Sometimes when you go out to eat, you want to be experimental. You want to try out the latest, hottest place in town, and you want to try a chef’s creation that includes octopus, foam and something frozen with liquid nitrogen.
But sometimes, you want something that’s just easy: comfort food, simple, classic, well done. Like your favourite pair of jeans, you want something that is utilitarian, but stylish and comfortable at the same time.
For me, Earls is where it’s at when I’m craving the latter. Family-owned, and still owned and run by the same family some 30 years later, Earls is just easy. While they started as a burger and beer joint (and you can still get an excellent burger there), their menu has expanded over the years to include pizzas, pastas, fish and chips, salads, curries and other happy-hour friendly favourites that pair well with your post-work beer, cocktail or glass of wine, like wings, and their famous crispy dry ribs. Earls now runs 65 restaurants in Canada and the US. And while you’ll find some menu items across the board, Earls is far from being a cookie-cutter franchise.
The ultimate in comfort food, though, for many people, are ribs, and Earls are the epitome of simplistic perfection. Slow-roasted for 6-8 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone, then glazed with their BBQ sauce, which is a little sweet, but with a nice hit of vinegar, and the just a hint of heat. You can try to use a knife and fork to eat them–you won’t need a steak knife, as the meat is incredibly tender–but you’ll probably just end up rolling up your sleeves, asking for extra napkins, and getting messy.
The ribs come with a side of good, old-fashioned coleslaw and what is probably the most delicious warm potato salad I’ve ever had. Potato salad is tricky; it’s far too easy to make as a pile of mayonnaise-scented glop. This is warm, and textured with bits of crispy potatoes, and the skin is left on them, further adding to the texture of the salad. It’s a little creamy, but not overly so–I could have easily eaten an entire vat.
When you’re having ribs, you’ll want a beer to go with, and the on-tap pairing Earls currently has on offering is Alexander Keith’s IPA.
Earls #ThisCallsForRibs Promo includes a full rack of ribs plus a side of warm potato salad and a side of coleslaw for $25. Promotion on currently until June 17. Pints of Alexander Keith’s IPA can be added to your meal for just $4.
We’re giving away a $150 gift card to Earls, which will definitely call for ribs. To enter, do the following:
1. Retweet the following on Twitter:
2. Leave a comment below telling us your favourite way or place to eat ribs.
Contest ends Tuesday, May 6 at 11:59 p.m. One winner will be drawn at random.
Winner: Cristina L.
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