3859 Buffalo Road, Gates
Visited July 24, 2010
Written by Tyler
Even though Rohrbach’s is famous around the area for its in-house microbrewery, winning a Rochester’s Choice Award for best local beer six times. Of course, I should add, none of us are 21 yet anyway, so we can’t provide any insight on the homemade beverages, but we’ve found ourselves returning for its food frequently in the last year.
Located on a relatively quiet stretch of Buffalo Road near the three-town border of Gates, Ogden and Chili, Rohrbach’s is one of very few restaurants in the Rochester area that has a German-based menu, and its interior appearance is designed like a German bar, providing what seems like an authentic experience.
I jumped on the Rohrbach’s bandwagon after my first visit with my parents, four years ago. It took me a while to return, but I’ve been back five times in the last year.
Because of Greg’s obvious German heritage, like me, I know he’d love Rohrbach’s. After his first visit, last summer, it instantly vaulted toward the top of his favorites.
On this visit I opted for the Railroad Street Ham & Cheese; smoked ham with melted Swiss cheese on pretzel bread with a side of honey mustard. As I said in the Krony’s review, I love pretzel bread, which is hard to find around here. It made my decision not to get a giant Munich Pretzel, which I often get at Rohrbach’s, much easier.
The sandwich seemed a little bit drier than the last time I had it, but the delicious honey mustard cured any semblance of a problem there. The price ($6.95) seemed kind of steep, although it did come with a choice of a side.
For my side dish, I opted to drop an extra $2 on my obligatory cup of White Chicken Chili. This is, without a doubt, the best chili I’ve ever eaten, and I get it every time I go to Rohrbach’s. It’s perfectly hearty – with chunks of chicken, plenty of white beans, plus bell peppers, onions, shredded cheese and tortilla chips – perfectly creamy and has a nice, sinus-clearing kick to it.
I let my mom – who had tried a few different white chili recipes at home, to no avail – have a taste of it last time I was here. Blown away by its tastiness, she immediately asked, “Why can’t I make mine like this?”
Greg was also amazed by the white chili the first time he tried it, and has become a regular consumer of it as well.
“The chili was excellent as always,” Greg said. “Creamy, full of flavor, laden with ingredients… my standard for white chili.”
For his entrée, Greg had the Park Ave. Panini, with roasted turkey, cheddar cheese, lettuce and cranberry mayo on hot-pressed Panini bread, along with a side of fries.
“The bread was excellent, cooked just right in my opinion; crispy, but not crunchy,” he said. “The cranberry dressing was delicious with the turkey, and it was pretty filling. The fries I liked, too. They were battered, which is always nice.”
Chad ordered the most authentic German meal of all us, opting for grilled bratwurst with sauerkraut and German potato salad. He said the bratwurst was very tasty and spiced to perfection; clearly much more than a generic Johnsonville brat.
Drew ordered the Swillburg Pork Sammie, a pulled pork sandwich, which is his usual meal at Rohrbach’s. Clearly, he enjoys Rohrbach’s pulled pork; even more so because it came on a Martusciello’s roll, arguably the best in Rochester. The sandwich came with fries, which, like Greg, Drew enjoyed because they were battered and crispy.
He also got a cup of Cheddar Highland Soup; made from sharp cheddar, Rohrbach’s own Highland Lager and smoked bacon bits. Drew isn’t much of a soup guy, but he like this because it was so unique.
Joe and Tim also enjoyed their meals; Railroad Street Ham & Cheese and a Bourbon Burger (pictured), respectively.
Rohrbach’s is a bit pricier than most restaurants we have reviewed, with decent portion sizes, but it never seems to bother us.
“My meal … was just over $10 and it was well worth it,” Greg said. “(It was) quite filling. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad value by any means.
“I’m not sure there is a menu item I wouldn’t eat. The food brings me back.”
We unanimously agreed that the service was outstanding. Our server was friendly, informative, quick, and even remembered all our orders without writing them down. We also had a relatively short wait for our food to arrive.
The atmosphere was enjoyable as well. It primarily has a German feel, with its bar and décor, but also has some sports-bar and casual elements.
“It’s just good, reasonable, and it’s a relaxing place to eat a meal,” Greg said.
It must be good, based on our standards, because there are very few places we have returned to as often recently.
Service/Atmosphere: The service is phenomenal, among the best we’ve had, and the comfortable atmosphere goes a long way toward making this one of our favorites.
Food: German centered, but diverse overall. All the food is great, nonetheless. There aren’t many other places around where you can get authentic German food, like Chad’s bratwurst.
Value: “A tad pricey, but you get what you pay for,” Greg said, which I agree with. Like I said, we keep coming back, so price obviously isn’t much of a hindrance.
Overall: Food is very good, including many authentic choices. Outstanding service and great atmosphere. Given how often we return, we can comfortably say it’s one of our top favorites.