Earls (Fir Street)

I would usually never frequent these wannabe “upscale”, “loungey”, “grill” type places (I’m talking to YOU, Joey’s, Browns, Cactus Club…Earls…) but I had a gift card in my wallet that was collecting dust.

I was happy to get a spot on the patio. Unfortunately the red umbrellas messed up all the lighting, so everything has a reddish-tint. I do apologize!

Our waiter was friendly and routinely filled our glasses, took our orders quickly and arrived the with food all in good time.

Chicken, Brie, and Fig Sandwich  $14.00

Chicken, Brie, and Fig Sandwich (Comes with a side of fries)

My friend wanted to be a little daring and decided to try this sandwich. Fig, interesting. I can’t say much about it since I am a pescetarian, but I did have a small bite of the sandwich that had no chicken in it. It was average. The fries looked nice and thin, McDonald’s style (the best kind!)

I decided to be a bit of a pig and order 2 dishes. The Crispy Thai Prawns seemed very appealing.

Crispy Thai Prawns

These had a nice hint of lime and a good amount of spice. Even though it was crispy, it reminded me of fast food. I appreciated the crispiness of the prawns, but something about it’s deep-fried-ness made me feel a little gross. The portion was alright, and my hunger would’ve been satisfied with this dish. Of course, I still think the crispy thai prawns were overpriced for the overall quality and portion. Then again, doesn’t the same go for everything on the menu?

Ok, so here comes my longwinded ramble about the issue with the salad I ordered. Prior to the food arriving, I asked if the chicken could be substituted for seafood due to to my dietary restriction. My server informed me that I could have salmon or prawns, so I chose salmon.

Pecan Chicken Rocket Salad (side size) citrus dressed arugula, beets, pears, goat cheese coulis, candied pecans, pecan and porcini crusted chicken

Looks pretty, don’t it? I got a nice piece of salmon with it too! BUT after I finished this off, I was surprised with a $7 ADDITIONAL CHARGE for salmon! What the heck?! I asked my server and she said that fish is more expensive, so there was an additional charge. Man, was I angry. First of all…

1) If there was an additional charge, why wasn’t I informed when I was ordering? If I had been, I wouldn’t have asked for salmon!
2) The salad doesn’t contain salmon AND chicken. It’s a SUBSTITUTION! So what’s up with the huge add-on to the price of the salad?

Anyway, I didn’t voice any of these complaints that were stirring in my head. My gift card didn’t cover the bill because of this salad mishap. I gave the server my money, expecting change of course so I can leave my preferred tip, and then what does she do?? She says thank you, and never comes back. At first my friend and I thought she was taking a while to come back with the change, so we sat around chatting for about twenty minutes. Finally, I get up from my seat and approach our server. As I was going up to her to ask for change, I saw her speaking with another worker. I heard the other worker mention something about “Well, yeah, fish is more expensive.” I believe my server was talking about me with the other employee, and I found this to be extremely unprofessional.

She gave me my change and I foolishly left her a decent tip, because despite the disappointing experience, I actually enjoyed my food. Sadly, at the end of the meal I was left feeling upset and angry.

Note: I did email the company, and I received a phone call and email from the general manager. I discussed the service issues with him and he apologized, told me he did sit down with the server, and is sending me a $25 gift card. I appreciate his response and concern, but I am still reluctant to return to earls, but I guess I will have to to use that gift card…

Food: 2.8 / 5

Service: 0.5 / 5 (All was going well until the end…)

Overall: 1 / 5

Recommend?: Maybe…for a different location? Don’t go to the Fir street one though…
Earls Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon

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