The Old Toad
Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Durge:
4.16/5 rDev -2.8%
This sounded like one of the better stops for my brief stay in Rochester and I thought I was really lucky to be there on a night when they were featuring four casks from Troegs. Well I did manage to enjoy a very nice Nugget Nectar but the place was just mobbed at 8 PM on a Thursday night. Not sure if this was due to the cask special but it didn't appear to be the case. All I know is that there was nowhere to sit and all the tables were full throughout the entire restaurant and bar. It appeared that there was some sort of private party going on in one room. The selection on tap was very good and certainly the casks were an awesome addition. The bottled selection was pretty impressive too, not so much extensive but high quality, but it was all very high ticketed as well. Hardly seemed worth having them if they have to be so pricey. It looked like a nice place, an obvious English pub idea, a bit upscale as these kinds of places go. I'm sure I would have been more than happy had the place been less cluttered and frantic, so I might have sat comfortably at the bar and worked on those taps. But as it was I was happy to escape the madness and abandon my little bit of standing room near the bar to head to my hotel. Given the crowd I'd say the service for my one beer, though not quick, was reasonable. No time for chit chat of course. Clearly the staff was working very hard though so I'm sure service is fine under more normal conditions. I would like to go back for lunch or something some time, but this experience was not too exciting. But the Nugget Nectar was very nice none the less..
02-19-2011 06:39:49 | More by Durge
More User Reviews:
4.35/5 rDev +1.6%
One of my favorite places to go in Rochester as I live about a 5 minute walk away.
The selection is always pretty solid. About 10-15 taps or so- 3 different tap stations- one with 3 on the right of the bar, 5 on the back wall of the bar, and 6 or so on the left side of the bar. There are 4 cask lines, but not all of them are always used at one time.
They try to have a few European beers on tap most of the time- Guinness and Fuller's London Pride are practically house beers for the Toad, and are always on. Their house DIPA, OT 20, is always on, and is really freakin' delicious. Always a good choice if none of the taps wow you. Good job by CB's on that one. There's sometimes a second house tap made by CB's, right now it's a brown ale brewed with squash, but I've seen a coffee porter, an "apri-bock", and a few others. Usually one or two Belgians, 3-4 NYS state beers, and then a few other specialty beers from across the country.
The service is hit or miss. They're not always good at handling bigger crowds, so if you're sitting down and want a beer on a Friday or Saturday night, you're gonna have to push through people to get a beer quickly. During the week the service is fine.
The food is good, but pricey, lots of great English favorites. The drunken cheddar soup is to die for, one of my favorites.
The beer is a bit expensive, and they don't generally have any specials that I can find. Beers on cask are never under $6, and usually are in the $7-$-8 range.
The atmosphere is very quaint. I can always get behind a bar that allows you to talk to your friends without shouting over loud music/TVs.
11-25-2013 22:01:24 | More by GreesyFizeek
3.76/5 rDev -12.1%
All furnishings and decor imported from England. All staff are from England as part of a University program. Very authentic, like walking into a pub in London.
Food is very good, lots of traditional English fare. The Scotch Eggs are excellent. Several vegetarian options, however they tend to run out of some things on the menu fairly often.
Huge beer selection, specializing in cask ales. Many vintage and hard to find selections.
Large selection of Scotch, about 80 different varieties.
Located in an entertainment district, which can be rowdy at times. Upon leaving one time, my friend and I were approached by someone who attempted to rob us. Unfortunately for him, the bar isn't actually located in England, where the populace is unarmed. He went to jail after his failed attempt.
11-11-2013 10:10:45 | More by Mediczod
3.95/5 rDev -7.7%
The Old Toad is located in kind of a neat old building on busy Alexander.
The space is kind of cut-up into different areas. It would say it is kind of like snugs you find in many pubs. The bar is towards the rear. It’s small and seats about 10. There are plenty of seating areas for large and small groups.
They have well-worn furniture and fixtures (in a good way) decorated with miscellaneous bar type stuff. Lots of old photos, beer bottles and I liked the clock set to London time.
Service was friendly enough and could talk beer. Note the staff is imported from the UK which adds a bit of flavor.
They offer 13 taps and 4 casks (including a cask cider). I would guess 30 to 40 good bottles. Unfortunately two of casks were empty during my stop, but that can happen.
Food service was very slow, but I was in no hurry. When I finally got it, it was pretty tasty.
I would stop by again for some good beers and conversation.
08-08-2013 16:56:48 | More by Redrover
The Old Toad in Rochester, NY
95 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.