Though we have often been lured out of Alexandria by the expansive shopping center in Tyson’s Corner, we now have one more reason, perhaps a better one, for traveling west on a weekend: Earl’s Kitchen + Bar. Though this widely popular independent Canadian restaurant group has been present in the States for a mere 2 years, its founding principals of fresh ingredients, unparalleled service, and passion for food and people have made it a force to be reckoned with. We discovered for ourselves why everyone is going ape for Earl’s.
With over 65 locations in Canada, Tyson’s Corner is lucky to be among handful of cities in the US to be chosen to launch this popular chain, though I can’t even say “chain” without cringing. It isn’t a “chain” at all, as each location concept is born from the city and the fabric of the community, including menu items inherent to the area. Art that is representative of the vicinity hangs on the walls, and ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible. MBH Architects are responsible for the open, diverse layout which allows diners to experience different “spaces” throughout the restaurant. Industrial and natural elements come together brilliantly in this one place, and create a peaceful and relaxing aesthetic to accompany the meal.
Though Earl’s has made a name for itself with the after-work happy hour and dinner crowd, we were able to sample several of the dishes that are growing in popularity with the brunch crowd, as well as a few appetizers from the main menu. But before food must come drinks, so we can recommend without hesitation the new Strawberry Spritz (a fresh approach to bubbles at brunch) and the Bees Knees, which is presented in the most unique way possible.
Honestly, there isn’t a bad item on the menu. However, if we were forced to pick a winner, I would say the best brunch item was the Spicy Sausage Hash, which I requested due to the spicy chorizo, hollandaise sauce, and AVOCADO. It’s like, my PERFECT dish. Please order it. And then order it again.
Also of note: the Goat Cheese Frittata, Sweet Virginia Benny (be still my benedict-loving heart!!!) and the Steak and Eggs. All flavorful, well plated, and worth ordering to pass around and share among friends.
Off the brunch menu, we tried the Dynamite Roll (LOVE having a sushi option – and this sampler disappeared quickly…) but the trendy Korean Hot Wings were a fan favorite. Being from Buffalo, Scott and I have the right to be picky about wings, and these passed the test with flying colors.
A meal isn’t complete without dessert, so we tried the Gold Digger, the Sticky Toffee Chocolate Pudding (not shown), and the Toasted Coconut Cake.
As a dating couple, we look for ambiance, service, and quality food – where one might lack, others can tip the scales to get us to return. Earl’s succeeded at all, creating an experience that was the trifecta of perfection. Either enjoy a cocktail on the enclosed patio, or sit at the Whiskey bar and choose a wine or beer on tap before heading to a table for a full meal. But take it from us: brunch at Earl’s Kitchen + Bar is not one to miss!
Which item totally piqued your interest! Let us know!