Food Review for the Three Tuns on the Walsall Road
By Jono Oates
Lockdown restrictions have definitely put a halt to most cafés and restaurants in and around Lichfield, but with the restrictions starting to lift slightly, some of them are now providing innovative ways to start trading again – and this includes the Three Tuns on the Walsall Road.
The Tuns have now started providing a limited food menu, full of tasty treats like pizzas and their famous small Yakitori sticks, and they have also created a farm shop within the pub, stocked with essentials such as eggs, fresh vegetables, fresh meats, flour and more.
I love a slice of pizza, so as soon as I saw that they had chilled takeaway pizzas on the menu, I was hooked, and I was one of the first people standing in the queue when they opened their doors for the first time since lockdown at 12 noon on Friday!
This historic pub has undergone a number of rebrands in recent years and was previously called The Barn. So, being a local historian, and lover of a beer or two, I was delighted when the new owners went back to its traditional name of the Three Tuns – so a big well done to the Chilled Pubs group who now own the pub, along with the Swan at nearby Walton-on-Trent.
You enter the pub from the right hand side for the takeaway service, directions are clearly marked, and to ensure safe, social distancing, floor markers indicate two metre standing gaps and customers are ‘invited’ to come in when it is safe to do so – there are hand sanitizers just inside the door entrance too.
After a short wait (and everyone in the queue was patient and happy!) I was asked to step inside – the team have laid out the pub with an Aladdin’s Cave of drinks, food and snacks so there was plenty to look at and the smells, colours and flavours were certainly tempting! However only one thought was in my head…Pizza…Pizza…Pizza!
They have a lovely selection of different styles and food combinations to suit most tastes – some simple cheese and tomato, some spicy, some with BBQ sauce etc. I plumped for the Chilled Pubs Special – spicy beef, jalapenos, red onion, pepperoni, sun dried tomatoes and a sprinkling of fresh rocket – yummy!
To go with that I chose a bottle of Peroni lager and then, for afters, a tub of scrummy looking Chilled Pub’s gelato – several flavours are available but I went for the Madagascan Vanilla.
I felt very safe and comfortable while the food was being prepared and the ‘system’ was clearly very well thought out and organised. From time of order to my food being presented was just five minutes so it was very quick. If you did browse and then buy some of the fresh produce and drinks in the farm shop as well as order the food it would, of course, take a while longer.
You can’t eat the food on site obviously so, as I live fairly close to the pub, I opted to walk there and back to collect my takeaway. The return journey was hard to endure though…it was a windy day and the aroma of the pizza wafted back to me as I walked home! I noticed that I completed my return trip in half the time I took to get there…strange that…
Once home I opened the lid of my takeaway box to find a huge pizza, rectangular and not round or square. It was loaded with all the ingredients and looked amazing, the rocket leaves were placed in a separate container. The chilled pizzas are part cooked by the pub so all that needed to be done was to slide my pizza under the oven for a few minutes and – pronto presto – it was all cooked and ready to be enjoyed!
The pizza was super-thin and slightly crispy at the edges – now that is JUST the way I like it! I decided to cut it in half as it was too big for just little old me, it would easily make two meals and probably even more with added extras, like a side salad or mixed olives.
It was loaded with all the ingredients and looked fantastic on the plate. I threw some of the rocket leaves across and added a light drizzle of Mediterranean olive oil, I do this will all my pizzas as I think it adds to the flavours. Finally, a dusting of ground black pepper, just to add a bit of extra ‘kick’ to it.
I was then ready to start – and I have to say that my expectations as I walked home breathing in those wonderful aromas were well and truly met! The pizza was light and crispy, I cut mine in to small strips and ate it with my fingers – not socially acceptable in a restaurant I know – but hey, I was in my own home with no prying, disapproving eyes!
The pepperoni, jalapenos and beef were all deliciously spicy, without being of full chilli strength, and the tomatoes and cheese provided a juicy and creamy balance, which made every bite a simple, and not at all guilty, pleasure! The ice-cold bottle of Peroni was perfect on a hot, though blustery, day and provided a cooling moment when those jalapenos hit the spot.
It was over all too soon for my like liking, as I licked my fingers for those final, fleeting, moments of enjoyment…although I then remembered that I had slice two sitting in the fridge, all ready for Pizza 2…The Return…later in the evening!
I then tucked into a delightfully moreish and gooey vanilla gelato which, again, helped cool my taste buds perfectly and was soooo satisfying…I added a handful of some fresh strawberries to the ice cream, evoking memories of tennis at Wimbledon…even though they won’t be seen at the hallowed courts this year.
After finishing my fabulous Friday lunch time pizza treat I felt very happy, content and very satisfied. A perfect way to kick off the Bank Holiday weekend, especially as there still no option to eat out at the moment. But if you want something that gives you the feel of a restaurant style pizza in your own home – I’d definitely recommend a visit to the Three Tuns!
The Three Tuns on the Walsall Road currently opens from 12noon to 9pm daily, this includes the takeaway foods and the farm shop. No drinking or eating is allowed on the site, it is takeaway only. No pre-booking is required or necessary, customers can turn up on the day – queues will be variable, although expect a longer wait in the evenings and at weekends. The menus, including listings of the farm shop items, can be found inside the pub, or on their Facebook page – it will speed up the queue system if you check the menus before you visit and decide what you want to order in advance though!