Having eaten often at the North Vancouver Earl's, when we wanted a good meal on our way to a conference, we stopped at the Surrey restaurant. The problem started as soon as we parked: the dark, unlit parking hadn't been salted, as far as we could tell so we picked our way carefully to the sidewalk. Once there we looked up at the back end of the restaurant and wondered where the door was.
There were no signs and no lights indicating which way to go. We followed one path that had been cleared and salted for about ten feet, As soon as we got within 15 feet of the entrance, we found the sidewalk immediately outside the front doors was covered with a layer of snow that was quickly turning to ice.
When we hit that poor outside maintenance, we should have turned around.
Inside we were seated immediately. Serving staff arrived promptly to take our order, although the distracted waitress didn't listen to anything we said or asked for and almost every request had to be repeated two or three times. If she was busy, we wouldn't have minded but it was early in the evening (6 PM) and there were no more than ten tables occupied with three serving staff on.
Our waitress didn't know what the CAB beef was so she made up an answer. When we looked at the menu ourselves, we found the answer: Certified Angus Beef.
It was the first time we'd ordered anything as ordinary as a burger at Earl's and they were great: excellent! The meat was well prepared and very flavourful.
But the chips/fries were the insipid string type that bear little resemblance to anything remotely potato. What a disappointment.
The final frustration of the evening came when we asked for our bill. The waitress asked if we wanted the debit machine and we said yes. She then left us sitting there for about 10 minutes until we got up and asked her if we could pay. She seemed quite perturbed to be reminded but the restaurant was still 3/4 empty (I wonder why?) and there was a lot of staff standing around talking to each other.
Would we go there again? We might. I hope in the meantime they ask their cleaners to pay attention to the floors in the ladies' washroom. There is a circle of dark scum at the base of the partitions in the toilet stalls. The empty advertising slot had some sort of gunk stuck to the outside. I trust the kitchen is cleaner.
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