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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch: Return of Earl
June 5, 2011

Back on March 13th, Sunday Brunch took you through the history of the sandwich, the history of the Earl of Sandwich, and interviewed the biggest fan of the restaurant Earl of Sandwich. Today, Sunday Brunch brings you a firsthand look at Earl of Sandwich because the writer of Sunday Brunch himself had brunch there yesterday!  Well, lunch actually, but this blog is not called Sunday Lunch.

Finally at Earl again, the other
Happiest Place on Earth

The sun was shining in the sunshine state as we drove into Lake Buena Vista after driving nearly 20 hours straight from NJ.  We had driven all day and all night, avoiding 16 wheelers and other cargo trucks down Interstate 95 and through 7 states along the East Coast.  Finally, we arrived in Florida in the wee hours of the morning of Saturday, June 4, 2011.  We stopped at the Florida Welcome center for a brief respite before heading back on the road towards the Happiest Place on Earth.  Finally, we reached our destination around lunchtime and there's only one thing we must do today: visit our good friend Earl and enjoy the 'World's Greatest Hot Sandwiches.'  As it was lunchtime on Saturday in June, as well as being at the popular sandwich shop, the restaurant was starting to spill out guests as we approached the main entrance.

You'd think this was a line for Toy Story Mania, not sandwiches!

Well, you would hope people would line up for the World's Greatest Hot Sandwiches

We happily joined the long line, knowing the efficiency of service of the staff at Earl would get us to our meal lickety-split.  Not to mention the finger-licking good sandwiches, which are always worth any wait.  While we waited in line, a nice young lady named Berline greeted us in line.  She was from Miami and decided to move up to Orlando and work in Disney World.  She asked us where we were from and told us about the most popular sandwich (the Earl's Club), which was also her favorite.  She helped the line go by as she walked down with us as we chatted.  Such a nice young lady!

Today's Menu comes with a Patriotic Guest!

With so much to choose from at Earl, it's tough to decide.  Not only are there great sandwiches, Earl serves up hot, savory soups, perfectly blended salads, as well as side salads, chips, cookies and new to the menu: cupcakes!  For this trip, I chose to go for my old favorite: The Hawaiian Barbeque.  My brother, Saturday Matinee's Albert Gutierrez, ordered his usual the Carribean Jerk along with a hearty tomato soup and frozen lemonade.  My dad ordered the Mediterranean Tuna Salad and my mom ordered her favorite, also the Hawaiian Barbeque.

Tomato Soup has always been a great addition to any sandwich meal.

Earl goes on vacation and serves up the delicious Hawaiian Barbeque Sandwich

The Hawaiian Barbeque sandwich serves up the perfect combination of ham, chicken, pineapple, and Earl's Hawaiian barbeque sauce.  I am a big fan of pineapple, so I love getting any dish served with pineapple.  For instance, Red Robin's Banzai Burger (grilled pineapple on a teriyaki infused burger) is always my go to favorite.  Pineapple does something magical when paired with meat.  It's often used on hams and other potentially tough meats because of its natural tenderizing properties.  The tropical fruit contains an enzyme that breaks down the proteins in meat, thus creating a tender bite while also adding a sweet and sour citrus flavor to the marinade.  In the Hawaiian BBQ sandwich, the sweetness of the pineapple also helps balance the saltiness of the ham and the smoky flavor of Earl's barbeque sauce.

The other great thing about Earl of Sandwiches food is the bread!  Many people wonder what makes it so good, well it's because the bread is probably the freshest you'll get at any fast food-esque eatery.  Earl won't serve you two plain ordinary slices of white bread, he gives you miniature loaves with flavor so fresh, it seems to be straight from the oven.  The secret to the fresh bread is sitting right above the sandwich makers.  Plastic bags of white bread line the shelves, they seem to be done, but they are not since there appears to be no crust on this bread.  These are actually the stage between bread dough and a finished loaf of bread.  The bread dough is par-baked; it is baked only halfway, then frozen and waits until right before service to finish baking.  Not only does this keep the bread fresh, it also is a terrific method for controlling costs and improving efficiency in the kitchen.

We all enjoyed our Saturday Lunch, and I have a sinking feeling that for Sunday Brunch, we'll be having some Earl of Sandwich again.  I noticed they've recently added a breakfast sandwich menu too!  Even if we don't have some Earl's breakfast tomorrow, I've got seven whole months ahead of me in which I can check it out!  In conclusion, Earl of Sandwich is yummeh.


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