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Foodie Friday: Cuff the Duke does brunch at Earl’s Erling’s Variety

By François Levesque on March 28, 2014

Throughout the year, Apt613 is partnering with the National Arts Centre to bring you restaurant reviews by musicians who are part of the all-Canadian NAC Presents concert series. In this edition, Cuff the Duke headed out to the Glebe to test out the hood’s newest brunch hangout, Earl’s Variety, which, due to a potential legal dispute with a Vancouver restaurant chain has since changed its name to Erling’s Variety.

Erling’s offers diners a bright and spacious room in which to summarily gobble up freshly prepared brunch items made in the open kitchen. It has a great menu to satisfy a mild to medium hangover.

Overall, everyone’s brunch experience was quite nice. “Whenever I first try out a breakfast spot”, says lead singer Wayne Petti, I always tend to try the ol’ stand by… bacon and eggs. Erling’s Variety was no exception.” He ordered the eggs over easy and the bacon crispy. Both were delivered perfectly. Ditto for keyboardist Thom Hammerton, who says the eggs were light and fluffy, and the bacon excellent. “My only critic, nuanced Petti, was of the smashed potatoes. I found them to be a little on the greasy side. Other than that I felt that Erling’s was a fantastic place for breakfast and I would highly recommend it.”

Guitarist François Turenne and bassist Paul Lowman ventured out and tried two variations of the eggs benedict – Muy Picante Benny for François and Wild Mushroom Benny for Paul. The Muy Picante featured a nice balance of spicy peppers and semi-sweet relish on an English muffin topped with poached eggs and a tangy hollandaise sauce. The eggs were poached hard, indicating they bathed in hot water a little too long for his taste. Still, the smashed potatoes and salad on the side were fresh and he left feeling fed but not weighed down. Similarly, Paul’s benny was slightly disappointing. It was a little overcooked and didn’t have the runny yoke one expects from eggs benedict. Drummer AJ Johnson had better luck calling his California Benedict fresh and flavourful.

Erling’s Variety definitely hit the spot for members of Cuff the Duke, who would all love to return upon their next trip to the capital. They loved its great vibe with its bright and spacious room, and open kitchen. They thought Erling’s had excellent coffee and a very good brunch that, with a bit more attention to detail, can be excellent. They gave cudos to a welcoming staff that provided fast and attentive service. Everyone agreed this breakfast was much more satisfying and wholesome than a touring band is accustomed to. “It was nice to finish a meal without the usual throwing out a paper bag filled with wrappers, paper cups and dirty napkins.”

Erling’s Variety is at 225 Strathcona Avenue in the Glebe.