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Earl's Sandwiches, Owner Steve Dugan's Carryout Cafe in Clarendon and Ballston

128 posts in this topic

I live a few blocks from Earl's and my wife and I have been going just about every weekend for lunch. I am glad they have received the recognition from the Post! This is quality stuff folks. I have tried the Roast Pork, Roast Beef ( my favorite), Grilled Cheese, and the hamburger and hot dog. They just recently added hand cut French fries and these are very good, as well as the soups, if they have it I recommend getting trying the lentil.

If you live or work near the Courthouse or Claerdon area give Earl's a try! I have never seen many people there during my visits, and Five Guys is opening soon nearby, which could provide even more of a distraction form a very worthwhile sandwich shop!

http://www.washingto...6022100317.html

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From limbo here in Courthouse, Earl's has been a favorite stop on the way to "Whole Paycheck". This Monday the girl and I stopped in and I grabbed their version of a turkey salad sandwich, which was different from any other turkey or chicken salad I've had. I believe there were various types of peppers thrown in to the mix with the customary celery, giving the sandwich a strong tang. The roast pork sandwich with garlic mayo was likewise delicious.

The shop is not without its pitfalls. I wish I had known to get the buns toasted before the sad realization that they were a bit heavy with the condiments. Worse, I wish they had a better selection of beverages -- which may come in time.

Still, it's a great place to grab lunch. Hoorah for independent sandwich shops.

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Earl's was pretty slammed during lunch today. The place really isn't laid out to handle a crowd - there's no room for any sort of substantial queue.

Operational critisisms aside, I had a delicous roast beef sandwich and some tasty freshly cut fries. I'll be going back frequently once the buzz dies down.

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So here's a question: Earl's or Breadline? Discuss. :lol:

I'll be trying Earl's tonight on the way home from work if I get out early enough.

Edited by Principia

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I have known Steve for quite a while and I have discussed his thoughts for Earl's at some length. He is absolutely hardcore about the quality of the ingredients for his products and it seems to be showing in his food. I was not sure he would succeeded in a world of corporate sandwich shops, but it just proves if you make a great product at a fair price people will come. Continued good luck to him and Earl's.

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Got to Earl's for lunch on Saturday around noon quickly realized that we arrived just in time. As soon as we ordered the place filled to capacity plus. Reviewed the menu and ordered a Monty (sliced roast beef with BBQ sauce) and the speical of the day. The special was a sloppy joe with fries ($3.75 if I remember correctly). The sandwiches were good, the BBQ sauce pretty basic, slightly sweet with a touch of vinegar. The sloppy joe was much, much better. Homemade with minced 'beef stew' meat, not hamburger, with bits of onion and green pepper. The fries were not that great, nicely browned but flabby and undercooked.

Would I return, sure. Hopefully they will get the fries figured out by then.

BTW, there are around 15 total seats so it is not just a carry-out as the article suggested.

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Has anyone else been here?

Sandwiches continue to be tasty, but the fries appear to be a lost cause. Save yourself the $1.99 and get something else. I guess it is time to try some of their sides.

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Has anyone else been here?

Sandwiches continue to be tasty, but the fries appear to be a lost cause.  Save yourself the $1.99 and get something else.  I guess it is time to try some of their sides.

I got there for a very late lunch last week. My fries were nicely crispy, so I think it may just be an intermittent problem?

Very nummy all in all.

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I love this place because it is totally locally owned and operated. The prices for breakfast can't be beat. Oh their hours have recently changed as not enough people eat breakfast these days. They are open from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week to concentrate on lunch and dinner. Can't remember weekend hours. For now you can still get breakfast at lunch.

Haven't tried the fries. They have a nice side salad. It has apple slices on it. Walnuts if you like... I don't like so I didn't have.

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I love Earl's and what they are doing. I eat there quite often. I can say the past few times I have noticed some quality and consistency issues. I think the volume of customers is already stretching him. I hope he can balance the quick growth with his objectives.

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I love Earl's and what they are doing. I eat there quite often. I can say the past few times I have noticed some quality and consistency issues. I think the volume of customers is already stretching him.  I hope he can balance the quick growth with his objectives.

I have been a fan of Earl's since the beginning, and I am glad to see that they are doing well judging by the size of the crowd I saw there on Saturday afternoon. I really loved the place when they had a real simple small menu, that focused on a few very good sandwiches. What I noticed this weekend was cause for concern.

Earl's is now offering dinner specials, and I don't mean sandwiches. I believe I saw a crab cake special, and a few others on the outside board. What I did like, was the selection of sandwich specials on the blackboard inside. There was a rainbow trout sandwich,and a grilled salmon sandwich, that was quite good. I hope they don't try to do too much, that it really starts to have a negative impact on the quality of the sandwiches.

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I tried them out last week based on all the comments here and can say I was underwhelmed. My Mona Lisa sandwich (with grilled eggplant, pesto mayo and other grilled veggies) had enough grease to lubricate a giant roller coaster.

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For lunch today I tried the Roasted Earl, and found it to have potential, but lacking. The meat was decently cooked, but needed quite a bit more seasoning. Once I added some salt and pepper to it, the sandwich was much better. I do like the combination of roasted garlic, and roasted green peppers with the pork.

I also tried the hotdog and was not very impressed. They cooked it in water before grilling it for a few minutes. It was not horrible, I just would not order it again.

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For lunch today I tried the Roasted Earl, and found it to have potential, but lacking.  The meat was decently cooked, but needed quite a bit more seasoning.  Once I added some salt and pepper to it, the sandwich was much better.  I do like the combination of roasted garlic, and roasted green peppers with the pork.

I also tried the hotdog and was not very impressed.  They cooked it in water before grilling it for a few minutes.  It was not horrible, I just would not order it again.

I had the same thing for lunch today too. I agree totally on the comments about the seasoning and I cannot imagine the sandwich without the garlic mayo.

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For lunch today I tried the Roasted Earl, and found it to have potential, but
I had the same thing for lunch today too. I agree totally on the comments about the seasoning and I cannot imagine the sandwich without the garlic mayo.

Hey,

I said it was important; I didn't say it was any good. :)

Seriously, here's what I like about the Roasted Earl:

The pork is roasted in-house daily.

Green peppers are grilled to order and he takes his sweet time doing so (I should have mentioned that you must get the 95-cent supplement of grilled peppers and garlic mayonnaise. Otherwise it would be too plain.)

They spread the mayonnaise on thinly, not with a slather, and it isn't the focal point of the sandwich.

It's healthy, not gloppy, and it won't make you want to nap.

The flavors are basic enough so that you'd enjoy ordering it again.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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It's healthy, not gloppy, and it won't make you want to nap.

The flavors are basic enough so that you'd enjoy ordering it again.

I just wish he would use a little salt and pepper on the pork. I think that it would drastically improve the sandwich. I noticed that he gave the hamburger a little shake of something before he served it, the pork needs a little of whatever was in the shaker. Otherwise, I agree it was a decent sandwich bordering on quite good.
I said it was important; I didn't say it was any good.

By important, do you mean Dumbarton Oaks Conference important, or more like Afterschool Special important?

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Dudes,

I said it was important; I didn't say it was any good.  :)

You said that about Dino, too. :angry::angry: <joke> <soooo a joke> <a not-that-funny joke>

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For those occasions when I don't feel like cooking lunch for myself, I wander over to Earl's and have a sandwich, a IPB Rootbeer and a bag of chips. I love the roast beef, pork and had a wonderfully fresh blt there the other day. The sourdough was lightly toasted and chewy at the crust, very well done. I like Steve and what he's doing there and I will continue to make it my goto for a sandwich and a soda. Much better than subway or any of those other places.

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I had one of Earl's signature sandwiches today for lunch - roast turkey on ciabatta with pesto mayo, lettuce and tomato (though I had them hold the tomato).

The strength of Earl's sandwiches is the meat, which is roasted in house. Although mine lacked seasoning, that was easily remedied with the personal stash of salt I keep in my car. My sandwich had a mix of light and dark meat, which I appreciated.

The drawback was the bread. I don't recall any mention of baking bread in house, so no big deal, but the ciabatta had the texture (kinda chewy) and flavor (not much) of something you'd pick up at the Safeway bakery. Not horrible, just not good. That said - I didn't really care about the bread. It's great to be able to get a decent sandwich at an independent shop.

I'd rather pay $6.29 for a turkey sandwich with house-roasted meat and mediocre bread than the same price for one with house-made bread but processed meat.

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I've been 3 times now and I keep hoping that this place is going to get decent bread, but it appears like that will not happen. I do not understand why someone would take the time and care to get good quality, fresh meat to fill their sandwiches but insist on putting it on store-bought hamburger buns, doughy ciabatta bread, or paper-thin wraps. It must be a price issue, but I wish he would just add $1 to the price of the sandwich and get something good. Also, the aforementioned lack of seasoning is kind of odd, but fixable after a couple packets of salt and pepper and some Old Bay.

I would be in heaven if I could get the meat from Earl's and put it on the bread from Italian Store. That would be a damn good sandwich.

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Slightly off topic but Earl's in Clarendon is another place that makes a good sandwich and roasts their own meat (menu).

I had a pork BBQ sandwich a few months back that I remember being tasty.

I'm relatively new to the board so apologies if everyone's already familiar with the place.

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Slightly off topic but Earl's in Clarendon is another place that makes a good sandwich and roasts their own meat (menu)

I had a pork BBQ sandwich a few months back that I remember being tasty.

I'm relatively new to the board so apologies if everyone's already familiar with the place.

Welcome to the boards! (Earl's Sandwiches thread.)

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Just stopped by Earl's and had the Monty. It appears that they are now open until 8 (earlier in the thread I believe it was stated as 7). While I will agree that others that the bread was the weak link it didn't bother me all that much. They may have been because I ate in and the sauce didn't have time to seep into the bread.

I'd liken the Monty to everything that an Arby's sandwhich aspires to be but falls horribly short of. Wonderfully roasted beef, a sweet and tangy thin barbecue sauce and a nice horseradish sauce with just a little bite to it. I was worried the barbecue sauce would completely overpower the roast beef, but this sauce is thin enough that it's not a problem.

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