Via Fossa on the Canal Side in Nottingham has recently been refurbished with the front room that opens out onto Canal Street having been re-launched (is that the right term?) as the Cask Room. They seem to have split the place into two areas one at the front for the real ale drinkers and the hipster craft beer drinkers (it’s a trend) and one at the back for the lager and Alcopop drinkers, or am I being too stereotypical now? They even have a sign so that you know where to go. If I was being cynical I would say that it is just a marketing ploy to attract some of the people who like the real ale and real ale ‘dressed up as craft beer’. It is a bit of a trick as well, a sleight of pub hand, as the old Via Fossa that I was not that keen on is still at the back and carries the John Barras Chain menu. So if you like that kind of thing, well you still have that to look forwards to.
For me though I am staying in the Front half of the Pub.
I had seen some pictures on the t’internet through Twitter and similar sites with a Harvest Pale pump on the bar, but let’s be honest you can see that Pump all over Nottingham these days (not complaining by the way). Today we had a few different offerings and we opted for a pint of the Speckduckular from the excellent Mallard Brewery which they describe as ‘a refreshing, golden ale full of fruity hops with a malty undertone’. It is a really nice pint and was even better when we combined it with one of the pizza’s that were being served in the Via Fossa Cask Room.
Ok so it doesn’t look that pretty, but does that matter? what matters is does it taste good? Well I am happy to say that it does taste good. It is really very simple, a little bit of sweet tomato sauce and a few or rather as you can see here 9 pieces of pepperoni. The best part of the pizza is the base, it had a really good char on the bottom and each slice stayed level when picked up (not floppy). It isn’t gourmet or pretending to be, but you know at a price point of £3.95 for a six inch Pizza, this is one hell of a bar snack.
I really don’t know what to say about this other pizza, the Hawaiian Pizza, I am only mentioning it as my companion chose to eat one. I did have a slice and although it was well structured (as in it had a great crust) I am still of the mind that this is a combination that should be made illegal. Having said that if you like this mix of toppings and that is your vice well this one is a fairly decent representation of the genre, which is a begrudging note that I ate it and was not dismayed. I wouldn’t get a whole one though. Can I just say that you have to pay £4.15 for this pizza topping, although thinking about it that is fair I consider it a tax of 20p for your choice (seriously)
OK so I may have poked a little fun at the menu, but you know at this price you really cannot go too far wrong if you do not overstretch yourself. If you want to push the boat out (and I am not sure if I will do this myself) you could try one of their Calzone’s. Essentially a pizza folded pastie style and filled with toppings (or insidies). You can get a Chicken Alfredo Calzone which is filled with ‘Chicken breast, creamy white sauce, black pepper, Italian style cheese and mozzarella’ for £7.95. Well I like Chicken Alfredo as a dish so ‘maybe’ this could work. The reality is that I would be more tempted and likely to sample the “Italian Meatball Calzone” which as you might expect is a Calzone filled with ‘Italian Meatballs with roasted red peppers, red onions and mozzarella’ for £8.25. Having said that I will have to sample the ‘Mighty Meaty‘ pizza first to test out their meatballs ‘chicken. meatballs, ham, pepperoni, basil, and mozzarella’ for £4,75 (yeh might have to try that one out) OK so lets ‘cut to the chase’, will I be coming back here? Well yes I will, they have six pumps of real ale and they serve cheap pizza that you can eat and enjoy. Plus it makes for a really short pub crawl between Fellows, Morton, and Clayton, The Canal House which are yards apart, and now this place just another 25 feet away (approx.)
Via Fossa Cask Bar is located at 44 Canal Street in Nottingham