Sherman's Food Adventures: Earl's Happy Hour Brunch

Earl's Happy Hour Brunch

Although I do not brunch very often, I do enjoy it whenever I have the chance.  However, up until recently, there weren't a whole lot of brunch places to chose from (there are some new and upcoming spots that will change that).  Another issue is that brunch can be pretty expensive.  Considering the ingredients involved, you'd think that the prices shouldn't be creeping up to $20.00 and sometimes beyond (at higher end spots).  Hence, it is a really pricey proposition when bringing the family.  Let's not even think about adding any beverages either (for the adults of course), since that can make brunch cost more than dinner.  However, Earl's offers all of their brunch items for $9.75 (was $8.00, the $9.00, so get it before it exceeds $10.00!) before noon on weekends.  I've tried it early last year and again more recently.  I guess it was time for a post...

The first visit, I ordered something really out-of-character in the Avocado Super Brunch with poached eggs, smashed avocado, olive oil and tomatoes, radish, spicy sriracha, toasted hemp seeds on toasted artisan bread.  Although there was sriracha (which I could taste), the whole thing was a bit too mild for me.  This would've been much better with a shot of acidity.  With that being said, it was still pleasant, felt healthy and was light.  Viv went for the heavier dish in the Chorizo & Mushroom Hash with avocado, crispy fried potatoes, topped with poached eggs and hollandaise.  Sure, there was plenty of potato which could be seen as filler, but there was also no shortage of chunky pieces of mushroom and fresh avocado.  The chorizo was meaty, yet mild while the eggs were perfectly runny.

My son went for the Eggs Benedict with ham, poached eggs, hollandaise, artisan bread and crispy potatoes.  Sure, ham and the choice of bread were not the classic components of an eggs benny, but they did the job.  Plating wasn't the best, but it ate okay with perfectly runny eggs and a fairly light hollandaise.  It was neither too thick nor buttery.  Due to the size of the potatoes, they weren't too crispy, but at the same time were still good.  Ordering the least expensive item (at regular price), my daughter had the Golden Waffles and Cream.  This was a fairly straightforward plate where the waffles were slightly crispy with a medium-dense centre.  Whipped cream and sliced strawberries completed the dish.  On the menu, it does state seasonal compote, so YMMV in terms of the fruit.

On my most recent visit, we ended up trying the Southern Fried Chicken & Waffles.  Okay, this didn't look like much as it was simply plated.  However, it ate a lot better than it appeared.  Naturally, the waffles were exactly like the previous dish being lightly crispy while a bit dense in the middle.  The real star of the show was the 2 fairly large pieces of fried chicken thigh.  They were tender and outright juicy with a crunchy coating that had a bit of spice.  If one was hungrier, the Country Breakfast sported 2 eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, crispy potatoes and toasted bread.  As evidenced in the picture, each items was prepared properly and yes, there was more than enough food for those with a bigger appetite.  So yes, the brunch at Earl's is well-priced during happy hour, however, it seems to be creeping up steadily over the past year.  

The Good:
- Inexpensive HH pricing
- Food is above-average
- Portions sizes are sufficient and then some

The Bad:
- Limited selections
- Pricing is creeping up there

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