|The famous Earl pork belly sandwich but without the usual cabbage accompaniments|
What wasn’t controversial was the inclusion of a sandwich from Earl Canteen as number one on the list. Earl really has set the bar for seriously gourmet sandwiches in Melbourne made using restaurant quality ingredients. It’s probably no surprise given that the place is named after the Earl of Sandwich, credited with the creation of this lunch time institution.
|The meat ball sandwich in all its deep fried glory|
My only dilemma really was which Earl sandwich to include. I finally settled on the meatball sandwich ($12.50), one of Earl’s newest menu items. It features fat, juicy meatballs made from veal and porcini, teamed with deep fried onion rings, smothered in a three-cheese sauce and encased in a crusty Dench baguette. It’s some serious dude food but it’s great. The other new menu addition is a rather fancy fish finger sandwich ($12) made using crisp, beer battered flathead fillets and a dollop of tangy perserved lemon tartare.
|Roast chicken and chips|
The most famous Earl sandwich is the pork belly ($13.50) and it is certainly made with fabulous tender pork and the most crispy of cracklings. However I have found it is so full on that it can result in a case of the meat sweats. I prefer the chicken and chips ($13) sandwich which is a very British combination of roast free-range chicken, crushed peas and potato crisps. The key ingredient though is a smear of bacon marmalade – sheer salty but sweet genius.
|Chocolate and raspberry friand|
There are a couple of non sandwich options on the menu and Earl also does a good line in cakes and macarons. The chocolate and strawberry friand is moist with a really rich flavour and the macaron flavours most recently featured the very addictive salted caramel. The only downside to Earl is the high prices which mean I might go bankrupt if I eat there every lunch time.
Details: Earl Canteen, 500 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000 (Ph 03 9600 1995)