Located in the Fig Tree Plaza, in the small farming town of Chowchilla, CA, Orchard Bar and Grill is the latest addition to the Chowchilla dining scene. In the short time this fine restaurant as been open, it has achieved a solid reputation for delicious "pub style cuisine," a full-service bar, and friendly staff.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: It's a little past the opening time of 11:00 in the morning on Wednesday, April 07, 2021, and I've arrived at Orchard Bar and Grill to enjoy a superior cheeseburger. This fine restaurant is located in the Fig Tree Plaza, in the small farming town of Chowchilla, CA.
The restaurant features both indoor and outdoor dining on the lighted and heated patio in front of the restaurant. Orchard opened for business at the height of the COVID-19 panic - a gutsy call for the owner - and the patio was used as an outdoor dining room. It looks like the patio is here to stay, which should make for a pleasant dining experience on a warm, San Joaquin valley evening.
Photo: As you walk into the restaurant, you'll notice it has a definite "sports bar" feel. The centerpiece of the restaurant is the long, full-service bar, and the tall bar stools. Tall tables line the wall which enhances the "bar" feeling the restaurant offers. The dining room is long and narrow, and there are several hi def monitors with one of the area newscasts - from Fresno - playing. The decor is both tasteful and subtle.
Photo: Sitting at the bar, you can see the entrance of the restaurant, and look outside to the patio. It's a great place to watch the "action" and to chit-chat with the staff, when they're not busy. I didn't get much time to chat, as the two servers were very busy on this late Wednesday morning in early April.
Photo: The menu at Orchard Bar and Grill is a singly page, and features a wide array of "pub" and "comfort" food. There are daily specials that aren't listed on the menu, and other choices, such as potato salad, that aren't on the menu. Daily specials are posted above the bar, or simply ask your hostess "what's cookin'?"
Photo: The "Soup of the Day" menu is posted above the bar, and written in, as the choices of soup vary, and are rotated.
Photo: Meet Brittney, my amazingly friendly server, who brought my amazing "Cheeseburger," along with the equally amazing "House Fries" to my seat at the bar, with a smile. You get a great view of the full-service bar which showcases this fine restaurant.
Photo: Thanks, Brittney, for snapping my photo. I'm a smiling, happy guy, as I know I'm going to be enjoying what is most likely the best cheeseburger in Chowchilla for today's lunch.
Photo: From the "Burgers" section of the menu, I went with a "Cheeseburger," with all of the trimmings, including lettuce, onion, tomato slice and pickles. All burgers come with a choice of sides which include "House Fries," onion rings, sweet potato fries, side salad, or "Soup of the Day." Since today was my first visit to Orchard Bar and Grill, my side of choice was "House Fries," and I'm glad I went in that direction.
What a cheeseburger! Orchard will cook your meat to your specification, and I went with medium, as I'm kind of a "middle of the road" kind of guy. The beef patty is quite large - I'd guess about a third of a pound - and it was seasoned, juicy, and perfectly cooked medium. The beef patty was sandwiched between a buttered and slightly toasted brioche bun, which was firm, yet chewy and the perfect size. The slice of American cheese sat on top of the meat, and it was slightly melted and "drooped" over the meat, which is the way a cheeseburger is meant to be. The shredded lettuce, tomato slice and onion slice were fresh, and complimented the burger. I suspect the dill pickle slices were from a jar, but that's the way it is 99.99% of the time, as I've never been to a restaurant in California that makes their own pickles. Note: You have to go to the Texas hill country if you want in-house made pickles. The burger came without condiments - condiments are available, naturally - but this cheeseburger was so delicious that condiments were totally unnecessary and would have masked, rather than compliment the taste of this amazing cheeseburger. One bite into the tender, juicy goodness of this amazing cheeseburger and you're instantly transported into "cheeseburger heaven."
I went with the "House Fries" as my side, and that was one of the best decisions that I've made in a long time, as these fries were simply amazing! They're potato wedges, twisted, coated in a light batter, and deep fried to a crispy golden brown on the outside, but they were chewy, tender inside. Talk about a taste sensation. Like the "big kid" I am, I normally use ketchup with my fries, but not Orchard's "Home Fries," as these fries were stand-alone delicious. These are some of the best fries that I've ever eaten.
The "Cheeseburger" and "Home Fries" served at Orchard Bar and Grill is simply an amazing combination that you have to eat to believe!
Photo: I couldn't resist cutting my "Cheeseburger" half so I could see a cross section of this perfectly constructed burger. The meat-to-bun ration was perfect and there were just the right amount of "veggies" to make this a perfect, well-balanced cheeseburger. Note the "House Fries..." I'd never seen anything like them before.
The following food photos weren't taken by me, but were taken by Linda, who is related to the owner of the restaurant. She's published the photos on her Facebook page, and with her permission, I'm publishing her photos on this article. Thanks Linda!
Photo; For this year's St, Patrick's Day, Orchard offered a plate of for generous slices of corned beef, carrot, potato along with a slice of garlic bread. The shot of Irish whiskey and the Irish flag add a nice touch to the meal.
Photo: Potato salad isn't on the menu, but it's always available, and if it's not posted as a "special," simply ask your server, and most likely you'll be treated to a bowl.
Photo: Fish and chips aren't on the menu, but they're always a"Friday" special. Clam chowder comes from the "Soup of the Day" menu, as it's Friday's soup.
Photo: From the "Sandwiches" section of the menu, comes the "New York Sandwich," which happens to be a New York steak sandwich, complete with your choice of side, and a small bowl of beef jus sauce for dipping. The sandwich arrives from the kitchen open faced, which makes for an attractive presentation.
Photo: "New York Sandwich," can be put together upon your request. The menu describes this amazing sandwich as, "Open faced New York Sandwich, toasted with Parmesan cheese and garlic butter, with a side of Au Jus and horseradish. Like all sandwiches on the menu, you choose your side, in this case, it's the amazing "House Fries."
Photo: Here's the "Swiss Mushroom Burger," along with an order of "House Fries." This fine burger isn't on the menu, but it frequently appears as a "special."
Photo: "Chicken Salad" isn't on the printed menu, but it frequently appears as a "special."
Photo: Orchard Bar and Grill's amazing "Ceasar Salad." The menu describes this delicious salad as, "Shaved Parmesan cheese, croutons, tossed in Ceasar. It's a simple description for a great salad.
Photo: Here's the "Wedge Salad." The menu describes it as, "Iceburg lettuce, bacon bits, Blue cheese crumbles, red onion, cherry tomatoes, croutons, bacon bits, served with Ranch or Blue cheese dressing. I wonder why the menu calls it a "Wedge Salad?"
Photo: "Soup of the Day" for Saturday and Sunday is a bowl of chili and a cornbread muffin.
Photo: Tuesday's soup is "Tortellini." The "Soup of the Day" posted above the bar, or you can ask your server.
Photo: Minestroni is featured as Wednesday's soup.
Photo: "Soup of the Day" for Thursday is "Chicken and Dumplings." I love the creamy broth, the many pieces of white meat, and the puffy dumplings. This soup looks simply amazing! It looks like the diner who took this photo has already "peppered" the soup.
Photo: Do I ever LOVE the creamy goodness of "Clam Chowder." It's the featured "Soup of the Day" every Friday at Orchard Bar and Grill.
When you're looking for outstanding "pub food," a beer or a mixed drink, a menu that varies and features daily "specials," and friendly staff, pay a visit to Orchard Bar and Grill, located in Chowchilla, CA. You'll love this fine restaurant!
Orchard Bar and Grill
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