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Rose & Crown
Taps: 25 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
547 Emerson St
phone: (650) 327-7673
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vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
On a recent trip to the Bay Area, this was my main event. I was meeting my collegue Ricardo from Brazil at this bar, as it was near the hotel he was staying at. It was a Thursday night, and the crowds would slowly build up through the night. We walked in right before 8:30, and we were lucky to find two bar seats next to each other. A good crowd was on hand. The interior is somewhat intimate, well lit. A collection of English football scarfs hung from the ceiling. All in all, I enjoyed the vibe.
A good tap selection overall, bettered by a more geeky bottle selection. Offerings like Drake's were available on-tap, bottles like J.W. Lee's, Westmalle Dubbel, Eclipse - Evan Williams, Red Poppy Ale, and Cascade Kriek offered. Standard shaker pint glassware for most of the beers, though we did receive some Allagash footed glassware and saw another group receive Westmalle chalices for their Westmalle beer. Our first round was splitting a bottle of Red Poppy Ale. Round 2 involved splitting Eclipse - Evan Willams. They we ordered a Hophead Red (bottle) and Drake's Amber (tap) together and split those.
Even sitting at the bar, it took some time to get the bartender's attention. The food came out at an okay pace. I ordered bangers and mash; bangers get a big thumbs up, the mash seemed more like it made of instant mashed potato mix. I was hungry, so I cleaned my plate.
Given the scarcity of good beer places in the south Bay Area, the Rose and Crown is an easy recommendation. The mix of beers available will make any beer drinker happy. It did for us. After me and Ricardo left, we exchanged beers, and that ended the night for both of us.
04-05-2011 06:09:21 |
More by DoubleJ
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 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
Stopped in here for a light meal and some drinks with friends during a recent visit to CA.
This place is an English pub that doesn't really sell English beers. As soon as you walk in there is an L shaped bar with several chalkboards listing the draft and bottle selection. To the right and around the corner of the bar there are several tables for dining. It has a traditional pub atmosphere with a few televisions with soccer playing as well as a dart board or two. Very laid back with a semi-hipster younger crowd.
The bartender was the only person working in the front of the house. All food and drink was ordered through him and he brought the food to the table. He was friendly but overall the service was average.
The food was traditional English pub food but was good and not expensive. As far as beer is concerned, the selection was very good with a lot of Belgian, german and local craft offerings. The lists seem to rotate and they had quite a few rarities including FW13 and Anchor Our Barrel Ale magnums(for $150!).
Overall this was a fun place for a casual dinner with a great selection of beers. I would definitely go back if I was in the area.
02-24-2010 04:35:54 |
More by corby112
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 2 | $$
Went here a few weeks ago on a cold rain filled day. I was the only one there and was able to speak with Rachel the bar keep who was great. I had a pint of Pliny and some 1/2 pints of Bare Knuckles Barley Wine from Triple Rock and Congrats Orange beer from Moylon's.
The atmosphere is olde England (not that I been there) but it is what I think I would find if I did. They had about 12-15 taps with many local crafts and better imports. They have alarge bottle collection with the last three years of Firestone Aniv. beers, etc. Great selection at good prices.
Rachel was the bomb-very smart in the beer realm and a pleasure to speak to and to have as a beer guide.
Food not so good-but I would try again. If in PA this is a must visit-period.
06-13-2011 16:50:28 |
More by bradybeer
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
Stopped in here before a Stanford game.
Small "British Pub" style place, some seating outside as well. Looks like a soccer pub, because they had a bunch of soccer stuff on the walls.
Service was ok. There was one girl working, it was fairly busy, but she seemed to make it by quickly enough so we weren't sitting around waiting for her. She was a bit standoffish when my friend complained about his $8 tulip of Belgian IPA not being very good. (he was right, I tried it and would have been upset if I paid $3 for it). However, she did eventually make it right and gave him a different beer.
Selection was pretty good, they had quite a few taps, no real standouts, and a nice, but quite pricy bottle list.
Quality was a mixed bag, the Palo Alto brewing beer I tried was average at best, but the pint of Sierra Estate made up for it.
Didn't try the food.
Prices were high, and not really clearly marked.
Ehhh... Not a great place, nothing special, and would probably pass on coming here again.
10-24-2011 02:44:36 |
More by flexabull
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$$
There are not too many decent places to drink in Palo Alto, but this is one of them. This place is very much an expat hang-out for Brits who pine for home. The place is small, and has a kind of fake English atmosphere about it inside and out, but its not bad. It is a little dingy and dark- definitely more of a bar feeling. There is also a small alley of outdoor tables that are pleasant. The service is rudimentary at best- everything must be ordered at the bar, even food, although the will at least bring the food to your table. At least its very quick. I'm pretty sure they still have a cash only policy. I was there tonight, and I paid in cash, but forgot to ask if it was still that way. There is am atm machine right inside the door, but it wasn't working when I was there, so be forewarned. The barkeeps are pretty indifferent unless you are a regular.
There is an okay draft selection whose highlights are Fullers ESB and Charles WellsBombardier on tap, as well as a few decent California brews like a couple of Drakes and Anchor Steam. Altogether they had about 15-16 taps of all at least decent stuff and some bottles that were mostly macro swill. The Bombardier I had was very well kept.
The food is average- all vaguely English or burgers. I had the fish and chips and while not bad, it was nothing to right home about. All the food is at least passable to decent, but all a little greasy. Piccadilly style bread sausages anyone? The place is a little pricey as well, but not terrible. As I said, Palo Alto lacks lots of real beer options, so this place is okay as a change of pace if you find yourself in the area.
08-14-2006 03:59:44 |
More by Georgiabeer
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: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2 | $$
Not a place to dine ... grab a burger okay, but it's all burgers and fried foods. I had a steak sandwich and onion rings. Not a lot of steak on that sandwich and the rings tasted of old oil.
The beer is well worth your while. The taps change frequently with stuff from Belgium, Germany and the states. I had a Maredsous on tap (proper glasses too!) and then a bottle of Triple Karmeliet.
Both the tap selection and bottle selection seemed above average to me. I'm a Belgian fan and noted three on tap as well as about 10 bottles, all with their glass for service.
The bar tender got the job done, not fast, but he got to everyone. I got a few laughs out of him.
Several tv's with ball games playing. Two dart boards open for play. Outdoor seating. Free wireless.
This place is a little hidden at the back of a public parking lot.
I give it a beery thumbs up.
09-30-2007 05:08:47 |
More by dougnboston
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
** Updated 1/2009 **
Wanted to update this review since my initial visit about a year ago.
Have had the opportuinity to come here to meet some other South Bay Area BAs for tastings. The owner, Kasim, is very hospitable to allow us to do this. He also goes out of his way to offer great seasonals & hard to find brews on tap & cask. This is the best brew selection in the lower peninsula/south bay.
Where else can you get a Racer 5 on cask, Double Red Rocket, or a Drake's Hopocalypse on tap around here?
My initial visit "is what it is", but I'm glad I saw past that and went back.
If you're looking for an interesting craft brew, Belgian, or English Ale in the south bay, this is the place.
** end update **
Stopped in on a random Wednesday evening. Took a look at the board & ordered a Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye.
Al, the guy behind the bar, pulled out a Bear Republic Red Rocket, opened it up set it in front of me & then stared at my wife for her order. Never said a word to us during this.
Me: "Do you have the Hop Rod Rye? It's on the board?".
Al: "No, we don't have it."
I guess it was close enough for him to give me something from the same brewery. Never offered anything else or gave me the opportunity to request something different. Didn' feel like dealing with it, so I drank it. I like that beer.
Ordered something deep fried from the menu. When big Al brought them to us he just put them on the bar. Didn't offer napkins or utensils. Granted it was finger food, but what is Al's problem?
Against our better judgement we ordered another round. I had a Speakeasy Double Daddy, which was delivered about 3/4 full and glass soaking wet after he bumped it after pouring it.
My wife ordered a Scotch Ale from a brewery I can't remember. She asked him where the beer is from and Ahole Al responded with "It's local". Gee thanks.
Wasn't expecting 5 star service by any means, I was in a pub. But Al was rude & classless.
Needless to say we wont be back.
They do have a nice selection of brews you won't find elsewhere in the South Bay. WHen I was there they had Speakeasy Double Daddy, Full Sail Slipknot, Blue Frog Big Dipa, and many others to go along with a nice belgian bottle selection including Piirat, Golden Draak, Rare VOS, and others.
02-14-2008 23:46:28 |
More by bbothen
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
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Rose & Crown in Palo Alto, CA