Belgium > Brussels
Beer Available At Toone (arranged by most recent)
miquelcrush (69) Granollers, Spain | February 22, 2014| Updated February 25, 2014
84 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 18/20
Ibrew2or3 (318) Tempe, Arizona | August 31, 2013
66 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 15/20
This is off the main crowded street area with sort of a hidden speakeasy sort of outer appearance. The space entered off the entrance reminds me of La Becasse with worn smooth creaky wood everywhere with table and chairs spaced tightly together and a large fireplace and hearth. A right turn into a bigger room where thereís a ancient looking (ok historic might be a better word) puppet theatre to the left and more tightly spaced table and chairs to the right. This then leads out into an inviting large patio space. The beer here was nothing all that intriguing or special but respectable. I didnít get to try the food this time.
Fin (460) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | May 30, 2013
58 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 5/10 OVERALL 12/20
We (me & Loz) visited here on Saturday 25th May 2013. I was surprised that I hadnít been here before, it is so close to the other alleyway bars in this area of town. The beer selection was fine enough and the place clearly very interesting being also a marionette ípuppetí theatre, historic with plenty off wood and numerous rooms both up and downstairs with puppets hanging from the ceiling. The beer was amongst the priciest we have encountered in Belgium so beware, though by Brussels touristy prices I suppose it is comparable with many others. The young woman who served us was pleasant enough but a little clueless and the barman had to come back to us to check what it was we wanted. We had Rochefort 10 and Orval. Enjoyed this place but as it is in an area with numerous other better bars I am not sure we will make that many repeat visits.
beersontap (31) , Belgium | May 1, 2013
64 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD 6/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 13/20
kwak on draft
DeclanT (20) Tervuren, Belgium | March 3, 2013
72 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD 6/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 18/20
One of my favourites,also my first proper Belgian bar, back in 1997 when I first arrived in the country. Kwak on draft is the novelty of the house but donít overlook a fine selection of Gueuzes and other local brews. Well worth checking out if you R in downtown BXL.
Glouglouburp (423) Montreal, Quebec | February 2, 2013
52 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 5/10 SELECTION 7/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 10/20
Although in the heart of the touristy Brussels this place is not super-easy to find. Located on one of the many small alley, you just donít expect a beer bar at this particular location. Beer menu is nothing to write home about. Nicely hand-written on a black board. Not that many beer. Oude Beersel, usual trappists, some shitty but unusual InBev (Vieux Temps, etc.), and more. We walked in because the girlfriend wanted to see the puppets. The inside is a bit surreal as far as a beer bar is concerned with all kinds of marionettes everywhere. A little patio in the back to enjoy the sun. Worth walking through for the unusual atmosphere but with Delirium Cafť so close I donít see a reason to drink a beer there.
Boudicca (566) London, England | January 1, 2013
66 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 14/20
Toone has two bare brick walled rooms flanking the piŤce de rťsistance Ė a central room with a puppet theatre. When itís not in use, two cavaliers are left in a duelling pose on the ďstageĒ, behind a safety net; opposite is a bank of what I can only describe as wooden drawers which slide out to form a tier of seats with threadbare cushions. Itís a delight (but less atmospheric than it could be if they didnít have the radio blaring at volume 11).
The entrance is from one of the main pedestrian streets or through a cobbled alleyway and garden area off Grasmarkt. I say garden but itís actually just a space, not very well tended, from which some mediaeval buildings seem to have been cleared. Chris has already mentioned the large black chicken we saw clambering around in the tree last time we visited Ė together with the pub cat, it made the garden feel like a ramshackle farmyard in the countryside rather than a bar courtyard in the centre of Brussels.
(Visited 2 October 2012).
chriso (350) London, England | October 10, 2012
66 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 14/20
Another rickety old Brussels institution with atmosphere aplenty. However, on our visit, the atmosphere was somewhat compromised by rather loud music from the radio. Unlike Poechenellekelder, which has a few marionettes on display, this place is an actual, functioning puppet theatre. The middle room has a sliding tiered seating arrangement that is presumably deployed when thereís a performance taking place. There is some seating outside in the yard on the side of the alleyway leading to Grasmarkt (Toone can be entered from two sides) but they donít really make the most of the potential there. Bizarrely there was a black chicken climbing about in a tree in the yard on our visit. There are a few respectable beer offerings but nothing very rare; this is really a bar to visit more for the place itself than the beer range.
Leighton (539) London, England | August 28, 2012
70 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 14/20
A real vintage place, this. I gather it was (is?) a marionette theatre, and many of the trappings still persist. Thereís a decent if not outstanding bottle list with some 30 or so options, including all the classics. I had an Orval (young, quite young) while the missus had a Kriek Boon (sweet, quite sweet). The music was interesting, diverse. The value is pretty average for the area. Thereís a really nice, laid-back vibe to this place. I wouldnít stay here for more than one drink, but itís worth stopping in here for that one.
BlackHaddock (280) , England | March 29, 2012
64 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 12/20
Three rooms, each different, yet very íthe sameí. I have sat in each of them and the one with the bar is the best for me.
This review is of a lunchtime to early evening session between Christmas and New year, December 2007. The guy behind the bar could cope, but the only waitress couldnít, too many parties of people with children who were visiting the Christmas Markets. The poor lass was rushed off her feet.
Draught Kwak is the reason I come here, not the sinister looking puppets that hang by their necks from the ceilling. Nor the weird middle room with its raised staged seating and little lit-up box thing/puppet stage. The third room is just a wooden square, so I donít sit in there unless I have too.
Day time, it seems full of people with children (not just this time), in the evening it changes. The children are taken away (by the puppets maybe?), as are their parents. A younger set arrive without kids and the whole place is transfixed, it becomes noisier and busier, luckily there are more staff too.
If you like your bars down an alley then this is for you, otherwise use the mainstream bars in the city.
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