View all my reviews at eatoutrochester.blogspot.com
277 Alexander Street
The Old Toad is like a neighborhood cheers, done up British style. I love the comfy, cozy décor. The ability to grab drinks, and head to a room with a fireplace and couches. The almost ramshackle tables and chairs to eat at. What do I love the most? They actually have a real dartboard. Not one of those silly electronic ones, but the real deal. So, after many happy hours spent here, we decided we needed to try the food. Now, we’ve had a few snacks here in the past, but it was time to actually sit down for dinner.
The amount of draft and bottled beer available here is impressive. Check out the chalk boards above the bar for the latest and greatest. They also have drinks like mead that I imagine is hard to find in a regular bar. What is also impressive is they actually update their website to let you know what’s new or upcoming. This is one of the better websites I have seen for a restaurant.
Since we were practically starving, we decided to start out with an appetizer. The nachos sounded good and a small ran us $4.99. Presentation wise, it was the most pitiful plate of nachos I had ever seen. Maybe it’s a pet peeve of mine when items such as sour cream and salsa are served in a plastic cups. There is a reason presentation helps the appetite. No matter, since we were hungry we dug right in. Taste wise, the combination wasn’t anything extraordinary. Melted cheese, chips, sides in plastic and some jalapenos thrown in a bowl. Didn’t look like much, but the taste was edible.
For my entrée, I chose the Fish and Chips ($9.99). If you are new to Rochester, welcome to Fish Fry Land. I have never lived or visited anyplace where fish fry’s on Friday are so huge. In fact, many chain restaurants modify their menu to include fish fry’s so they won’t go out of business. Seriously. Well, this fish fry wasn’t as good as some I have had in the past. The batter was a bit mushy and while the fish tasted good, the batter is what makes or breaks a fish fry for me. Tarter sauce came in the Kraft packaging, and while the fries, or “chips” as the English say, tasted good, it didn’t make up for the soggy fish.
My dining companion had the Shepherd’s Pie ($9.49). Nice and filling with meat and potatoes, the only downfall it being a bit bland. Not that it was expected to be full of kick, when we cook it up at home we like a little seasoning. Even with all that, it was commented that it was one of the better Shepherd’s Pie he has had eating out.
While I wasn’t as impressed with the food, The Old Toad will still be on my must stop places for happy hour. I still adore the atmosphere and the beers. The English aren’t really known for their sensational food anyway, but I still love that country – and this place.