Match of the week | Root beer and fried chicken and waffles

Match of the week

Root beer and fried chicken and waffles

I’m always on the lookout for interesting matches with alcohol-free drinks and this just inched it over a really good cider pairing at the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen yesterday.

The girls at Hang Fire were the winners of the street food category in last year's BBC Food & Farming awards and have since powered ahead, publishing a book (The Hang Fire Cookbook) and opening their own restaurant in Barry on the outskirts of Cardiff where they serve their outrageously good southern states-style barbecue food (of which more to come).

Both drinks came from fellow BBC Food awards winners: the root beer from Square Root Soda Works in Hackney which won the drinks award last year for its handmade sodas, is what used to be called sasparilla - a slightly medicinal tasting sweetish cola-style drink made from sasparilla root, burdock and licorice. Not usually my kind of thing but it was absolutely spot on with my dish of deep-fried wood-smoked chicken (whoa!) with waffles, creamy black and white pepper gravy and sweet potato fries.

The other terrific match was the ‘frickles (aka’ deep-fried pickles. NB this place is not a temple to clean eating!) and another Beeb award-winner, Andy Hallet’s rich flavourful Hallets Real Cider. Honestly, if you pop in just for that it’s worth the detour.

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