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Eagle, Clerkenwell

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user reviews of the Eagle, Clerkenwell

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

This does just get crowded and has the worst behind the bar staff in this part of town. I guess when people come you dont need to be even polite but the surliness and sloppiness of service is really a shame, it lets the place down a long way. Spoilt brats do not make for a pleasant pint. The food is mediocre at best and overpriced.
caledonianpark - 29 Apr 2013 12:31
Pleasant enough place and nice for relaxing after a long walk. The Hackney Brewery Ale was nice enough but a little cloudy. We went there while the staff were having their dinner and despite this some of the customers insisted on being served meaning one had to keep getting up whilst eating.
Mr_ESB_Harry - 22 Jul 2012 13:13
More bistro than bar. Pleasant enough and two halves only 3. Ideal if you fancy a Mediterranean style meal.
ng10 - 5 Dec 2011 20:06
A real pigs ear of a place. Not really a pub, not really a bar, not really a restaurant but an attempt to cram them all together in a very confined space, without bothering too much about the finer points of decoration. Only came here to meet people, but judging by the frustrated faces of those trying to get served with food I wouldnt think its the most relaxing place to eat. Credit where its a due: a well kept pint of IPA.
alebarry - 10 Dec 2009 14:56
I can understand the mixed reviews becuse The Eagle, like many popular places, has often been a victim of its own success. It gets scarily busy at times and yes - perhaps some of the staff haven't graduated from the catering & hospitality charm school...
But credit where it's due: The Eagle (under its present owner) opened back in 1991 or 1992. It was a groundbreaking pub in that, it served fantastic food, good beer and quality wine at pub prices in a 'pub' setting. There are no reservations, table linen, printed menus or even table service. You walk in, order your drink at the bar and (if you feel like it) a plate of food too. Its strengths lie in the simplicity and quality of the offer: great food and drink, without any frills.
I was a regular here back in the nineties and make the occasional visit if I find myself in Farringdon. To this day, I have never had a bad meal here or a bad pint. The Eagle is widely credited as starting the revolution in pubs which has seen a marked improvement in choice and quality of food and drinks - giving rise to the (questionably entitled) 'Gastropub' sector.
Whilst many gastropubs have become restaurants with a bar attached and ignored the 'something for everyone' appeal of a traditional pub, the Eagle (in my opinion) has remained true to its public house identity. When I first went there they had a sign displayed reading 'Dirty Boots Welcome' - a wonderful riposte to the 'Smart Dress Only' notices employed by many pubs and bars at the time. When I was a regular here, the clientele (that I knew) included firemen, postal workers, magazine editors, photographers, journalists, cabinet makers, plumbers, fashion stylists and lawyers - quite a mix!
As for who the locals are now, I couldn't say. For me, as long as I am able to enjoy my pint in peace or with my friends, I am happy. And that is something I can do with ease at the Eagle.
If you want a decent drink or a tasty plate of food without paying through the nose for it - The Eagle won't disappoint. If you are more interested in the furniture and fittings or concerned about the demographics of your fellow punters, then maybe it's not the right place for you.
Jon_Murray - 27 Sep 2009 18:28
Alright if you dont mind being surrounded by left-wing vermon.
Larry_E - 22 Mar 2009 18:18
i'll still give it a 6/10, as the food (it is a gastropub, and closer to a restaurant than a pub) is often still very good. but even that is more hit and miss than it was. service is also not fantastic, and getting a seat is often very difficult. i think this place is somewhat living off it's reputation now.
mps77 - 5 Feb 2009 16:23
4 out of ten. Place is ruined by the staff and service. The food is good for gastropub grub but the service is appalling. We were told that we could not order a well done steak, even though the chef/cook chap said it would be ok the bar girl ignored us. I waited for 5 minutes at an empty bar to place a drink order whilst the same bar girl had a stand up argument with a colleague. The chap that was serving the food and dishing out the cutlery gave us 2 forks and a spoon between 6 of us, and 5 limp peices of bread in a wicker basket. He then brought an order of fish to our table, we told him that no-one had ordered the fish, he then said "well someone had ordered the fish from this table" and plonked it down. I politely said again that we were not having fish, he muttered something under his breath (I don't think it was an apology) and took it away. The food came in intervals, so that 2 of our party had almost finished when the last plate was brought out.

Finally when it came to pay the bill was littered with double orders and I was accused of lying by the same bar girl as above.

Just not good enough for a popular central london eatery.
dieseljonny - 5 Feb 2009 13:55
Not a local of the area but if having a leisurely day in London usually start here. Visited 3 time in last year and always left happy. This is definately a gastropub and the food is excelent and in my mind good value for its quality. Wine list is also good and again well priced for good drinkable glug. Also good selection of beers on tap. As long as you are not expecting wetherspoon prices you will have a good time. Lunchtime is better than the busy evenings.
bazzer52 - 29 Aug 2008 19:45
The food is as good as it is in any pub anywhere, anytime - Roast Guinea Fowl, arroz negro, ham hock
and some beautiful vegetable soups. A shame, therefore, about the snooty service and Francoesque attitude towards anybody who dares to have a good time. It's a pub, not a restaurant and a big dose of relaxed attitudes would not go amiss. Good food and drink still gets it 7 stars though.
BoehmBawerk - 21 Dec 2007 12:18
First place I ate in when I moved to clerkenwell 2 years ago and its still a treat every time I go back.

Front of house kitchen makes for a great atmosphere. The menu is id say mostly spanish (seems to change daily) and is all basic fare cooked superbly. Hearty portions and non pretentious. Rustic would be a good all round description of the place.

not sure at all about the comments; 'smug people', 'overated' and 'rude staff'. I think the staff are all completely on the ball and never stand still. A friendly mixed bunch! The croud is always varied and im not sure at all why 'overated'. Its good for a quiet pint (good range of drinks) and if its vibrant spanish hustle n bustle ur after then its perfect.
superyoungisland - 24 Mar 2007 18:47
Over rated and full of smug but boring people. Good beers. Food is good but too fussy and way too pricey. Perhaps a victim of its own success.
anonymous - 30 Dec 2005 13:34
this place is completely overrated and I can't believe there are so many good reviews. I live nearby so have been quite a few times out of sheer convenience. But the service has been so bad every time and the staff so rude that I can't bring myself to go again. The food is really overpriced and the kitchen lacking in basic hygiene. I think they've just become complacent and must just be riding on their previous good reputation.
aza - 26 Nov 2005 23:03
Good stuff. Especially for a long Sunday afternoon with an extra big newspaper - lunch, drinks, then coffee. Because of the very decent food it gets very busy during the week and at the weekend. The chairs are so rickety that I fear serious personal injury every time I sit down on them.
gingerweasel - 26 Oct 2005 17:28
Red Stripe on tap!!! SAY NO MORE!!!
Only been in here once. KWOLITY steak burger and when I say steak I mean a big old slab of meat.

Not somewhere I'd go often
stoner - 23 Sep 2005 11:19
The original gastro-pub, it's proximity to The Guardian and other media offices can mean it's packed, but if you catch it on a less rammed night, you shall have a good one. Good wine, good beer, traditional light, bright pub.
Liza Brett - 8 Jun 2004 17:22

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