Friday, June 3, 2011

Earl's on Broadway

This was the second time I've been to Earl's (the first time was about 10 years ago) and I have to say that I was pretty imressed with the service.  My iaido club in hosting a big seminar this weekend and some pretty senior instructors from Japan are here in Vancouver to attend.  A few of us took them out for dinner the night they arrived and it just happened to be Hockey Night in Vancouver (Canucks vs Bruins).

Somehow we managed to make a reservation and let me tell you, this place was packed to the brim.  And despite the place being completely packed, we still got excellent service.  When we first entered, the staff attending the doors and reception greeted us with a friendly smile, and took our group to our tables.  There was a bit confusion on how we wanted the tables arranged (on our part) but they managed to accomodate us and make sure we were happy with the arrangements.
The Earl's on Broadway and Fir has pretty ample parking if not in the lot, then in the area.  It looks actually quite small, but I had no trouble finding a spot. 
I had my regular Chivas Regal 12 yrs, single on ice.
I don't drink beer much, but the pints looked pretty massive..... were the cocktails.  My friend's cesar looked like a tower from across the table. 
Now, this has nothing to do with the serving staff, but more so for the supplier or the buyer of Earl's.  The wings were small.  Tiny little dried out things and I have I wasn't impressed with them.  But then again, I guess I'm used to the wings from The Flying Beaver
Our server warned us that the Hot, Hot wings were really hot, and she wasn't kidding.  They were sort of ordered out of curiousity as one of the sensei with us was wondering how hot they could be.  I was only able to eat one before deciding if I ate any more, I'd burn out my o-ring.
The kalamari tasted pretty good and was a good appie.
My sensei had the Spicy Seafood Linguine which was topped by this massive jumbo prawn.  He said the noodles were cooked Al Dente, and the dish tasted fantastic.  Our server mentioned that Earl's head chef had recently returned from Italy after studying there for some time, so look forward to some interesting and new pasta dishes at Earl's. 
My sempai ordered steak with rice instead of fries or mash potatos.  He said that Earl's has one of the best steaks he's had.  I should have tried the steak, but for some reason, I wasn't very hungry and also feeling a bit kechi this night so I got a burger instead.
The Bronx Burger was recommended to me by one of our servers and she mentioned it's one of the more popular dishes.  Now, my current favourite burgers are the Four Cheese Burger from Milestone's (because of the goatcheese and roasted Garlic), and serveral offerings from Romer's.  I had my reservations about a burger from Earl's, but I kept an open mind.  When it arrived, I saw the mountain of French fries which didn't look like anything special, but turned out pretty good and quite tasty.  My eyes then zeroed in on the burger and noticed what looked like a griddled brioche bun, but it turned out to be a freshly made, toasted sesame bun which tasted pretty good.
My townering Bronx Burger easily rivals Romer's burger in size.  It looked incredibly appetizing when it arrived but I knew there was no way to eat this burger gracefully.
I ended up spitting the burger in two and somehow managed to not make a mess.  The burger was a nice micture of textures, from the moist and savoury burger patty, to the crunchy onion rings to my surpise, the green stuff,  I usually don't pay much attention to the vegetaion on my burgers, but the lettuce used had reduced (from the heat of the burger) down to something that went quite well with the burger.  I don't know if it was made that way, or because I let my burger sit for a while before eating it.  Either way, it turned out to be one of the best burger's I've eaten and now it's given me another reason to go back to Earl's. 

The other reason I have to return to Earl's is the excellent service we received that night.  Our entire group was very, very happy with Earl's on Broadway.  Our smallish group of 10 people were assigned two servers, both of whom knew their jobs and the product very well.  They were supervised by an excellent night manager who made sure we had everything that we needed.  Considering how busy it was that night, and considering that we had some special requests and details that needed to be looked after, we received excellect service and were never neglected for a moment.  Summer, if you're reading this, I thank you and your staff for making the evening run so smoothly.  I think you went above and beyond your job to look after us and you deserve recognition from your company for service excellence. 

Earl's (Broadway & Fir) on Urbanspoon

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