First up is the cheddar toasted cheese
Earl’s Beer & Cheese is a cozy place in a neighborhood with no name, with a food menu so single-minded it’s pretty much restricted to the substance mentioned in the establishment’s moniker. The limited collection of draft beers is fine, too, which makes this the perfect place for you to go if you don’t want to make a lot of decisions about what to eat and drink.
Earl’s is decorated with a stag head and dark patterned wallpaper and only about 15 souls can squeeze in there, and that’s if they try real hard.
Three toasted cheese sandwiches make up the heart of the menu, and constitute some of the city’s greatest drinking snacks.
The first has the ungainly combination of locavoric aged cheddar, pork belly, kimchi, and a nicely fried egg, crisp at the edges. Crazy, huh? Well, it works, even though the only thing toasted about the sandwich is the bread. But there are two other “toasted cheese” sandwiches, too.
The stag head, seen from below
The second sandwich features brie and blackberry moustarda (a sweet, northern Italian conserve) on toasted brioche bread. There’s also something crunchy in there, like a big Southeast Asian shrimp cracker. (Update: It is indeed fried rice paper, via a Twitter communique. Very science-cheffy!)
The third and best comes on an English muffin and looks like a scary head seen from the top with pickle eyes and nose. It also features miso mayo, potato chips, and fresh mozzarella, which is melted and comes oozing out the sides. I could eat this sandwich every day, or maybe for breakfast. Fantastic!
Earl’s Beer & Cheese
1259 Park Avenue
Typical beer selection, changes frequently
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 20, 2011