The Orange Tree on Shakespeare street in Nottingham City Centre is part of the Orange Tree Group and one of seven pubs in the region, the others being located in Loughborough and Leicester. This pub is a regular watering hole on the Friday night myfoodhunt pub crawl around Nottingham and can be relied on provide a decent pint of Harvest Pale Ale. During term time it is often packed to the rafters with students from the nearby city campus and in the summer you can have a lively yet relaxed evening chilling in the backyard beer garden.
In the recent past when we have arrived here in anticipation of some sustenance in the form of a little sandwich it has been so busy that we have not been able to find a table to eat at. This past week just after the holidays with the public all spent out and in the lull between term times we found ourselves here with plenty of room to sit and eat. So we took advantage of this rare opportunity.
In the interests of speed and as the kitchen was closing early we opted to select from the sandwich section of the menu. The sandwiches were built on your choice from white or granary deli rolls, and came with a mixed leaf salad. There was also the option to add a side of hand cut chips for a £1, which we happily took advantage of (hopefully our advantage).
I had the Chicken Schnitzel sandwich for £6.50, which, apart from the chicken, contained ‘homemade mayonnaise, smoked streaky bacon, vine tomato & fresh rocket.’ It was a reasonable sandwich, for a chicken sandwich, but I wasn’t really sure that you could class it as Chicken Schnitzel. To my mind I was expecting a more traditionally prepared piece of chicken, usually schnitzel is a pounded out piece of meat about a 1/4 inch thick and coated in fine breadcrumbs often panko. This chicken was more similar to the fried chicken that you might find just down the road at the grilled chicken shop. I would have liked a bit more seasoning in my coating as well, it was a little on the bland side. Having said all that it was OK and I enjoyed my fresh cut thick chips and the side salad. If it was called a chicken sandwich I would have been pretty happy, I am just being a bit grumpy thinking about it being called a schnitzel as that was what I really fancied.
My companion had better luck (or was it judgment) with his choice of the Homemade Flatbread Club Sandwich for £6.95. This was a lightly toasted flatbread filled with ‘lemon thyme chicken & smoked bacon, homemade avocado mayonnaise, mozzarella & vine tomato.‘ I kind of wish I had chosen that, but you know if I had I would have been banging on about how ‘it is not a club sandwich’ but a flatbread with club sandwich style filling. It looked good and I understand that it tasted as good as it looked so looks like he hit a home run with his choice.
We were a little unlucky as we came on a night when the kitchen was closing early so we probably didn’t get to see the menu at its best. We will have to come back as they had run out of some of the options that I wanted to try. Well by options I mean components, they had no pulled pork left which meant I couldn’t get “The Notorious P.I.G.” which is ‘Locally sourced home smoked sausage with fried onions, bacon, jalapenos, tomato, mature cheddar, chilli pulled pork and sriracha hot sauce.‘ or the “Pork Pierna Torta” which is a ‘Mexican stuffed sandwich with chilli pulled pork, avocado, refried beans, tomato, mature cheddar, lettuce and chipotle mayo‘
They always have a chalk board with daily specials here as well, which I always am kind of excited by when I have been in here for a pint. Yes I think will have to return as the menu is a lot more interesting than most pubs in the city, they serve good beer, and I can easily put down my grumpiness as just the wrong menu choice on this occasion.
The Orange Tree in Nottingham is located at 38 Shakespeare Street. It is about a 5 minute walk away from the Royal Center and the Nottingham Trent University Tram stops. You can check out what they are up to on Twitter and on Facebook and see the menu on their website as well.