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Earl's Beer & Cheese

Earl’s Beer & Cheese

1259 Park Ave., East Harlem, NY 10029
8.0


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By
April 18, 2012

Earl’s probably holds the record for smallest restaurant ever reviewed by Immaculate Infatuation. It’s literally the size of a college dorm room and actually has a similar vibe. Remember how much fun boozing in the dorms used to be? I miss listening to Feeder “High” and sitting on the floor playing caps. Damn were we nasty at that game freshman year. At a place this small, where the beer flows freely, everyone in the room is your friend. We hung with bikers, we hung with cops, we hung with an older couple who looked like they were from Montana and we hung with a bunch of our friends who live around the corner. Friends who, without Earl’s in their weekly rotation, would lead very boring lives. That’s what happens when you have a baby and live in Siberia (East Harlem).

We weren’t surprised to find that Earl’s is right in el wheelhouse de Infatuation. If an establishment serves a grilled cheese with pork belly, kimchi and fried egg, there’s a pretty good chance that we’re going to like it. Earl’s menu of pig and cheese heavy snacks pairs perfectly with the small but righteous selection of draft beers and the couple of choice wine picks.

Ladies and gents, it’s time to take a trip up north. Hit Earl’s and also visit their sister restaurant around the corner, ABV. That’s a very Infatuation friendly one-two punch.

Photo Credit: Gloria Dawson

Food Rundown:

Beer Cheese
A spreadable, cheddar based cheese that’s made with house lager that’s served with fresh garlic and toasted bread. So good. It’s hard to stop eating this.

Spicy Tomato Soup

If it’s chilly out, you can’t really beat the combo of a beer and spicy, gingery tomato soup with bread for dunking purposes. Very solid.

Earl’s Taco
Don’t even bother with the knife and fork, the only way to eat this massive “taco” filled with pulled pork, cheese, radish and other goodness is to take a bite and pass it on to the friend sitting next you. Bite, bite and pass homies. This isn’t really a taco, it’s more like a giant open-faced toasted pita. Prepare to get dirty.

Grilled Cheese
There are three different kinds, but the one you absolutely must order comes with pork belly, kimchi, potato chips and a fried egg on toasted sourdough. Best “grilled cheese” we’ve ever had. The more traditional one with mozzarella, miso mayo, potato chips and pickles on an english muffin is incredible as well. Earl’s kills it with their toasted bread, anything that comes on or with bread is silly good.

Mac & Cheese
Honestly, we weren’t too thrilled with the mac & cheese. It’s good and definitely worth ordering, but we dreamed bigger. It should be listed as rigatoni with cheese sauce, rosemary and chicken instead, because that’s essentially what it is. The thick pasta is served in a bowl and lightly covered in a thin sauce. If that sounds appealing to you, order away.

Corned Beef Melt
If the corned beef sandwich is on the menu, make damn sure you order it. It’s a glorious, wet combo of slow cooked meat, melted swiss, sauteed onions with grain mustard on buttery toast. Oh yes. More please.

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