Welcome to Earl’s Strip Club & Sports Bar Beer & Cheese. Earl’s is located a step into East Harlem at the root of where Park Avenue takes off its prestige and spreads wide around MTA train tracks.
Earl’s Beer & Cheese has danced around East Harlem as an unknown asset before climbing the pole to the top of NYC’s cheap eats charts. Every power tool handling, beer drinking, boob loving sports enthusiast alive has thought of the Strip Club & Sports Bar combo at one point or another. But beer & cheese? Truly enlightening, Earl’s.
Pulling up to E 97th and Park Ave, I hopped out of the cab suddenly overcome with the feeling of uncertainty. Is this cheap eats spot simply a figment of my imagination? Storefronts covered with metal gates to my right, train tracks to my left. The only thing missing from the scenario was a nearby airport, a meathead bouncer, $20 ATM fees, and dancers named Chastity. If my palet could speak, it would be cursing Earl’s name while wondering where it could exchange twenty dollar bills for some ones.
Speaking of ones, you don’t need many to eat well at Earl’s Beer & Cheese. Known for its hearty food and reasonable prices, Earl’s has a small and creative menu. The NY State Cheddar incorporates braised pork belly, kimchee, and fried egg into your standard grilled cheese for a uniquely satisfying flavor. The Mac and Cheese, with a shredded chicken surprise, is creamy – yet not overbearing – and quite appetizing. If available, try the bread pudding.
Earl’s comfortably seats around 15-20 patrons. The communal beer hall table – or in this case, beer closet – is great for a group, so longs as you beat the rush, and your group consists of you and one other. Grab some of Earl’s signature beer cheese and wash it down with an ice-cold craft beer.
Not your typical song-and-dance, but worth a ride uptown.
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Earl’s Beer & Cheese
East Harlem – Park Avenue between 97th and 98th