Monday, 16 April 2018

Earls (on Main)

...but not on your own.
When I started on this blog, I decided that I wasn't going to review chain restaurants because it didn't make sense to me (Solo in Winnipeg should be restaurants exclusive to Winnipeg, I figure). But also, when I started this blog, I decided I was going to post twice a week. Sometimes we have good reason to break our own rules. Sometimes we don't. Reviewing Earls on Main is the former. I think. I'd received a gift card and saw they had a pretty cool happy hour menu, so I took myself there after work, and eating there alone brought on all the clichés that people assume you'd experience when going out alone that I hadn't experienced until now.

Didn't try these, but I appreciate that there are
options for people who want to be Happy but
don't imbibe.
I sat in the lounge, because that's where the Happy Hour menu is served. The server set a second place at my table without asking and then kind of ignored me  since she probably assumed I was meeting with something. She came by and asked if I'd like a drink... Which she set down at my imaginary friend's place instead of at mine. I didn't get the chance to put in a food order then because she was a big fan of kind of dropping off my order and then walking away really quickly. I cut her some slack for about four seconds, thinking she was the only server, but then saw that there were two others working the lounge with her. I don't know if this is a reasonable number of staff for the lounge at this time, but the others seemed to have the time for their tables so... Maybe I pissed my waitress off by not bringing a date when she so clearly set a place for him? Who knows. I was a little worried I'd sit there until Happy Hour was over and/or starve to death waiting for a date who would never arrive that I assume was the signal my server was waiting for, but I was able to use my laser eyes to get her attention before either of these things happened.

The drink that couldn't save the day.
The Happy Hour menu includes both food and drinks and is as reasonably priced as you'd expect it to be. The Margherita pizza was good enough, but the avocado toast was definitely not worth forgoing a mortgage for. If you want that level of good, you have to take yourself to Forth. My Moscow Mule was somehow indistinguishable from my Mojito... I don't know if that's because my server had decided to not listen to me since I'm clearly crazy, eating alone in a lounge after work, or because the bar is just 'meh.' In any case, for the price, it's hard to complain; the drinks had booze in them and the food was palatable. It's hard to ask for more than that.

The lounge is a cool enough place to sit alone, as long as you are okay with your waitress largely ignoring you. My solo date lasted about 45 minutes longer that I wanted, but fortunately there were enough TVs with sports on them to distract me from the person who wasn't taking my orders. Since the speedy service took me past Happy Hour, I got myself a fancy tiki drink at the end that wasn't on that menu. It was nicely spiced with ginger and possibly clove in with all the fruit flavour. It was a nice drink but not nice enough to save the experience.

Rating: * 
Price: $ (Happy Hour Menu)