My friend Karen and I tend to have some dangerously decadent get togethers. Together we have combed NYC on culinary safari leading us to discover some amazing food and drink! Planning a moveable feast of the Upper East side and Harlem we decided to start at Earl’s Beer and Cheese, a postage stamp sized spot on the UES that surpassed any food porn dream I’ve ever had of one of my favorites, grilled cheese.
Located on a desolate block of Park Ave between 97th and 98th street Earl’s is the brainchild of Adam Clark and Michael Cesari. Clark and Cesari are also the great minds behind Vinyl Wine Shop, ABV Wine Bar and the newest addition to their growing empire a cocktail bar next to Earl’s the Guthrie Inn.
After hitting up the cash machine around the corner (cash only please at Earl’s) we wandered in to spy a long wood table, funky deer heads and an old school hunters mural covering the small wall next to the tiny bar. As we chatted with the friendly bartender I had the feeling I was in a suburban man room complete with a rotating selection of craft beer available in can, on draft and growlers to go. The menu also included some interesting wines by the glass but we decided on some smoked porter saving the wine choices for our next stop, ABV around the corner. The small but well thought out food menu includes mac and cheese, cheese plates, grilled cheese, a pasta dish and an eggo waffle topped with foie gras, Cabot cheddar, coffee cured bacon and maple syrup! The eggo sounded like a gourmet stoner food boner, something I may have whipped up in the 80’s at 4 am, I couldn’t wait to check it out! Super disappointed that they were sold out of the eggo we opted for an order of the beer cheese and a grilled cheese made with pork belly, kimchi, aged cheddar and a fried egg.
We selected another beer, a refreshing, local NY pilsner as our snacks arrived. Biting into the crunchy, toasted bread a huge Cheshire cat grin beamed on my face, the bizarre combination of spicy, savory flavors incorporated with the magically melted cheddar put me in cheese heaven! I was already planning to recreate this at home. Completely awesome!
Finishing up Karen and I decided we LOVED Earl’s! Walking around the corner to the next stop ABV we started planning another visit to this great find! Try it you’ll like it.