To be frank, I have a love hate relationship with Earl's. In its infancy, I would frequent the place and be pretty pleased with the food. However, as the prices climbed, my interest waned. I've been back a few times in the past year and the food has been fine, but it was mostly the same. Yet, it looks like change is in the works and with the addition of brunch, there might be a little love to be found somewhere. I was invited along with Diana and Caroline to sample this new menu at the North Vancouver location.
We started with the Granola & Yogurt Parfait consisting of flax seeds, rolled oats, dried cranberries, sultanas, toasted almonds and pecans, fresh berries and thick Greek yogurt. This was a simple, yet effective light day-starter. I liked the mild sweetness (where there was a side of honey, if you wanted more sugar) and the light crunch that went well with the thick plain yogurt. Next up was the Eggs Benny with Virginia ham, Hollandaise atop grilled sourdough accompanied by fried smash potatoes. I loved the potatoes as they were creamy soft with a super crispy exterior. As you can see in the picture, the poached eggs were nicely runny while there was no shortage of ham. At first, I was concerned with the saltiness of the Virginia ham, but it wasn't overwhelming. However, the sourdough was too strong for the dish as it masked the light lemony Hollandaise.
Onto our next dish, we had the Eggs Florentine with Parmesan cream sauce, spinach, mushrooms, polenta and grilled sourdough. This was my favourite as it combined the creaminess of the polenta with the earthiness of the crimini and oyster mushrooms as well as the saltiness of the Parm. Despite the addition of runny poached eggs, the dish didn't feel heavy. I found the crunchy sourdough to be the appropriate side as it added texture and a jolt of flavour to the otherwise mild concoction. Lastly, we tried the Sourdough French Toast with Chantilly cream, berry purree, pure maple syrup and whipped butter. Everything about this plate was bang on except for the choice of bread. I thought the strong sourdough competed with the other flavours and ultimately didn't work. As you can probably ascertain, we were pleasantly surprised at Earl's brunch offerings. However, the overuse of sourdough may have compromised the overall enjoyment.
*All food and drinks excluding gratuities were comped*
- Props for being a bit different with their own spin on dishes
- The fried smashed potatoes are really good
- Overuse of sourdough compromised flavours