Beer and cheese pub/restaurants are becoming more popular around the five boroughs. CHOW.com Contributing Editor Alex Van Buren likes the vibe and the food at Earl's Beer & Cheese on the Upper East Side and filed the following report.
I’m pretty excited about these new beer and cheese focused bar/restaurants. The one I’m really liking right now is Earl’s Beer and Cheese, a new place on the Upper East Side.
Earl’s is in the middle of a restaurant desert. There aren’t many spots with good food near Mount Sinai, and if you’re in the mood for something comforting, this should do the trick: Beer, cheese, cheese plates, beer cheese, and grilled cheeses. There are not a lot of vegetables other than pickles.
A chowhound called JungMann tipped me off to Earl’s a few months ago, because he’s crazy for this mozzarella miso grilled cheese. It’s storebought mozzarella on a Thomas’s English muffin with a housemade miso-mayo blend and a few garlic dill pickles. It’s tasty, and it’s cheap.
But I think my favorite dish was chef Corey Cova’s tomato soup with a side of beer cheese and hot, buttery bread.
Beer cheese is made from canned lager, sriracha, and shredded cheddar cheese blended in a food processor. It sounds kind of gross, but it’s actually really creamy and tastes a bit like a great pimento cheese. The bread is hot, oily and there’s a lot of it. This soup is so much more interesting than a typical tomato soup: It tastes like a Thai variation because Corey adds ginger, onion, garlic, Sriracha, jalapeno and cream. It’s got depth, and it’s just a little bit spicy.
The end product is like a deconstructed version of grilled cheese with tomato soup. You dunk the bread into the soup, you put cheese on it, you order a big mug of beer from the tap list, and you just sort of hunker down.
Earl’s Beer and Cheese is at 1259 Park Avenue at 97th Street. For more dining recommendations, visit CHOW.com. I’m Alex Van Buren of CHOW.com, for food, drink and fun.