GEORGE DODD visits York’s new restaurant in Goodramgate.

Do you Fancy Hanks? That was the question put to me as I ventured on down to the newly opened eatery in Goodramgate on Tuesday evening.

The bar and kitchen-style restaurant, which opened its doors a few weeks ago in what was once Cut and Chase, prides itself on its ‘good mood food’ from the southern states of America, all the way to York.

The venue, which is run by former Cut and Chase owners Wes and Joel Taylor, immediately stands out when you enter, with its warm and welcoming ambience, soul-soothing music and distinctive decoration created by female graffiti artist, Hazard.

I decided to take my mother on this culinary journey. She’s a pernickety character that can spot a needle in a haystack, so I knew her inspection would be industrious.

We arrived shortly before 6pm. There was an interesting mixture of cute couples enjoying a date, trying their best not to trip up the free-flowing unstoppable children, hyped up on fizzy drinks after a family party.

Surprisingly, the atmosphere was pleasant. A friendly waitress invited us to select a table: there were several to choose from at the time, but we were early for dinner and by the time we had left there was not a free seat in the place.

We were given adequate time to select our drinks. My mother opted for a diet coke as she was driving, such a wise woman, while I went for the signature Thirsty Hanks Ale. It had a refreshing and light taste that I gulped down before the starters had even arrived.

To begin, we shared the nachos (£6) that were thick with melted cheese and doused in sour cream and guacamole. You can also have it with beef chilli on top but as my mother is vegetarian, the waitress recommended an addition of black-eyed pea sauce instead, which gave a smokey flavour that we both enjoyed.

The nachos were more than enough but as I am a strapping young man, with an ever-growing appetite, I also ordered some soft corn tacos (£2) – with added beef chilli to fix my meat cravings. The tacos were rather soft – which was a bit of a disappointment – but the chilli had a neat kick that gave a distinct and memorable taste.

As we moved on to the main course, we both noticed that the menu, while focused on food from the deep south, offered little vegetarian or vegan options. Redneck American’s are known for their barbeques and climate change denial, but as York is a modern metropolis – recently declaring a climate change emergency – its residents expect a plethora of meat-free meals also.

No matter. My mother selected the corn burger (£9): a sweetcorn and mixed bean patty with relish, garlic cream and melting cheese, that came with perfectly cooked chips and a spinach salad. Meanwhile, I opted for the blackened cajun chicken: a butterfly chicken breast that was cooked in Cajun spice, with lettuce, tomato and a dose of mayonnaise on top. All for £9.

The butterfly chicken was cooked nicely, and the kick from the Cajun spice levelled perfectly with the cooling combination of lettuce and mayonnaise. My mother, who in the 22 years of knowing her has never eaten a burger, ravenously enjoyed every bite and praised the corn burger’s varying flavours and colourful salad. She also commended the melted cheese that helped give the burger a softer texture.

Whether she’s discovered her new favourite meal or was just happy to be out with her son for dinner, I’m still unsure.

The restaurant had also placed a replacement set of knife and forks at the end of the table. Some may dislike this, but the table was spacious enough and I dropped two knives and a fork while eating my main. Maybe they just foresaw my clumsiness.

Neither of us could finish our meals and had to sadly pass on a favourite desert of ours, key lime pie (£5). However, a couple sitting across from us seemed to be enjoying every single bite, barely coming up for breath. Other options are available such as a peanut butter brownie and apple pie, both for £5, and homemade beignets at £4.50.

And for the best bit: the bill. At £31.25 this restaurant is one of the most affordable, value-for-money, restaurants in an ever-growing expensive tourist city like York.

If you are looking for a cheap drink and a delicious meal, with your friends or a loved one, then Fancy Hanks is a wonderful choice in the run-up to Christmas. Alternatively, if you’re a parent with an attention-seeking child, it’s an ideal place to feed your troublemakers.

Fancy Hanks has certainly found a place in the market, and I have a feeling it will only continue to blossom next year.

Fancy Hanks, 39 Goodramgaate, York

T: 01904 655065.


Food: Tasty 4/5

Service: Great 5/5

Ambience: interesting 4/5

Value: Fair 5/5

Reviews are independent and meals paid for by The Press