When I walked into The Old Toad I was immediately drawn to the atmosphere and the “pub” type vibe. From the staff to the food everything was authentic. The décor is something that I would imagine a British Pub would look like in Great Britain. It doesn’t have flat screen TV’s at every turn of the head that most bars have. It’s just a laid-back atmosphere with a unique beer and food menu.
We were seated at a cute little pub table with stools and a bench for seating. I couldn’t help but look around. There was so much to see. The bar was massive. After our visit I did some investigating on The Old Toad and found that the bar itself was imported from Great Britain. It definitely looked it. The restaurant was clean and our table was set and ready to go. On the center of the table were two extensive drink menus. One for beer and one for whiskey and bourbon. Along with those was The Old Toad Beer Bible giving you a little background on each of the beers. It was a huge help for someone like me who never knows what to try.
The waitress was great. She was very attentive. We were starved and ordered an appetizer right away while we looked over the menu. We ordered the British Chips with Melted Cheddar Cheese. While looking over the menu I noticed they had something for everyone. It was easily listed for those that are Vegans, Vegetarians or need Gluten Free and Dairy Free options. The menu had traditional British meals listed as well as pub grub. Items like Yorkshire Pudding Dinner, Shepard’s Pie, and the traditional Fish and Chips.
The waitress came out with our British Chips with Melted Cheddar. In the large basket was hand-cut thick fries loaded with melted cheddar cheese in every layer. The fries were crisp, not soggy from the cheese, cooked perfectly with a crunch and a beautiful golden brown color. We then placed our order. I ordered the Arrogant Beer Bangers. On the menu next to the food choices, they listed a recommend beer to accompany it. I decided to give it a try. It was an American Cider. Also ordered at the table was Chicken Tikka Marsala, Fish and Chips
and King’s Cross.
By the time we hit the last of the British Chips our food was delivered. And boy did they deliver. The plates looked beautiful! The Arrogant Beer Bangers – where to start? They were outstanding! It was a Vegetarian sausage made with portabella mushrooms, red onions, walnuts, craisins, baby spinach, and an English Stilton cheese. It was cooked in Arrogant Bastard Ale and served over mashed potatoes with vegetarian onion gravy, drizzled with peas and fried onions. What a mouthful! The flavor combination was amazing. The mashed potatoes were creamy and tasted homemade. The peas popped in your mouth. They were sweet, fresh and bright green. The Vegetarian sausage was a Wow factor for me. I certainly did not miss any meat in this dish by any means. Took a sip of my American Cider and said to myself, “Bravo! These two belong together like soulmates.” You were able to taste each ingredient in the sausage. The American Cider brought the sweet and crisp flavors out in the dish. It was outstanding! My husband had the Chicken Tikka Marsala which was spiced chicken curry with a touch of coconut milk, green and red peppers, and served on a bed of rice with a side of warm Naan bread. He said it was great and burst with lots of flavor. I didn’t try it because my dish had that sweet flavor to it and I was afraid the curry would change my taste buds. I did however try the other two dishes. The Fish and Chips were crisp fried haddock chunks dipped in The Old Toad’s own Nut Brown beer batter, and served with their British Chips. The batter was light but coated the fish perfectly. Not greasy at all. Those alone should be made an appetizer. Then I tried the King’s Cross. It was a grilled chicken breast seasoned with a light lemon pepper flavor on a fresh baked crusty baguette with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise served with the British Chips. The baguette tasted like it just came out the oven. It was warm, soft and crusty all at once. The chicken was not over cooked and seasoned perfectly. I would definitely have that for lunch. Everyone loved there choices.
We then decided, as if all that food wasn’t enough, that we needed to try a dessert. Best Decision Ever! We ordered the Vanilla Porter Chocolate Cake. I swear it tasted like fudge. Wow! The cake was gone in 60 seconds! I think I even saw my husband scrape the black slate it came on for any remnants. It was so rich and dreamy. We could talk about it for hours.
I couldn’t leave without purchasing a growler of the American Cider to go. It was that good. They offer growlers or growlette’s to go. The growler holds about 4 pints for about $21 depending on your beer of choice. It was a great deal!
We enjoyed The Old Toad and plan on taking a trip back real soon. I might venture out and try something else next time but I have to say I have Arrogant Beer Bangers on the mind. You have to try this dish!
The Old Toad is located at 277 Alexander Street, Rochester, New York 14607.
Website @ http://theoldtoad.com
Review by: Jerrie DiFabio