The Eagle, Clerkenwell

Steak sandwich from The Eagle, Farringdon

Steak sandwich – £9 (I think)

Apparently The Eagle is the original gastropub. What a trend to have started! Cheap imitations may have dirtied the gastro’s reputation, but if they all still did drinking plus great food as well as The Eagle does, nobody would even consider turning their nose up at the term. We settled at a table with far too many chairs. Having too many chairs is a very rare predicament for a pub, but at least it means they can really pack people in when necessary. Their short but varied menu is chalked above the bar (which is the only annoying thing about the place; I have decent eyes but their scrawl was a challenge), and was causing plenty of indecision until we saw the steak sandwich arrive at the table next door. It was spectacular. Truly a handsome sandwich.

Skate and tartare sauce from The Eagle, Clerkenwell

Skate, roast potatoes and tartare sauce – £12 (that’s even more of a guess, but something like that)

 

Skate with roast potatoes, tartare sauce and rocket was also rather pretty on its granny-yellow platter, but neither dish quite matched its appearance in taste. The steak was full of interesting flavours thanks to some inventive seasoning, but a bit chewy to pull off being presented in sheets, so we had to resort to cutlery. Lovely sturdy roll though, and the portion size was more than generous. The skate’s punchy tartare sauce totally stole the fish’s thunder, and while the potatoes were crisp and the skate itself perfectly fresh, I wouldn’t order it again.

I would, however, go to The Eagle again. I felt really comfortable there, the food is really good (and really big) considering how low the prices are, and I was interested in everything that was on the menu. And if all no-bookings restaurants had too many chairs, eating out in London would involve far less queueing.

The Eagle
★★★★✰   £££
159 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3AL, 020 7837 1353

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