With new hygiene measures, a new outdoor seating area and a new street food menu to go with it, we had as warm and friendly a welcome from the Hang Fire team as ever; just minus the hug from Shauna.
Hang Fire's outside seating is only available for walk-ups (we were able to reserve on the soft reopening weekend) and serves a condensed menu of sandwiches and loaded fries compared to the indoor menu of BBQ plates and southern staples. On a sunny day in Barry, it’s a lovely place to sit and catch some rays.
A Square Root Seville Mandarin soda (£3.25) was full of bright summery citrus whilst Hang Fire’s house Lockhart IPA (£2.45) was a cracker of a session beer, loaded with hops with a good malt backbone.
Boudin (£5.95), Hang Fire’s take on arancini, saw tender spiced pieces of Creole-seasoned pork and distinct grained rice coated in a super-crisp panko crumb, accompanied by a pot of piquant, creamy and zingy Louisiana remoulade.
Mac n Cheese bites (£5.95) cannily dodged stodge-territory. Rich and oozy macaroni cheese was coated in more of that crunchy crumb. Tangy and mustardy fry sauce was another delicious dip.
Smoked wings (£6.95) were juicy of flesh, crisp of skin and well-licked with smoke. Coated in Hang Fires’s signature Kansas City BBQ sauce, it’s the ideal balance of sweet and sharp.
For mains we ordered a pair of belting smoked meat sandwiches - soft and squidgy toasted buns jam-packed with meat were served with hefty portions of golden well-seasoned fries.
Smoke-ringed buttery and beefy brisket (£10.95) was counterbalanced by sweet and cleansing bread and butter pickles.
A hefty mound of crusty-barked pulled pork (£10.95) was topped with light and delicately creamy slaw.
Stuffed, we soldiered onto dessert.
Hang Fire’s pecan pie (£4.95) was a beaut of a pud - served warm, it was thin and crisp of pastry and stuffed with toasty nuts and light maple-twanged caramel.
It’s brilliant to see the First Ladies of 'Cue back in action. In the Observer, Shauna talked about her worries of "the spirit of hospitality" being lost under the new normal; at Hang Fire there’s no risk of that.
Whilst their main restaurant is almost fully booked up until November, it’s definitely worth pitching up for one of their outside tables.
Address - Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, The Pumphouse, Hood Road, Barry, CF62 5QN
Web - https://www.hangfiresouthernkitchen.com/