Hangfire Southern Kitchen is something of a phenomenon. Sam and Shauna toured the states for a year after packing up their jobs and honed their pitmaster skills in the heartlands of USA BBQ country and then came back to educate the UK; and for that we should all be eternally grateful.
Now, this is ultimately a burger blog and having tasted the delicious fayre that these girls have served up at countless events where we’ve been and in their restaurant, until now, we hadn’t had a burger.
I love burgers, and when I go somewhere, the burger section is always my first stop on the menu. The problem with Hangfire (not that it is actually a problem) is that if you’ve had their ribs, wings, brisket or pulled pork at a streetfood event, then it’s hard to look past those options when you’re in the restaurant. Add a Pit Boss Plate to the menu, where you can get a little taster of all their best BBQ bits, then you can understand the predicament in which I found myself whenever I rocked up to Barry’s finest eatery.
I took Super Burger Bro Numero Uno out for dinner as an early birthday treat and vowed to myself that this would be the time I would try the burger. Lloyd stuck with the Pit Boss Plate, which meant that I was prepared to encounter 1st degree food envy.
I ordered the House Burger with bacon, cheese and brisket and needn’t have worried about food envy. The burger presented to me was a thing of beauty!
As we know though, beautiful looking food doesn’t necessarily mean beautiful food, but this food was ticking boxes that I didn’t know existed.
The 7oz chuck and hangar steak beef patties are hand crafted daily on site, served on a demi-brioche sesame bun from Pettigrew Bakery, with burger fry sauce and lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles. Obviously, the salad items are totally optional. Along with the burger, you’ll get the good old sides of fries and ‘slaw.
There are other optional extras, at a cost. Smoked brisket, back bacon and cheddar cheese, which I opted for, and spicy sausage link and smoked pulled pork.
There was melt in the mouth quality to this burger, which was packed with all the classic flavours that I love. It would be easy to roll out all the clichés, but in order to do this food justice I’m not going to go there. Fresh meaty goodness, flame grilled with a bit of seasoning is the perfect burger recipe, and they absolutely smash it! I’d like to think that it was because we get some kind of special treatment, but I know that everyone gets the VIP treatment when they order, because that’s what the Hangfire brand is all about.
I’d love to wax lyrical about the sweet potato fries and ‘slaw, but it all became a bit of a blur as I tried to work out how to lick the brisket juices of my elbows, then trying to invent a contraption that meant that nobody would ever need to contemplate an effective gravy extraction method from a well used serviette. What I do remember is that the fries were hot, crunchy and perfect for dipping into the Hangfire sauces.
The bun is a key component to burger perfection. Not only did this one have to stand up to the rigours of a juicy burger with all the trimmings, this one had the brisket to contend with too. And not only did it do its job satisfactorily, it did it with a fluffy sweetness that reassured you that what you were eating had been painstakingly planned and crafted years before you even got the chance to eat it.
I think that’s the thing about Hangfire; the dishes aren’t menu fillers, they’ve been well thought out and you know that there’s nothing on there that these girls wouldn’t swear by.
We’ve raved about the burger making genius of The Beefy Boys and Burger Theory, but Hangfire’s offering wouldn’t feel out of place in that company. The Hangfire House Burger with Brisket, Bacon & Cheese is a five star burger for sure and one that I will definitely have again…..maybe I’ll do the Pit Boss Plate every other visit.
To the first ladies of BBQ, take a bow and grab a seat at the top table of burgermeisters.
Some pics of some of the other Hangfire food we’ve eaten and never got round to blogging about.