Sunday, January 28, 2007

The sign never lies

Sundays are often my favorite days to eat, giving us one last chance before the week to head out and explore, with complete disregard for time or responsibility. Breakfast is often slept through, leaving brunch for the ambitious, and lunch for the rest of us, as the first meal of the day.

It was that Sunday lunch that brought me and a couple of friends to Earl’s Sandwiches – a grain of sand in an ocean of strip malls that line Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, Virginia. Lured by sign out front printed on an outstretched finger declaring that we should, “eat here”, we wondered on in and took a glance at the menu.

Earl’s, named after the Duke that invented the sandwich, has plenty to choose from. From it’s own signature sandwiches such as The Pearl, which sounds like thanksgiving between two pieces of bread, and The Mona Lisa, which proves that vegetarian options can be just as filling, to American classics such as the BLT and the cheeseburger, the menu is simple enough to be welcoming, but comprehensive enough to welcome any picky eater.

I decide on one of the American classics; roast beef and cheddar on sourdough, served with a horseradish cream. Everything about the sandwich screams fresh. Earl’s roasts their own pork, turkey and beef, and they use only fresh local organic bread. The sourdough is wonderfully toasted and lightly buttered, filled with wonderfully tender slices of roast beef all covered by sharp cheddar and a nicely tangy horseradish sauce.

Sides come separately, but I decided to skip the pasta salad or coleslaw and opt instead for the fresh hand cut French fries – noticing a large pile of newly cut potatoes sitting near a fryer in the kitchen. The fries were a bit under-fried, yet still very eatable with the assistance of some malt vinegar and catsup. Seasoned with just a bit of salt, there was very little uniformity in the cut of the potato, which I suppose is a result of the fresh cutting, and a good thing, but it also left me with several poor excuses for fries within my heaping basket.

For around eleven dollars, which bought me an IBC root beer, a nice sized basket of fries, and a sandwich with a nice pickle on the side, Earl’s turned out to be quite the steal. Whether you’re eating in or carrying out, visiting for a Sunday lunch or a Tuesday dinner, Earl’s local charm and delicious sandwiches might make you think twice before you walk in to another one of those cookie cutter, overpriced, “gourmet” sandwich joints again.

Earl's Delicious Sandwiches
2605 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA

1 comment:

Lizard said...

Looks amazing. Good choice with the "good ol' American" style.

Didn't they have apple pie, though?