With an invitation to a Chef’s Table at Earl’s North Vancouver, Mr. and I sampled a number of dishes from their brunch menu. Before this, I never knew that Earls has an actual brunch menu, and it never came to mind when I looked for brunch spots.
For drinks we had two options, Mimosa or its Signature Caesar. The Mimosa was the classic combination of sparkling wine with orange juice; it wasn’t too strong in alcohol, making it a great option for women. And for the manly men, Caesar would be for you. I’m not a huge fan of the savoury taste in Caesars, but I was quite impressed to hear the long list of ingredients in Earls’ version: Red Tabasco, Green Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce, Horseradish, Onion Powder, Soy Sauce, HP Sauce, Roasted Pepper.
We got to sample 4 dishes on the brunch menu. First up, the Granola + Yogurt Parfait was quite pretty to look at, and tasty, too. It had a lot of crunchy elements from the house made flax, toasted almonds and pecans, and rolled oats. The use of fresh blueberries, along with agave syrup, gave it a sweet balance. You can control the sweetness by adding as much, or as little, agave syrup as you wish. This makes a healthy yet fun breakfast. I tend to prefer fruit yogurt and never pay much attention to plain yogurt; but now I’m inspired to create my own version of yogurt parfait for breakfast.
Next is a classic brunch menu item, Eggs Benny. It uses Virginia ham, which itself isn’t very special. I actually found it a bit too salty on its own. The highlight was the use of their house made sourdough as the bread vs. the traditional English muffin. We really liked it when we first tried it at the PoCo store. The slight sourness worked really well with the poached eggs and took away the salt in the ham. The crispy fried potatoes were also a welcomed change from the usual hash brown. They were really crispy and nicely seasoned.
The Chorizo + Mushroom Hash is a great option for meat lovers. The subtle heat of the chorizo sausage was great, the mushrooms added earthiness to the dish, and the poached eggs and avocado just made this into a creamy concoction. Because our plates were to be shared so I’m not sure what the actual size would look like. If this was an indication of portion size, it might be too rich and heavy for one person to finish this plate.
I actually attempted to make a yolk porn out of this plate but Mr. totally ruined it. It was very well documented here. Heart broken.
The last dish was the Eggs Florentine. This would be great for your vegetarian friend. The polenta was well cooked, and mixing in the spinach and mushrooms, it was creamy, cheesy, and it’s not boring! I liked that it’s paired with the toasted sourdough as your dipping apparatus. This too could also be too rich for just one person; I would recommend getting this to share.
And yes, more poached eggs. It seems like its brunch menu is filled with poached eggs, making it much easier for the cooks to do the prep work and actual cooking. I had to give my poached eggs a second chance and this time the egg was cut up properly, yolk oozing right out.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of Earls’ brunch menu. Their dishes are also very reasonably priced, at roughly $12-13 a piece. In fact, I told my colleague JN about it and she went to a different Earls location shortly after, and she too was quite happy with her brunch with friends. As a chain restaurant located in most neighbourhoods, I think Earls can actually be a good spot for brunch!
Note: This was a complimentary meal but all opinions are my own.
Earls North Vancouver Tin Palace
303 Marine Drive, North Vancouver