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Situated directly in the downtown core of Toronto, Earls stands as warm refuge for any weary traveler. The restaurant and bar lie across the base of 150 King St. West, just steps away from St. Andrew subway station. Its large, cozy interior and refreshing outdoor patio provides soothing relief from the hustle and bustle that is downtown Toronto. The dining areas are large, but once seated, it’s easy to settle down intimately. The dim lighting adds to a warm ambiance, and the upbeat music gives off a chill lounge-electronic vibe. The service is remarkably friendly, and notably attentive to any of your various needs throughout the night.

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The selection on the menu is wide, covering pizza, pasta, various entrées, sandwiches and dessert. An additional menu features special dishes for the evening. This delivers a fresh addition to each of the various dishes offered. The appetizers list is, likewise, very thorough. The cheesy spinach dip comes with endless oven-fresh bread sticks, baked in-house every morning. Evidently enough, Earls originated as a classic ‘burger and beer’ joint, and to this style, they stay true. From the steak selection, the 16oz Rib-Eye is tender, and deeply marinated in a flavourful spice. The meat itself becomes rare as you cut towards the bone, and the peppered fries on the side come with a creamy rich truffle aioli. For burgers, we landed on sampling a veggie patty. The rich combination of garden fresh flavours, between the toasted buns, made it a delicious replacement that even the most dedicated carnivore could not refuse.

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Venturing into the specials, the Vietnamese style chicken is crunchy and authentic. It comes with a side of diced veggies that compliment the dish exquisitely.  Accompanied with melt-in-the-mouth, oven-fresh, naan bread, it seems that each cultural culinary foray is a resounding success.

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Earls is also a bar, and despite not being able to pull up a stool and grab a pint, we were fortunate enough to sample a few of the specialty cocktails they have to offer. The Cabin Fever was presented in an adorable blue mug, but it’s rich combination of Crown Royale, port and ginger with lemon left a surprisingly strong impression. The always extravagant Mexican Bulldog was also delightful, mixing the classic lime margarita with a cool Corona right before your eyes.

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Dessert doesn’t fall short either, with a signature slice of key lime pie, ordered alongside a home cooked chocolate bar. The rich, dark chocolate bar is served with wafer, cream and blackberries, drizzled finely with a sweet glaze. The taste fit quite well with the sweet, yet tart slice of whipped-cream smothered key lime pie. Dessert always seems to leave the best impression when you want to order more of it, even if you just couldn’t take another bite.

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Suffice to say, Earls is a phenomenal kitchen and bar. The combination of fantastic flavour and warm treatment results in a wonderfully encompassing evening. If you are scratching your head, pondering your next dinner reservation, perhaps swing by Earls and see what takes your fancy.