Friday, 27 November 2015

Hang Fire Smokehouse Announce Restaurant Opening

The Hang Fire Smokehouse duo have announced they will open their first restaurant, Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, in February 2016!

The new restaurant will be situated in a 215 year old Grade II listed Pump House on Barry Waterfront which has recently been converted as part of a multi-million-pound regeneration project.

Samantha Evans, co-owner of Hang Fire Smokehouse, said: “This is the biggest project we’ve taken on yet - and probably the most exciting. We’re head over heels in love with the beautifully restored Pump House - it’s already bursting with character.”
From winning the coveted BBCR4 Food Award for ‘Best Street Food’ to writing their first cook book, this announcement rounds off a successful year for the duo whose business is less than three years old.

Shauna Guinn, co-owner of Hang Fire Smokehouse, said, “The street food and pop up model only allows us to showcase a small part of what we do. That was part of the initial reasons for writing our book, we wanted to show people that we’re more than just pulled pork! Our vision for the ‘Hang Fire Southern Kitchen’ is to bring together all the things we loved and learned about the food, drink and music of the American South.”
Samantha added, “We’ll be cooking on natural fuel such as sustainable wood and charcoal and, as always, using as much local produce as possible.”
The informal restaurant will be over two floors with the main dining area and craft beer bar upstairs with a small late night ‘speak easy’ style New Orleans cocktail bar downstairs. Hang Fire Southern Kitchen will be open for brunch, lunch, dinner and take away. It promises a true southern American dining experience.

Hang Fire Southern Kitchen will open its doors in February 2016 and the début cook book, ‘Hang Fire Smokehouse: Adventures in American BBQ’, will be available from May 2016. For all the latest, visit or keep an eye on social media @hangfirebbq

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Tortilla Cardiff - Review

Wondering around aimlessly looking for somewhere to eat, with a child that really needs a nap but refuses to give in to their obvious tiredness is not a good place to be. Throw in the fact that it is the Rugby World Cup and Ireland are playing France in Cardiff today! Town was heaving, everywhere was full and all around us was a sea of green and blue shirts. This might account for my odd decision to veer off the main thoroughfares onto Caroline Street aka Chippy Alley. I could reminisce about the good old days when I would stumble out of the Philly onto Chippy Alley to gorge on some gravy and chips (good times) but I won't (mainly because I miss those days quite a bit).
The point is I didn't expect to find Tortilla, all shiny and new and more importantly empty! That's not all, the boy had fallen to sleep in the push chair, that or he was overcome by the alcohol fumes emanating from all the bars near by.

Tortilla is an ever expanding chain specialising in Californian style burritos and tacos and opened just a couple of months ago. I must say that I  love the décor in this place, sure I've seen beer bottle chandeliers before but I still love the effect. Along with the semi industrial touches of corrugated metal and neon lighting. My favourite part was the booths to the back of the restaurant with distressed wood cladding on the walls and lovely light fittings.

The menu is concise, straight forward and ordering is done at the counter where your meal is prepared before your eyes.

We went for some tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa to accompany our Tres Tacos and Barbacoa Burritto. The tortilla chips were as you would expect as were the dips, the guacamole being the preferred one. With the tres tacos you can choose what type of soft tortilla you want either corn or flour and three individual fillings if you want. And I did want. We went for two flour and one corn tortilla and three separate fillings. One with grilled chicked and mild salsa, the second grilled steak and mild salsa and the third with barbacoa with a hot salsa. All with cheese and lettuce. By far the barbacoa was the favourite. Braised shredded beef so full of flavour spiked with the hot salsa was sublime. Even if it did dribble everywhere. Also the soft flour tortilla over the corn one but good to know they offer a gluten free alternative.

The burrito however was a bit of a beast which they very kindly let me take a photo of before they expertly rolled and folded it. Again the main component was the excellent barbacoa beef and pretty much everything else behind the counter as you can see!

There is no elegant way to eat a burrito so I dived straight in and didn't look back. The beef was not overpowered at all and the flavours of the different components like the coriander rice could still be picked out. Brilliant.  
As for Baby Clonc he did wake up half way through and had a bit of everything sat in the high chair that they have, gold star for Tortilla! The total bill came to £19.60 with a couple of soft drinks.
After this we headed back into the chaos of town with full bellies and a smile on our faces. This is the kind of fast food I like. Looking forward to going back soon.

Tortilla Cardiff
Addess: 30-32 Caroline Street, Cardiff, CF10 1FF
Tel: 0292 0221908

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Brod - The Danish Bakery

Ever since a planning application notice was spotted outside the former wine merchants on Wyndham Crescent excitement has been growing until this week when the doors were 'very gently opened' to quote their tweet on opening day. It's fair to say interest in Brod has been high and that was clear to see when I visited yesterday.

The place was absolutely brimming with people, the staff were busily working away behind the counter with the frantic energy of opening week powering them and it looked great! The place has been turned around with wood cladding, industrial light fittings and exposed brick and stone. It feels a lot bigger than I remember it with the main counter to your left as you enter, tables to the right and a little cwtch/corner or should I say hjorne (thank you Google Translate) at the far end. Next to this is the kitchen complete with real life Danish baker.

I popped in just before 2 pm and due the massive demand they had almost sold out of everything! Thankfully there was still a few spandauer - Danish Crowns left, phew! I sat down at the window and watched the world go by (aka I went on twitter) and waited for my Americano and Danish to arrive while watching  a seemingly never ending steady stream of people coming and going.

The Americano was bang on and I believe they are supplied by Clifton Coffee. The Danish Crown was as good as it looked! Light pastry with a not too sweet custard centre, the perfect pick me up on a grey and rainy day.

But as rotten luck would have it as I got up to leave this amazing smelling tray of Kanel Snegal - Cinnamon Snails was brought out fresh from the oven! I did contemplate having another Danish but my will power was not to be broken today, I'm still regretting that decision now!

Essentially I am just chuffed that this has opened so close to where I live and can't wait to go back and try more, I may just need to get there a bit earlier! Also it's great to see an independent business do well. I wish them all the success and can totally see this becoming my go to place to catch up with people. 

I don't often add opening times but I though it maybe helpful in this case (times according to their facebook page).
Wed-Fri 9am - 5pm
Weekend 9.30am - 3pm

Brod - Danish Bakery
Address: 126 Wyndham Crescent, CF11 9EG