The Earl in question is not a misplaced peer of the realm, nor a big burly bloke from central casting, but the talented and female chef Sandra Earl, who has been running the business for four years, after a career as a chef that has seen her work with Colin O’Daly when he owned The Park, and a stint in Ernie’s of Donnybrook when it was the venue for Paolo’s TV show The Restaurant. Sandra is a talented cook who has transferred her talent and experience from the pressure of high end restaurant kitchens, to this more organic and that personal business.
Earls Kitchen is situated in Old Cornmarket, which is the laneway connecting Market Square with Fair Green. The shop is modern in style and layout, with a black and white theme, carried through to the cool logo and chess board floor, with simple wooden tables and chairs, and a large display counter of the food on offer.
Earls opens daily for breakfast and morning coffee, but they really come into their own with lunch and the absolutely smashing desserts. The menu changes daily, and the specials are written on a large blackboard, but on any given day you will have a soup of the day (we enjoyed a spinach and broccoli broth), possibly a Thai green curry or beef stroganoff, along with their delicious homemade salads of which the spiced chickpea with roasted vegetables or the petit pois, bacon feta and mint are among our favourites.
Along with the savoury goes something sweet and the selection of cakes and desserts are really very good, while the prices are kept at a very good level. There is also a range of ready made meals to enjoy at home, while for occasions they have a catering service.
Sandra Earls Deli raises the bar and shows you how good homemade food can be. The only pity is that replicating these owner managed gems isn’t that easy, otherwise there would be no place for the homogenised chains that serve chilled sandwiches and flavoured milk drinks masquerading as coffee. Mind you, then it wouldn’t be quite as obvious how good Earls Kitchen is, so I suppose it’s an ill wind etc. If you are down Navan way, definite destination for daytime bite.