1259 Park Ave., New York, NY, 10029
nr. E. 97th St.
By cnjiocnidonio on 6/12/2011
This is why the UES can't have anything nice. I was stoked to have a good beer bar in the area, but this place is a nightmare. It is ridiculously small and, as a result, insanely loud even though it can only hold like 20 people. The waitress was rude when I asked for my beer (after she forgot to bring it to the table). Another staff member questioned my ability to "handle" a particular beer when I asked how strong it was. There was a TV set to Wheel of Fortune. But I was willing to overlook all of that because the beer was good and this is the UES. But the final straw was when, after waiting 45 minutes for an order of mac & cheese, the waitress delivered the same order to a group that had just arrived. I asked the waitress when our food would be ready and she responded, "Eventually." We got our money back for the mac & cheese and bolted. This place wouldn't last a month in any other part of the city. What a joke.
By aleggo on 7/12/2011
Best Cheap Eats? Sure, if you enjoy eating leaden grilled cheese sandwiches in a closet. There is literally no place for more than a handful of people to sit in this joint. It's like the famous "stateroom scene" in the Marx Brothers' "A Night at the Opera" when Groucho orders dinner for fifteen people in his tiny cabin on board a ship. The one successful visit I had was early (5-6PM?) shortly after it opened, when it was empty. The food philosophy seemed to be "Let's take some cheese and add more cheese to it. And then some mayo. Not heavy enough? How about a pork belly?" Fortunately for my heart, I have not been able to return to explore the menu further, because of the ridiculous overcrowding. There's one long table that holds around 6 people uncomfortably, plus two very small counters (1 to 2 people each). Zero free floor space for standing, no place to wait for a seat. I doubt it can hold 20 as another review here states. An establishment this small should be a take-out stand. Or a dry-cleaner. If you schlep up to this God-forsaken block (where the Metro-North emerges from underground) you will only find yourself having to head back downtown or across town or wherever for a place that actually has room to serve people. If you do manage to dine there, bring some Lipitor and a defibrillator.
By Lporten on 12/9/2011
We arrived to find an overcrowed closet of a restaurant, and worked our way to the bar. The one server asked what we wanted, and when I tried to tell him that we wanted to wait for our friend before sitting, he literally jumped over the bar, with potato chip crumbs flying out of his mouth, to tell us that seats were not his problem and suggested we ordered a beer (of 4 on the menu). Once we finally sat, we tried to place an order. I had read a rave review of the Eggo waffle on Time Out New York, and was really looking forward to trying it. They of course were out of the waffle, as well as the cheese board. A restaurant that specializes in cheese, was in fact, out of a cheese board. Fine. I attempted to place my order, and the server asked if I wanted to pay now or start a tab. When I told him that I had a tab open, he yelled at me that I should have mentioned that before I placed my order, because he had to write this on a whole other piece of paper. Sorry. Once the food arrived, we were in heaven. The taco was unbelievable, the grilled cheese was delicious, and the mac and cheese was fantastic. But then, once we attempted to pay, the server found it too difficult to split our tab onto 2 credit cards, and threw a hissy fit, while his stupid friend laughed at us. In summation, food is awesome, but if you find that your server is an ugly white guy with bad tattoos and greasy hair held back with a Yankees hat, I would say wait and go another evening.
By HotChildintheCity on 12/9/2011
What I would like to say about the bartender is not appropriate for nymag, so you may have to use your imagination. I am used to nasty bartenders in NYC but wow, this guy was unbelievable. Lucky for him the food was delicious, even though they were out of the two things we wanted, we took what we could get. Seriously, he's a class A dlck. I don't say this to dissuade you from going, I only say this so that when he treats you like crap you don't take it personally. He did it to all of us. Also, place is crazy small, so be prepared. Enjoy! (The taco was unreal. Delicious)
By sangulomar on 7/5/2012
It was a cute place for good prices
By mitchmurr on 7/14/2011
I think the other two "1" reviews are not being fair. Would I run to 97th St to go here, absolutely not. If I was in the neighborhood and wanted a decent bar to hang out in I certainly would come here. The food is very good as "bar food." You are not ordering a sit down dinner meal. This is a bar with some decent food. It is small but not the horror the others describe. Sure, if you need your bar large then you don't come here. When I was there it had about 24 people and that was crowded but fine cause I can handle a crowded bar scene. I'm sure some can't. Soon half left and it was great. The long table sits 8-10 comfortably, contrary to another reviewer. Perhaps he's just really fat with really fat friends. There are other seats too. My biggest negative is the lack of beer choices. There are about 7-8 crafts in a can and 4 on tap. All interesting but I expected a lot more. The bartender was friendly and helpful.
By sloppyjoh on 8/10/2011
I really like this place. I agree with the two (very dramatic) reviewers who note that it is small, but the beer list is interesting and constantly changing and the food is some of the most interesting on the UES. The menu is fairly eclectic while maintaining a cheese focus and has been very consistent every time I've been there.
By salterjm on 3/16/2012
I headed up to Earl's at about 3PM on a Friday. Place was packed and cramped, with just enough room to saddle up at a small side bar; I got over it. Waitress was kind and quick, had recommendations for what I might want to try. A few minutes later, I was sitting with a great IPA and a grilled cheese stuffed with pork belly, kimchi, and a friend egg---delicious. Everyone else--even those standing along the wall--was in good spirits. I was in and out in about 20 minutes. I'll go back again. It's that simple. Why a beer and cheese place ought to be expected to cater to the hyper-sensitivity of fragile NYers is beyond me. Earl's should be taken for what it is and should keep doing what it's doing. Haters gon' hate.