The Cross Keys on Byard Lane in Nottingham is run these days by the Redcat Pub Company who have pubs all over the country and in Nottinghamshire alone they also host Copper (in Mapperley and the city), Tom Browns Brasserie, Waterside Bar & Kitchen, and The Prince Rupert
It is not one of my regular haunts in town as it is often packed out on a Friday night when I usually am out and about so we just saunter past. Midweek however it seems a lot quieter so we chanced on it being a decent option for a quick midweek lunch.
CHIPPY TEA SECTION OF THE MENU
On this particular occasion they were doing a very reasonable lunchtime deal of two main courses for £10 a rare find and not one that they normally have on. I think was like a post xmas deal that just ran through to February.
Anyway we fancied a bit of chippy action pub style ordering the Fish and Chips, and the Scampi and Chips normally priced at £11.95 and £9.95, so for £10 for both we were getting a sweet deal.
FISH AND CHIPS
The Fish and Chips was described on the menu as “Battered fillet of haddock with chunky chips, choice of mushy or garden peas and tartare sauce.”
Now as meals go this was a good portion size for a lunchtime and good value for £5 but I would have been a bit disappointed paying £11.95 for this plateful.
The battered fish was perfectly acceptable for pub grub as was the small portion of crispy pub chips.
It was little more than a snack and I wouldn’t rush back to order it again at full price
SCAMPI AND CHIPS
The Scampi and Chips was listed as being “Premium scampi in a golden crumb, served with fries, tartare sauce and your choice of garden peas or mushy peas. “
Again this was just enough for a light bite to eat even though it had not been advertised as such and certainly good value for £5. At a stretch I might be happy to pay the full £9.95 for it bit only if I wasn’t that hungry
The scampi was nicely done, crunchy coating surrounded the shellfish flesh, and a reasonable number in the dish. Chips are good pub chips and altogether were a nice dipping snack into the pot of tartare sauce.
All in all not bad for a light lunch so we came back a few weeks later
SANDWICHES OR TOASTIES ANYONE?
When we were last in we had that great deal of 2-4-£10 but sadly that was no more so we instead had come in looking at the Lunchtime Offer of a sandwich with fries and a drink (small beer, 175ml glass of wine or soft drink)
In some cases this was the same price as getting the sandwich on it’s own and in one case it worked out cheaper!
We all took advantage two of us ordering the MAC CHEESE & MAPLE BACON TOASTIE and one of us the CHICKEN, BACON & AVOCADO CIABATTA
CHICKEN, BACON & AVOCADO CIABATTA
The Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Ciabatta, (originally priced at £7.95 on it’s own!) was described as being “Crispy buttermilk chicken with streaky bacon, avocado, tomato and Swiss cheese”
It was pleasing to find that it also came filled with a simple salad of lettuce, red onion and tomato, only one of which had been mentioned on the menu, a small bonus win I guess
This one looked a little strange to me when it arrived, more like a chicken burger in a ciabatta style bun than an actual long roll type sandwich but it was more than acceptable as part of that sandwich deal as a snack
MAC CHEESE & MAPLE BACON TOASTIE
The Mac Cheese & Maple Bacon Toastie for £6.95 sounded quite delicious on the menu “Crispy maple bacon, with creamy macaroni cheese in toasted farmhouse bread” yum definitely my sort of snackage.
MAC CHEESE & MAPLE BACON TOASTIE WITH FRIES
The reality was a little less exciting, all the flavors are there and it is an enjoyable bite of food but sadly it wasn’t as substantial a bite as I hoped. I had been expecting big thick slices of bread with molten cheese oozing out and lumps of creamy macaroni pasta mixed with bacon slid in between
It was a little small hardly filling the plate and served alongside a small tin cup of thin fries I felt a little underwhelmed. I was still hungry after I had eaten so it wasn’t that great a deal in the end
My take home message from these two trips were that the Cross Keys is a really nice pub for a lunchtime catch up and a light bit if you are not that hungry.
I really wanted to try a pie or a burger but I don’t want to be disappointed if it’s dead small so chance are I might pop in for a few pints and look what other people are eating before I order again.
Located at 15 Byard Lane in Nottingham, NG1 2GJ
You can check out the pub and the menus on their Website