Downtown Dining: Rose and Crown


Photos by Mauro Whiteman
Location and Hours:

628 East Adams St.
Phoenix, Ariz. 85004

Mon. – Sat. | 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Sun. | 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

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The Rose and Crown is one of those places downtown that you hear the name of time and again but never seem to get around to actually visiting. For me, it wasn’t until this past year that I started visiting this local pub, but before Wednesday, I had never tried more than their drinks. I would urge any Phoenician or Valley visitor to stop by and check this place out, even if it’s just for a pint. Whether you’re a fan of Union Jacks, Her Majesty or just looking for some good beer and ‘chips,’ the Rose and Crown has what you need to get your British fix.

Food: 24/30

We started our meal off with an order of Poutines ($7.99), a heaping pile of ‘chips’ smothered in gravy and topped with melted cheddar. They were delicious and definitely reminiscent of the hearty cuisine across the pond. However, the ‘chips’ were more like potato wedges and the cheese seemed to be bagged shredded cheddar rather than cheese curds, which traditionally top the dish. Despite the dish straying from tradition, we still managed to scarf down the entire plate.

Before we even arrived at the pub, my friend was already getting excited about the Rose and Crown’s French Onion soup ($4.99) and he had every right to be. This small dish was definitely one of the highlights of the meal. As soon as you pushed your spoon through the melty layer of Swiss cheese spilling over the edge of the cup, you were met with a soup-soaked round of bread and an abundance of tender, salty onions. If I’d known how good this soup was, I would have skipped the entrees and just ordered a second bowl.

But the entrees did not completely disappoint. The Swanely sliders, named after a town just East of London and paired with an au jus sauce, were juicy and flavorful due to the sliced Angus-roast beef, Swiss cheese, horseradish ranch, tomato and cucumber. Served with a side of potato wedge ‘chips,’ the dish was very filling for its $9.59 price.

The pub boasts a number of burgers on their menu but the Crown burger ($10.59) seemed to stand out. Unfortunately, the actual burger did not follow suit. Though cooked well, the burger meat was nothing special. A fried egg and bacon seemed novel but did little to take this burger to the next level. Similarly, the potato salad that accompanied the burger was good but nothing to write home to mom about.

We had high hopes for the Pub Plate ($12.99) as well, a half order of the Rose and Crown’s “Best of Phoenix” fish and chips and a bowl of clam chowder. It was easy to taste how the fish and chips had won this award. The fish was moist and flaky and the coating crunchy but not too greasy. But the thing that made this dish really stand out was the tartar sauce given to dip the fish and chips in. The creamy sauce was perfectly tart and full of oversized chunks of dill pickle. Together, the fish and tartar sauce easily overshadowed the clam chowder, which was good but not great.

Overall, the food was good and reasonably priced for the amount of food given. This pub definitely had some dishes that will keep my friends and me coming back.

Service: 21/30

Every time I’ve visited the pub in the past, the waiters and waitresses have always been friendly and happy to help. Though our waitress was just as friendly as expected, the service was fairly slow during this visit. This was something I had never experienced before at the Rose and Crown so it may have been a fluke, but bear in mind that this may not be the best place for a quick bite to eat if you’re in a hurry.

Atmosphere: 27/30

The people at the Rose and Crown are seriously dedicated to their British theme. Someone would be hard pressed to find a wall within Rose and Crown without at least one piece of English paraphernalia on it, including a large portrait of the Queen to judge you as you play a game of billiards. The classic jazz and oldies playing throughout the night were not necessarily British, but were a nice change of pace from the Top 40 hits that you would normally expect to hear in a bar. With British-themed dishes and decor, the Rose and Crown is definitely a British oasis in the middle of the desert.

Wildcard: 8/10

This pub certainly oozes personality, but we especially enjoyed the Rose and Crown’s beer pairings offered on the menu. If you’re new to the world of beer drinking or simply want to find what will taste best with your desired meal, all you have to do is read the menu. We were also quite entertained throughout our meal by the weekly trivia game, held every Wednesday night and free to enter. My personal favorite aspect of the Rose and Crown is the Letter of the Day. Written on a chalkboard to your left as you enter the door, a different letter is chosen every day. If the Letter of the Day is the first letter in your last name, you get the grand treat of getting your first well of draft drink for a quarter.

Final Score: 80/100

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Correction: Jan. 14, 2013

A previous version of this article stated that if the first letter of a person’s last name matched the Letter of the Day, his or her first drink would be free.