The Cock n' Bull is clearly a place to grab a beer -- there are 34 of them on tap -- before a Mud Hens game and it makes no pretenses that it is, and was meant to be: a neighborhood tavern.
A small number of tables around a U-shaped bar, the pub has an ever-updating list of craft beers currently on tap on a chalkboard above the bar. The rest of the walls are covered in beer advertisements and old-timey pictures of baseball hall-of-famers.
And while it's clearly a grab a beer kind of place, the menu goes beyond the traditional bar-food fare. In fact, one would think they don't even have a deep fryer in the kitchen with a lack of french fries, chicken wings, or other fried foods on the menu. Instead you'll find a number of dips for appetizers, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and thin crust pizzas.
The pretzel poppers ($6.99) is a small and light appetizer to share. The pretzels are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with gooey cheddar cheese filling and a sweet and tangy honey mustard sauce for dipping. But be warned, they are served piping hot from the oven!
Among a list of dip appetizers is a generous portion of spinach artichoke dip ($7.99) that is rich and creamy and goes well with the salty tortilla chips.
The BBQ chicken pizza ($9.99) , like all of the bar's pizzas, is served on an extra thin and crispy crust with a sweet barbecue sauce, thinly shredded chicken breasts and a good amount of chopped red onion. It works best with the crispy crust, which can be eaten solo and the diner doesn't have to be rolled out of the restaurant.
The pepper bacon pizza ($9.99) is a good choice too. It has an asiago and alfredo cheese sauce simply topped with peppered bacon, diced tomatoes, and a mozzarella and Parmesan cheese blend.
The buffalo chicken sandwich ($7.99) was rather ordinary, even with the barbecue sauce, bleu cheese, and brioche roll, the chicken still tasted like it was fresh from the freezer.
The Philly cheesesteak ($8.99) was served open-faced with a lot of peppers, onions, and steak. The melted cheese on top held together a pretty tasty sandwich better than many sandwiches with a full bun. The coleslaw had a pleasant tang but could be less soupy. Add chips and a pickle and it was a satisfying meal.
A pleasant surprise was the caprese sandwich ($7.99). It was a great salad turned finger food. A thick slice of mozzarella cheese, tomato, and basil, all paired with delicious portobello mushrooms cooked in a tangy red pepper sauce. Topping the sandwich with garlic Naan flatbread was a real treat.
Overall, the Ye Old Cock n' Bull has a lot going for it, so we weren't quite sure why there were few diners during our visits. It has a great location -- right across the street from the home-plate entrance of Fifth Third Field -- and is a short walk from some of the other popular dining and drinking establishments on Monroe Street. The bar also boasts a large street-side patio for the warmer months, and according to the establishment's Facebook page, many of the area's talented musicians take the stage several nights a week.
It doesn't have to be baseball season to have a good time.
Contact Bill of Fare at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull
Address: 9 N. Huron St.
Hours: 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average Price: $$
Credit Cards: AE, Dis, MC, V.
Web site: facebook.com/cocknbulltoledo