Having told people about her disappointment with Byron Hamburgers, Elsa was recommended Filthy Cow as one of the best burger places in Manchester. Elsa and Ryo made their way to Tib Lane after initially being confused why this place was not in Northern Quarter. With it being located closer to Deansgate, it seemed a bit of a mismatch as we knew the burgers were priced £6-£7.50, a stark contrast from the £20 burger served at Burger & Lobster just one street away.
Ryo: It’s not easy to find, hidden away from the main street but that kind of gives a charm. Just look for the big neon sign on the window.
Elsa: We almost walked past this place in our attempts to find it. The entrance is very unassuming if you’re just passing down the street. Like Ryo said, look out for the neon cow.
Ryo: Inside has a small cosy pub/bar atmosphere. It’s the ever popular industrial design again but harder, more metallic edge to it. I actually really liked it. The light was quite yellow and gave a warm cosy feel. I also loved the details – such as the condiment cow and graffiti on the wall and the colouring book which made the place feel much nicer than the usual fast-food joint. Plus, they had the Sriracha sauce! The first burger joint in Manchester that I spotted the Sriracha sauce!
Elsa: The inside looked like a pub and I was confused as to whether this was the right place. The staff were very friendly and said we can sit anywhere and to just order at the bar when we’re ready. I liked the condiments cow and colouring sheets to keep kids (or adults!) occupied.
Ryo: They don’t have an extensive menu and offer more classical flavours than the experimental ones. We opted out for a chicken burger (Filthy bird) and the special (Filthy Bleu) which had the wine marinated beef and blue cheese. Desserts are a bit disappointing, but then I know some people love milkshakes with their burgers so I rest my case… They serve/use ice creams from the Ginger’s Comfort Emporium and yes, they are amazing ice creams. So I could gather that their shakes will be pretty nice.
Elsa: The menu was small and as Ryo said, it was more the classics than experimental. At the time we went to visit, their monthly special burger was the Filthy Bleu so we felt that we had to order this (who doesn’t like wine marinated beef!) I wasn’t really looking for a dessert from this place so wasn’t disappointed by that selection. Ginger’s Comfort Emporium do the best ice creams in Manchester so they’re not losing out here!
Ryo: When I saw the burgers, I almost screamed – finally, a burger with nice burger buns! And toasted! The fried chicken was very crispy, but a bit too dry for my taste. I felt like I needed more sauce to make the burger go down my throat but then that would have made the burger too saucy. At this point, I thought I should have ordered some beer or… a milk shake! I guess that’s why the milk shake was there. Other than that, it had the decent amount of salad and the slaw instead of the mayo was a nice addition.
Elsa: I really liked this burger. The buttermilk batter wasn’t oily (which I feel is often the case) and was well seasoned! The salad was fresh and I actually liked how the burger wasn’t drenched in sauce. I can taste the individual components and not just a slab of cheap sauce and meat between soggy buns.
The filthy special – Filthy Bleu
Ryo: I absolutely loved this one. The beef patty was moist and juicy and the red wine gave a sweet (possibly a little bit too sweet) and rich flavour. The blue cheese gave a tangy edge and the peppery rocket salad made the whole burger taste… I don’t know, adult, mature-taste? I think this might be a love/hate option for a lot of people as it has some very powerful flavours in one burger. As for me, I absolutely loved it. Pity that it was a special but this makes me want to visit Filthy again to try their other special burgers.
Elsa: This was good, the wine marinated beef was delicious and cooked medium to perfection. I did personally find this a bit too rich tasting for my taste with the blue cheese and red wine but I can’t fault the fresh rocket or the buns here. It’s a good burger!
Ryo: I read from other reviewers that their onion rings were amazing and yes, they were very crispy and herby. I can’t exactly remember now but I think they used rosemary? Plus, it wasn’t over seasoned which was a big bonus. So I could dunk in my sriracha mayo mixture… The fries, however, were slightly soggy. They desperately needed a double frying.
Elsa: The onion rings were definitely moreish, everyone needs to season their batters more! The fries were undercooked so I feel this is something they can definitely improve on. As suggested by Ryo, either double fry or just fry from fresh for longer.
Overall rating and comments
Ryo: 8.5/10 – 0.5 for lack of dessert option, -0.5 for soggy fries and -0.5 for dry chicken. I won’t say more than I might have possibly found my favourite burger joint in Manchester.
Elsa: 8.5, -1 for undercooked fries, -0.5 for the limited menu. The fries are the biggest problem with this place, but once this is fixed this is close to perfection. I do want a bit more choice with the menu, but I do like the fact they have monthly specials. Staff were very welcoming and friendly and those burgers are perfect.
Would visit again?
Ryo: Yes! They serve an extremely decent burger for the price (6-7.5 quid). I would love to try their normal burgers and other special burgers at some point. I do hope that they double fry the fries, though.
Elsa: Yes! The price is good and the place is very unfussy. I do feel it’s unfortunately located but don’t let this deter you! Just hoping they cook their fries so it’s browner next time!