The Old Toad
Taps: 32 / Bottles: 250
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by adamette:
4.35/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
We loved this place! My wife and I felt like were were in an English pub at the Old Toad. Part of the ceiling (near the wall opposite the bar) is starting to collapse and there was some strange sort of perfumy smell throughout but otherwise it is a charming wood furniture English pub staffed by college students from England. Our waiter explained that all of the servers there are in town for 12 month stints learning the trade and that he had been there for only one month. He is from Liverpool and he had the accent that confirmed that. He was patient with all of my questions about the Beatles and the Psychedelic Furs. The style and presentation of the decorations were very appropriate. Images of English stars and singers, a few clocks which show "London Time" and plenty of those metal beer signs including Belgians, American Micro Brews and Brewery Ommegang along with the expected English Beer signs and coasters. Bar seats only about 12 but it is a great wooden bar with 3 banks of taps. There are about 4 distinct rooms in the Old Toad. Possibly the most distinctive is what I referred to as the "Queen Room" in which there is a portrait of an English Monarch and it looks like a living room with couches and chairs and a carpet I believe. I spent a lot of time looking around and my waiter along with two other waiters were very patient with me as I asked questions about where they live in England and could they point it out on the map on the wall. There is certainly a "homey" feel there.
One negative is that upon our arrival I asked for a draught list. Our waiter said "we don't have a list since the taps change so often." I was a bit frustrated since I had looked online before our visit and I was looking forward to ordering certain beers. I had forgotten their names, however, and needed the list to remind me. I took a look at the taps and ordered the Old Toad Nut Brown Ale (really a great, appropriate, English tasting beer brewed elsewhere for the restaurant) before discovering that the updated draught list appears above the bar. Again, he said that he had only been there one month but that would have really helped.
Atmoshphere. See comments above. I loved this place.
Quality. Very good. Even though it has a "homey" feel it is not unclean or anything.
Service. Good and they were extra patient with us as well.
Selection. Really good. Not the greatest but really good. There are about 15 taps, at least one cask and about 100 bottles in a wide range of countries...all quality beers as I recall from browsing the bottle menu (it is separate!).
Food. Very good. Wife had shepard's pie and I had a curry pork and both were very "English" as well as tasting very good in their own right. I can recommend going to dinner there for sure.
Value: Pretty good. My $4.75 Nut Brown Ale and two dinners for $27.00 before tip. It was reasonable.
Notes: Really good impression of this place. I would not drive 4 hours simply to go back to this place (that is how far away that I live) but anyone in the area for another reason could do a lot worse than the Old Toad.
10-24-2008 03:05:33 | More by adamette
More User Reviews:
4.35/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25 | $$$
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%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
All furnishings and decor imported from England. All staff are from England as part of a University program. Very authentic, like walking into a pub in London.
Food is very good, lots of traditional English fare. The Scotch Eggs are excellent. Several vegetarian options, however they tend to run out of some things on the menu fairly often.
Huge beer selection, specializing in cask ales. Many vintage and hard to find selections.
Large selection of Scotch, about 80 different varieties.
Located in an entertainment district, which can be rowdy at times. Upon leaving one time, my friend and I were approached by someone who attempted to rob us. Unfortunately for him, the bar isn't actually located in England, where the populace is unarmed. He went to jail after his failed attempt.
11-11-2013 10:10:45 | More by Mediczod
3.95/5 rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
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.