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Rose & Crown
Taps: 25 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
547 Emerson St
phone: (650) 327-7673
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$$
I emerge from my cocoon. Hair damp and matted, eyes crusted shut with the residue of sleep, I slither to the local drinking establishment to suckle its taps. They don't mind me, b/c of their hospitality and b/c of my many hook-like appendages. This is the Rose & Crown.
TIP: hold your breath in the pedestrian tunnels from Caltrain to downtown. They reek of urine and defecant. Sorry about that.
For those uncomfortable in Palo Alto's upscale environment, R&C has an alleyway fenced off to which you can bring your drink. Six or so rotating taps and the occasional cask keep things interesting - Ommegang Rouge, Sculpin, and Abacus have all made appearances. As a bonus, the menu discloses neither the volumes of the drinks nor the prices so that every time you order you get a nice little surprise.
TIP: avoid Tuesday night unless you like the involuntary frottage caused by the massive pub trivia crowd.
Those unable to subsist on hops and malt alone can order from the wide variety of solid food available - everything from breaded dishes to battered dishes to fried dishes. When the kitchen is closed you may import your own food. The Pizza My Heart adjacent will satisfy even the most discerning grease fetishist.
TIP: often and generously.
Secreting alcohol from my pores, I skulk back to my nest by the light of a waning moon.
07-31-2009 03:47:56 |
More by alfrantzell
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
I checked this place out a couple of weeks ago after seeing it here on BeerFly. I have to say I have been back a couple of times since and I really like the place.
They definitely have one of the best craft beer selections on the Southern Peninsula. 21 beers on tap and a rotating cask. When I first walked in and saw they had Pliny on tap I knew it was an above average place.
They have a nice selection from Belgian lagers to California IPA's. Once I was in there and a patron asked, "how can an English pub not have Guinness on tap?" The owner was bartending at the time and said, "Because everyone else does, and we have better stuff anyhow."
The service has always been good, and ready for conversation. It seems they have a nice regular crowd, including a mix of Stanford Grad Students, local professional and folks who just like good beer.
I haven't tried the food yet, though I hear the Fish and Chips is good but that is what everyone says about any British pub worth its salt. I have also seen many come in for the burgers, availble with a choice of English cheeses, Stilton, Mild and Sharp Cheddars.
I have also noticed that Darts seem to be a favorite among many of the patrons. So if you can throw, you could probably find a good game.
For the time being, family obligations have me residing in Palo Alto, and I think I will be spending a good part of my time off at the Rose.
07-06-2009 10:31:15 |
More by Bang34
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Review of beerfly didn't show a lot of options in the San Jose area, and although reviews of this place have been up and down, it still sounded as if it might be worth a try. After stopping by today, I confess I'm scratching my head a bit about some of the negative reviews.
The R&C is a very small pub, located just off of Emerson street, immediately adjacent to a parking lot. The address says Emerson street, but it's actually a bit off the street, and initially I was concerned I had the wrong address.
Upon walking in, the R&C consists of a smallish L shaped bar area, and then three or four more tables and chairs in the back area. The place is really pretty small, with an additional 4 wooden picnic tables outside. The vibe is very laid back and informal, with old wood, beer plaques, and soccer decorations throughout. There is also a TV over the bar area and I thought this a great place to hang out, watch some baseball on the tube, and enjoy a beer or three. Draft selections here consist of 21 different beers and one cider. It also appeared as if they had a hand pump for cask beer, although it was not in use this partciular day. The selection here was flat out outstanding, consisting of the likes of Union Jack IPA, Racer X, Blind Pig, the current full sail brewmaster reserve scottish ale, and 5 or 6 interesting Belgians (depending upon whether or not Stella qualifies). They also had three different beers from Spaten (including the pils, which I see all too infrequently). There were also around 45 or 50 bottled beer selections, and I was impressed by the fact that the only BMC swill in the place was bud lite in bottles.
The bar tender appeared to be the owner/manager of the place, and he was quick, courteous and pleasant. Interestingly, there was a group of homebrewers in attendance this Sunday, and I gather the ownership here is completely cool about allowing them to hold their meettings here, sample their latest experiments, and just hang out.
I guess prices were a bit on the high side ($4 for a ten ounce glass of Union Jack and Blind Pig), but considering this place is located right in downtown Palo Alto (just a block down the street from the original Gordon Birsch), I really felt there was little to complain about.
Didn't try any food (though I was tempted to try the house deviled eggs), which seemed to consist of typical Irish/English fare (fish and chips, bangers, shepherds pie, etc.).
I don't get it. This place is way cool with great beer and an easy going laid back vibe. Without doubt this would be my local pub if I lived in the area, and it struck me as a welcome oasis from the pretentious affluence of downtown Palo Alto. I'll certainly be back.
06-01-2009 02:56:16 |
More by johnmichaelsen
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
One of the few decent watering holes on the peninsula, Rose & Crown has really stepped it up in the past year. 20ish rotating taps include local, Belgian, German and English craft beers. The local beers tend to steal the show, and the recent inclusion of Russian River draft offerings and a rotating cask bump the selection up from good to great. Atmospherically, it's cozy and quaint; an easy place to get comfortable in for a few pints. The food is good from what I've tried, which is admittedly not much. Service has been great 9 times out of 10, and Kasim, the owner, is a rather nice dude. On the whole, R&C is well worth a visit, and has the potential to be a genuinely great beer bar.
02-18-2009 00:20:39 |
More by largadeer
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I guess after a visit and 2 South Bay BeerAdvocate meetups it's time to give this place a review.
The atmosphere is warm and relaxed unless you go on a tuesday trivia night, don't go on a tuesday unless you're into the super loud and crowded trivia thing with Stanford students.
Overall quality of what they are trying to achieve is good, but like others have said the execution is where the place could improve tenfold.
I've only had service from the same guy all three times, and I have been unimpressed all three times. Seems like he doesn't want to be there, and he is certainly slow.
The selection is pretty good, with a nice selection of rotating taps. Most of those are hard to find local craft beer. Keep your eyes peeled for: Racer X, Pliny the Elder, Double Rocket Ale, Drake's Hopocalypse, Full Sail Old Boardhead, and other stuff. They also have a nitro for stuff like Old Rasputin once in a while. The selection is pretty great for the area, but on the broad scale of things it's just good.
The food is just okay. But I wouldn't expect much better from a little british pub either. I have yet to try the fish and chips but will make sure to do that next time.
Value is reasonable for draught craft beer, not sure about the other stuff as I am not interested in buying bottled beer at a pub.
Special props do go to Kasim for allowing the local BeerAdvocates to meet up here once a month.
2/20/2010 - Editing the selection to 4.5 since they have been routinely pulling in some really great stuff in the last few months. Keep it up guys, selection and quality are what matters most to me! I am also upgrading the food to a 3.5 after trying their fish and chips, pretty good.
01-28-2009 00:39:31 |
More by Bubba83
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've vistited this bar several times over the past year. Most recently I came in on a Wednesday night and ordered a Leffe Bruin. I was shocked to see this beer on tap on the west coast! I have only seen it in London and Belgium. Anyway, I noticed several other specialty ales, especially bottled belgians such as St. Bernardus Abt 12 and the Gulden Draak. My beer was served in the standard Leffe beer glass. The beer was excellent and was poured professionally. The bartender was a friendly blonde named Jette and she was easy on the eyes (always a plus).
This place has a great belgian beer selection and the glassware to go with it. It also has a good selection of English ales like Old Speckled hen and Tetley's as well as California Microbrews. The pub itself was friendly and cozy. You can easily strike up a conversation with many of the patrons. It has two dartboards, dice, and a few flatscreen TVs usually tuned into international soccer. It also has a juke box and a patio which is great if you're hanging with smokers or want some fresh air.
If you are looking for a relaxed place to hang and drink some quality beers, the Rose n Crown is perfect.
01-11-2009 05:41:16 |
More by Nick3
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Living in Palo Alto, this is probably the only decent beer bar within a 30 minute drive. I'm definitely lucky to have R&C nearby though. They do a good job offering seasonal beers and have a solid list of Belgians as well as some good local stuff. Occasionally you'll see some rare bottle on the menu (Firestone XII, Rasputin XI, etc) albeit typically for a very high price.
Service is hit-or-miss depending on who you get, and it can be hard to order a beer on weekend nights. Some of the staff is not very knowledgeable, but the owner Kasim is a good guy and big-time BA. On several occasions, he has allowed other BAs and I to bring in our own bottles to taste and even participated in the tasting himself a few times. This is awesome. Most bar owners would throw you out for merely suggesting bringing your own beers in, but at R&C they have no problem with it and even provide the glassware.
If you haven't been in a few years, check out R&C again as the selection has really improved recently and the rotating taps have become more interesting with lots of limited releases from Russian River, Firestone, Drake's, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Full Sail, etc. The odd thing is though that it seems that 90% of the patrons still don't care about beer and will still sit there and order Bud Light, Stella, etc in spite of the better options available for the same or only slightly higher price. Oh well, it's a college town I guess.
Prices are average for the area overall, and the scene is a good time with a couple of dart boards and nice pub decor. In the beer wasteland that is the peninsula/south bay, Rose & Crown is by far the best you're going to get.
July 2009 update: Have to edit my review once again. Went to R&C recently on a Friday night and was informed they weren't serving ANYTHING on tap. Asked about a few other bottled beers and they didn't have them, so I just walked out without even ordering anything and downed some better beers at home.
Also, a place that charges an insane $22 for Lost Abbey Witches Wit and upwards of $50 for some beers when you wouldn't expect it REALLY, REALLY needs to start putting prices on their menu! It's such a hassle to have to ask what every beer costs (when you know some will be outrageous).
09-19-2008 23:34:14 |
More by nickd717
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$
Meh. That one simple sentence pretty much sums up my opinion of this establishment. They do actually have one of the better selections of beer on tap in the south bay, but the prices are a bit high. I just cannot justify spending 6 bucks for a pint of Guinness. Other prices for beer are within the same price range. The bartender was a bit spacey and flustered considering the place wasn't even that busy. I don't think I'll be returning. I will give them credit for what they are trying to accomplish with a beer bar, the execution was just not there.
04-16-2008 19:34:38 |
More by N1CKOLAS
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I frequent this establishment weekly in search of a good pint. On the SF Peninsula you are challenged to find an interesting beer selection on tap, period. This is surprising given the obvious popularity of the emerging styles nationally, and that so many fine craft ales find their way into our local supermarkets and beer stores. There seems to be some sort of conspiracy led by the local Marzen Mafia to prevent hoppy ale from reaching folks inside the pubs and restaurants of an otherwise very adventurous and affluent region. The Rose and Crown faces this challenge admirably, with one or two steady IPA taps and several additional taps given over to interesting West Coast styles, from Belgian-styles to stouts, triple IPAs, and barleywines. Among the ~16 taps are the usual soccer-pub selections and California ambers and pales. There is an always-changing selection of Trappists in the bottle and usually something there on tap as well. Food wise, best fish-n-chips anywhere on the Peninsula. Other British pub fare as should be expected. Nice dark little drinking hole, with a small patio. A worthy destination to take in a soccer match or just a pint. They have some popular American light beer in the bottle for your clueless friend, but I cannot imagine how you would let a friend order that.
04-13-2008 19:56:09 |
More by easong
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1.5 | $$
Updated January 2009
Rose & Crown saw a huge upswing during the second half of 2009. Maybe a new beer buyer?
The food's no better, but the energy around beer has really picked up. Special one-off beers almost always on tap (usually local California stuff), beer release parties, an active Twitter feed.
Anyway, it's now almost worth a special visit to see what special beers they've got going. And still the best beer bar on the peninsula.
Original Review: April 2008
The best beer bar on the peninsula. Not remotely worth a special trip, but pretty much the only place in Silicon Valley where you'll get a decently well-chosen selection of craft beer on tap and in bottles.
Charmingly dark and dingy in the old English style - unusual for downtown Palo Alto. 10+ taps, all craft beers, most local, some imported. Bear Republic, Anderson Valley, El Toro, North Coast, Full Sail were represented when I last visited. Very nice bottle selection, mostly from Northern California region.
I've never ordered a Belgian or wheat beer here, so haven't had cause to see whether they vary the glassware. Unfortunately the regular pint glasses are stored in a refrigerator, making for a slightly frosted glass effect.
The menus is interesting - some charmingly English items - but the food is nearly inedible, so don't order any.
Anyway, Rose & Crown is something of an oasis in Silicon Valley, which otherwise is a beer wasteland. Perfectly good place to stop for a Racer 5, Young's Double Chocolate Stout, or other reasonably available craft beers. Won't blow your socks off, so don't make a special visit if you're a tourist, but for locals, worth knowing about for the occasional drop-in.
04-03-2008 22:33:56 |
More by Talisker
Rose & Crown in Palo Alto, CA