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May 27, 2008 03:53 PM

Earl's is open at Square One

The western chain Earl's is finally open at Square One. I know many on this board are anti-chain, but of the many chains, Earl's would be one of my favorite!
Went for lunch today and had the chicken/brie sandwich and prawn taco's. The food was great, but the staff had no idea what they were doing yet! I'm sure this will improve with time..

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  1. "the staff had no idea what they were doing yet! I'm sure this will improve with time.." that is so funny....most people who know the Earl's chain know the service talents isn't hired by how great at serving they are but how great looking they are....

    5 Replies
    1. re: robgm

      +1 :)

      I didn't even know they were opening one. Strange that their first one is in Missisauga. Now still waiting for Red Robins and IHOP!!

      1. re: Wil

        Why wait for more generic poop? Unless of course that is what T.O. taste buds crave.

        Which leads me back to the "failure" of Le Pain Quotidien, Cora, Houston's, and another I can't remember at the moment. All of which are perceived to be of good quality elsewhere (for franchise operations).

        1. re: mrbozo

          Honestly, I find quality chains fail when they come here and I don't understand why. I have eaten at Houston's on many occasions in the States and I haven't had one poor experience. However when I visited the Houston's at Vaughan Mills mall, the food and service was horrible. Why is that the case??

          1. re: callitasicit

            Just an FYI the "Houston Steak & Ribs" resto chain that operates in Canada is not the the same as the "Houston's" resto chain that operates in the US. I too had a bad experience at Houston in Toronto, and I peeked in at the one in Vaughn Mills. They don't look the same or have the same menu as the restos in the states operated by The Hillstone Group. So it's not that it didn't translate well up here, you just got taken by an inferior resto chain with similar name.

            The Houston's down south is a fairly consistant and resonable operation. They even operate one of my fave lunch spots in Napa Valley - The Rutherford Grill.




            1. re: abigllama

              Thanks, I found that out the hard way. What a dirty pool, huh? Who would have thought that it would be a different chain restaurant all together. I heard Houston's Restaurant is pretty good for chain!!

    2. Went to Earl's this weekend on a recommendation from a co-worker. I'll be asking for a reimbursement from him on Monday. Ordered the NY Strip and had mash, warm potato salad, and shrooms on the side. I can honestly say that I've never actually paid money for a steak that tough in my life. I'm including both grocery stores and restaurants. My jaw still hurts. Mind you, it was cooked perfectly (med-rare), but it was like eating a grilled pot roast. It was under-seasoned as well, but that might be personal taste. The sides were all good, but I didn't pay $26 for sides (actually thinking about it, I did pay $7 extra for the sides). I'm downtown and for sure I can't say it's worth the drive to Mississauga especially if you're in the mood for steak. The Keg is like Harbour 60 compared to this place.

      3 Replies
      1. re: blee

        i do hate earl's but i wouldn't order the steak as it is best for appetizers (with a cocktail focused menu) but it best for lunch, sandwiches, large salads with protein and asian fusion dishes...pretty staff but as they say...sack of hammers....

        1. re: robgm

          Went to Earl's last weekend for lunch at Square One for the first time. I was first introduced to Earl's in Winnipeg a few years ago. Aside from the good looking staff, I thought the food was really good and the service was really good. At the time I had a lot of food allergies so I recall making a bunch of changes to my dish and the server didn't even have to write my order down and got my order perfect. It was pretty slow the Sunday afternoon I went at Square One. There were only two servers. I recall in Winnipeg, there were a tons of servers (probably to keep guys distracted, so there was a different atmosphere.) so the Toronto one just seemed like a regular restaurant. Apparently the menu is the same as the ones out west. I usually ordered the chicken and brie sandwich so I wanted to try the one in Toronto to compare. The bread seems a bit different...smaller or flatter but it was so very good and tasty. My friends ordered a cajun chicken sandwich and a curry rice dish. Both were really good and tasty. Both were spicy. I would go back again for the food. Our server was quite good. The hostess was a bit ditsy.

          1. re: babybluepowder

            I was there a couple of weeks back with my wife. I was expecting kind of a low key, business casual type atmosphere but the place was one big frat party. There was a ton of young people there (that's not a complaint) drinking it up, making all sorts of noise. Don't get me wrong, everyone was well behaved but the din in there was very high. It was a bit surprising considering Earl's isn't exactly a cheap place to go for a night out.

            The food was very good but they were out of ribs so I ordered their angus burger and it was excellent. My wife had the strip steak. It looked great and she gave it the thumbs up taste wise Nice fresh sides too. Nice skinny fries as well. Service was a bit slow but I think it was because our server was juggling a lot tables. Service was polite and helpful though when they were at the table, however.

            I'd take it over the Keg. The price point is about the same but Earl's steaks are smaller. Earl's has a lot of non-steak options on the menu too---unlike the Keg.