybaked more as a home cook help in the past, I am very impressed by their Grill menu and the quality of their lunchtime offerings. The Honeybaked Grill reopens for breakfast and lunch on Friday, December 27, after being closed for Christmas. See you soon, Honeybaked!
Restaurant Info: Honeybaked is located at 10106 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake, CA 91602. 818-766-3958. Open Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Honeybaked receives: On The Marquee
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Roadkill)