Earls (Kingsway) – The Bronx Burger
I really can’t recall why we don’t visit Earls more frequently – I kind of group it together with similar establishments like Cactus Club, Milestones, and Joey Restaurants – casual dining atmosphere with some pretty good food options. This particular Earls is located on Kingsway, right underneath Fish on Rice.
We started out sharing their Pound of Thai Chicken Wings with parmesan dip and celery ($11.25). The wings were pretty good – I’ll have to try to remember to come here on Wednesdays after 3pm for their 1/2 price wings.
The Clam Chowder ($7.00) is a New England style chowder with a creamy base and loaded with potatoes, carrots, baby clams and bacon. The soup came out piping hot but the soup was so good that I couldn’t stop myself from almost scalding my tongue.
The Hickory Back Ribs & Cajun Chicken Combo (full order for $30) is served with 2 sides (we picked the asparagus and coleslaw). They don’t skimp on the meat in this dish and it’s only $6.50 more than the 1/2 order so it’s a really good value! The coleslaw is a bit simple in flavour but it had a good crunch and texture to it and it wasn’t overly sauced. The hickory back ribs were superbly tender and fall-off-the-bone tender. And let’s not forget about the chicken – the blackened chicken breast had an ah-mazing tasty (and spicy) skin.
I have a dilemma about the Bronx Burger ($15.50)… but it’s not what you may think. The Bronx Burger is one of THE BEST burgers that I’ve had. Plus, they serve it up with a pail load of yummy skinny fries. So what’s the dilemma you might be wondering? This burger was so good that I would definitely want to order it again the next time I’m at Earls. The dilemma I have is whether or not to order something that I know I like or try something else on the menu that might be just as good or better.
What makes this burger so good? I think the bun deserves a lot of credit. Don’t get me wrong – the 1/2 pound of Angus beef patty is really good. But the lightly toasted, freshly made (from scratch every day) bun really stands out. So many places serve great burgers but it’s annoying when the whole thing falls apart because of a poorly chosen burger bun. Let’s not forget the superbly crunchy and slightly sweet onion rings. This burger is loaded with ‘em and I loved the crackling texture that I got from each bite (yet once you got past the crispy batter, the onions themselves were soft and buttery). To round things out, they top it off with rocket greens, aged white cheddar, red pepper relish and roasted garlic aioli.
You might think that after all of the food, we wouldn’t have room for dessert but we knew better – we packed up some of our main to go so we’d be able to order dessert. At first, I thought this was a waffle bowl when it first came out but in reality, it’s a candy snap basket made from caramel and sugar (a little hard for my liking but if you like caramel, you’ll probably like this). Inside the caramel bowl is the Vanilla Bean Gelato Sundae (from Mario’s Gelato for $7.00) covered with a strawberry topping.
The Warm Banana Chocolate Cake ($8.00) is served with caramelized bananas and caramel walnut gelato served on top of a chocolate rum cake with a banana creme anglaise sauce. The rum was noticeable but not overly so.
If the food wasn’t good enough, the service was probably even better. Our server (Shelby) was extremely attentive and engaging. She made sure to refill our water glasses frequently without asking (I swear, sometimes I would have just set down my glass and she would have it refilled in a snap). The same thing goes for our nephew who had 4-5 refills of his iced tea – all of which were brought to us without asking and within moments of him finishing his last glass.
Our takeout bag had these neat sayings printed on the side of the bag… I like the one about the bacon – it’s too true!
Food: 5 / 5
Service: 5 / 5