Keep in mind that I'm writing this from the perspective of an exchange student from Arizona, but damn this place scratched my itch for a good beer and excellent food to go with it.
After a long bus ride and trek through Piccadilly Circus and then a long bus ride back, all I wanted was a cold one and some good British faire. Bingo, this was the place.
The name shouldn't be misleading, but intriguing. I was with 3 or 4 friends, and we all high fived as we entered the place. Actually that was a lie, but I did high five one of them on the way out. Promise I'm not lying here.
Why? Their pies. I got the veg one, since I don't eat meat, and it was scrumptious. Sweet potatoes, beets, feta cheese, broccoli, and other veggies, tucked away in a little cradle of flaky breading and a hefty crust that was totally fork-worthy.
Two Guinnesses later and a shot (or 2 :)) of Jameson, and a half-drunken game of Connect-4 with friends, and I wanted to move in.
The bathroom was like any dive bathroom, situated down a hallway, through double doors, and finally into the secret wardrobe ... Just kidding. I think they had plans to expand (!), so their floor plan was wicked weird. And their hard-wood floors and thick wooden tables just lended to place's credibility as an authentic place.
Regardless, if you're ever around town, and looking for something to fill you up, hit this place.
P.s. Say "hi" to Filthy for me. SHE (yes, no lie, not a HE) resides behind the bar and and has some sick hair.
Our Man in London: Meatlover at Filthy MacNasty's Whiskey Café
BY SHARKING FOR CHIPS AND DRINKS
When I think meat lover, I think of a deep-pan pizza with all the extra bits and bobs that make it a meaty, doughy taste sensation... sadly, Whiskey Café's Meatlover (a southern American barbecue pop up that will run the course of summer) doesn't include the bits and bobs, and certainly was no taste sensation. In their defence, it was a soft opening so the mistakes could be forgiven if the food was outstanding. But it wasn't.
You'll find the restaurant tucked away at the back of grungy live music venue FilthyMacNasty's. Initially, the gastro pub wannabe is trying its hand in the industry with an eight-week lease on the area. Hopefully they learn a few tricks in the first week, otherwise the next seven will be painful. The wait for food was long (like twice-to-the-toilet-after-ordering-type-long) and when the food finally arrived the order was wrong.
So was the food (when it came) any good? For starters we mistakenly received the hot and spicy buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese sauce instead of BBQ chicken wings. If you're looking for hot and spicy, go to Texas because they ain't in Angel. A little kick was all the buffalo wings offered.
The hush puppies and cheese fingers were the meatless options and were ordinary at that. The sides (for £3.50) were exactly what they said they were: spinach and bacon (warm spinach and undercooked bacon); bone marrow mash potato (bland bone marrow mash potato)... you get the gist. Overpriced and average.
The main 'meaty' part of the meal raised the bar a little. The Meatlover main (smaller size) was a decent-size portion. Beef brisket and pulled pork were tasty, but the pork chop boasted more fat than meat. The chicken (Mr Blatchford's Buttermilk Fried Chicken to be exact) was on par with the rest of the meal.
The sesame salad (served in the same dish with the meat) looked divine but was a disappointment to eat. Somehow warm coleslaw just doesn't work. Dessert options were acceptable, the strawberry shortbread quite enjoyable.
The saving grace was in the form of funky waitress Chloe. Her upbeat attitude and advice on the menu helped to ease the disappointment. But that doesn't stop the meal and the overall experience scoring a disappointing 4/10.
I had heard really good things about Filthy McNasty's from friends, but it was really not my cuppa.
Pros: A bit out of the way, good whisky list (if you like whisky, moot for me since I don't), and pretty roomy inside if you head toward the back.
Cons: Really loud, no drinks list (so if you don't drink whisky, you have no idea what the hell they have as they don't display their liquors anywhere), no prices listed anywhere for beer/spirits, and really moronic staff that didn't understand what I was asking them when I requested a drink list.
If you want to sit in a dark, noisy pub with a pint of Guinness that costs 4 quid, then this is the place for you. Otherwise, you're better off with the multitudes of better pubs in the area that don't require as much of a trek. I was completely unimpressed and left without ordering anything. I've had better pub experiences in Prague, and if you're familiar with the scene there, that really says something.
I am informed, by an Irish friend, that this place pulls a mean pint of Guinness, and is approximately akin to a Dublin pint. Not being a Guiness expert, I can neither confirm nor deny these allegations, but am inclined to believe my friend, especially given the amount of Guiness he drinks.
Filthys is a fairly small, cosy and utilitarian place, tucked away between Angel and Kings Cross. It does a good selection of inexpensive Thai food, especially the duck curry. The bar staff are friendly, but not outstandingly so. Apart from this, the main reasons to check this place out, are because it is owned by Shane McGowan (of Pogues fame), and because Pete Doherty once worked behind the bar.
When i first moved to London i squatted with a friend spitting distance from this place, and consequently spent many an evening getting merry in here.
As Katie rightly suggests, they pull a mean Guinness here as well as having a massive selection of Whisky (Well it is known a Whisky cafe). Yes it's tiny but there's always a good atmosphere. Filthy's often plays host to local DJ's, and they have some great small gigs there too. Yep, the Libertines played here years ago which is why it's so famous.
There's lots of outdoor seating, so it's great for the summer. If you're in the area it's worth a look.
Filthy's sticks out like a bruised and blackened thumb among the otherwise genteel independent stores of Amwell Street. The live music has moved up the road to the Lexington in recent years, and there are nicer 'local' pubs not far away... and Filthy's seems content to just trade on its former glories (quite literally - the collection of gig posters that adorn the walls are all up for sale). Still, it deserves a place on any pub crawl of London music venues.
It's not an unpleasant place to have a drink, but like an ageing rocker clinging to the past, it feels like the world is moving on and it won't be long before it's officially a dinosaur. At which point the place will probably fill with teenagers again, going there for a pint with a chaser of irony.
First things first - I love the name! Sort of describes me!
Talk about atmosphere, it just did not work for me. But I did like the photo of Avril Lavinge flashing her middle finger. Its on sale for £200. And I wrote my name on the table :)
I would go back to check it out again. Probably during the summer?
And also I would go back just because I like the name!
Filthy McNasty's is a rare thing in London - a classic boozer that still feels like a 'locals' pub, but with none of the attitude that goes with some places.
It has a warm welcome and sells guinness by the ton. It also has impeccable rock n roll credentials, having been formerly owned by Shane McGowan and hosting several rowdy Libertines gigs when Pete Doherty was a working behind the bar...
There are plenty of tables outside for when the weather is good, the front br is welcoming, whilst in the back bar regular live music takes place in one of the most intimate venues in London.
The only downside is that it can get extremely busy on a Friday and Saturday night, so get tere early if you want a table!!
All in all, this is a great place to meet with friends to chill out and catch up on the news.
My favourite Islington boozer just got even better. This has always been a great spot to hang out in - nice and shabby, always welcoming - I've whiled away far too many hours in here! It got taken over recently by the same people that run the New Rose on Essex Rd (another great pub) and they've maintained the original Filthy's sprit, so it's still just a little bit shabby after a lick or two of paint, the toilets have been refurbished (thank the lord, although I will miss reading all the grafitti!) and, they've opened up the fire and it's lit every evening. I didn't think this place could get any better....but it just did....
How a pub should be- good pints, whisky, good music, a fireplace, and bar tenders that are friendly but know when you'd like to be left alone with your drink. Not one of those franchise pieces of crap that is taking over historic pubs around London...
A bit of a hike from the Tube, but worth it!
This pub used to be a wonderful rock n roll haunt of many a musician and i spent many great evenings there. But the new management means the place has lost some of its rawness and its style by trying to be too smart and the staff i knew have all gone as well as the music events so nothing draws me there anymore, which is a shame.
Comfortable little bar hidden in a quietly gentrifying area near Angel. A good range of whiskey is soaked up by a small, competent menu. It's not somewhere to go for food, but the tiny pies soaked up the booze acceptably. Black and red decor fits in with the rock and roll edge, but jarred with the Disney songs they were playing early on in the night. It's like a skinny little boy wearing his older brothers leather biker jacket, it's trying to be a little 'edgy' but with the exception of a few old salts propping up the bar, it's all for show...
Bar staff are hit an miss at the best of times but when you are the only punter and still get ignored it is definitely time to leave.
Filthy's is rightly held in high esteem in Clerkenwell society. It does retain the feel of a local pub without having become pretentious about it. There's a great range of drinks, a comfortable front and back bar, plenty of outside space and competent bar staff.
There are also regular live music events in the back lounge however be there early as these often fill up quickly.
Even without knowing the back-story of Filthy's, it's a wonderful place to frequent in its own right; a welcome relief from so many of the other bars in the EC1/N1 area.
went here 10 years ago. very cool atmosphere. all the great beverages you'd expect. went in the daytime. i can't remember many details except i dig it.
Old-fashioned punk pub, but not really filthy or nasty... Friends invited me to a birthday party here for the singer from Athletico Spizz 80 (I still have their album somewhere in storage). Everyone had a nice time.
An old haunt - it's tucked away from the main part of Angel where you'd find most of the bars along Upper Street - so it's a few minutes walk away. I must say it has a certain charm about it, its a bit dark and a bit cosy. A long time ago you'd get great food there, now you will just have to settle for the drink. The tables outside are good for when the sun comes out (which admittedly isn't very often in England, but hey) and it does get busy at times. Try it, it may be up your street.
Semi legendary grimy pub is a fun hangout even if it feels a little bit like it's a decade behind the times. As context: the place is infamous for Pete Doherty working behind the bar and still being a regular (on a side note my friend swears blind that he saw Doherty [allegedly!] trying to smoke crack there in the middle of the day before being kicked out). Aside from the reputation and the attitude of the place it's a pretty standard local pub, very friendly and cheap drinks. If you like this kind of place (and I do now and then) then this is The place to go in North London, or at least it was 5 years ago
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