Fancy Hanks York – This week I was lucky enough to be invited to review Fancy Hanks, the new Deep South American good mood food restaurant that has opened in Goodramgate in York. The decor and atmosphere is laid back retro chic, with comfortable tables, soft lighting and a cute outside space ideal for cocktails on a summer evening (I noticed heaters out there too for when summer has deserted us!).
I love the mural in the outdoor space, and there are even cosy blankets!
We started off with drinks – Fancy Hanks does a great range of cocktails and milkshakes. As always, I was driving, so I went for a Mississippi Mudpie Milkshake, and my friend chose the Mississippi cocktail. They look identical – but the cocktail packed a punch by all accounts!
My friend plumped for the chicken burger. I had some serious food envy when it arrived:
I tried something a little out of my comfort zone and went for ‘Chicken and waffle with streaky bacon and maple syrup’. It’s the combination of savoury and sweet I was a little trepidatious of, but, oh my, I am so glad I went for it! It was simply divine – the chicken was tender and tasty and the waffle was absolutely amazing. I don’t think it’s as pretty looking as the burger, but it’s a complete taste sensation!
After my chicken and waffle I have to admit, I was pretty full, but I have wanted to try the Homemade Beignets. I have wanted to try beignets since I saw ‘The Princess and the Frog’ and was so pleased I did! They are very like doughnuts with lots of icing sugar, plus you get to choose whether to dip them in raspberry jam or chocolate sauce!
My friend went for her favourite of Key Lime Pie and looked very happy that she had.
Finally, she washed it down with a Georgia ‘Pretty as a Peach’ cocktail:
So in summary, I really enjoyed it! The restaurant has a nice vibe, the food is fabulous and the prices are good too. At just £9 for a cheeseburger and £11 for my chicken and waffle I think you can’t go wrong. Go try it!
A bit of background on Fancy Hanks, York
Cuisine of the Southern States comes to York as Cut & Chase closes for Fancy makeover
A popular York restaurant closed its doors for the last time on 1 September as its owners prepare to open a new venture that promises to bring ‘good mood food’ from the southern states of the USA to Goodramgate, as Cut & Chase transforms into Fancy Hanks Bar & Kitchen.
The transformation will take two weeks, but has been years in the planning for two brothers, who are drawing on their experiences living in Florida and travelling across states like Texas, Florida and Louisiana to bring a taste of the Deep South to York. Wes and Joel Taylor, who opened the restaurant in 2016, are keen to offer residents and visitors alike something very different from the current food on offer across the city centre.
“The food scene in York has moved incredibly quickly over the last three years, and we need to stay at the cutting edge of that curve – with so many restaurants now offering a similar menu to Cut & Chase, based on local produce and seasonal availability, we’ve turned to a different kind of food that is close to our hearts, and drinking and dining experience, to stand out in a busy market,” explains Wes. “With Fancy Hanks, we’re turning the tables from food that is good for you, to food that makes you feel good, with a vibrant atmosphere to match – not just for special occasions, this will be far more friendly and casual; a place to chill with friends with live music in a relaxing setting all year round.”
Fancy Hanks – Deep South Good Mood Food opens in York!
Joel sees the move as an evolution, rather than revolution, of their ideas. They are keen to avoid the idea of Fancy Hanks being a clichéd themed restaurant, for example, describing the style as Shoreditch meets Deep South. “We always described the venue as a kitchen and bar, and that will continue. Our cocktails – and cocktail making classes – have proved incredibly popular, and tapas-style small plates are designed to encourage social eating, with groups sharing several dishes over a longer period of time, so whether you’re looking for a hearty meal or a great way to start an evening out, you’ll be welcome at Fancy Hanks.”
Another key change for the brothers is the desire to reconnect with their clientele, with Joel and Wes planning to spend less time behind the scenes, and more front of house. “Restaurants in the Deep South have a great bonhomie between patrons and those cooking their meals – this is a family-run venture, and we want to invite those drinking and dining with us to join the family whilst they are here,” adds Wes. “We want people to leave with a smile on their face at the end of the evening – and planning their return visit.”
The final menus are still under wraps until the opening ahead of York’s Food & Drink Festival, but diners can expect soul food like gumbo, jambalaya and fried chicken on the menu, as well as peach cobbler and Mississippi Mud Pie, with diners enjoying an eclectic soundtrack from cool jazz and 70s soul to modern R&B. Space in the enlarged bar will be allocated to live musicians, with regular opportunities to hear up and coming local artists playing.