“Eat a little, eat a lot,” says chef Michael Bates of the Canadian eatery that opened in Lake Highlands a little over a year ago.

“Earl’s is set up so that you can drop by and get a bite on your way out, or sit down and do it right with a complete meal.”

Despite its national origins, Bates says there’s nothing Canadian about the menu – unless you count the micro-brewed beer – and extols the virtues of such international dishes as “our Japanese-style Gyoza, traditional Indonesian Nasi Goreng and Italian Margherita pizza.”

Other fare includes various cuts of certified Angus beef, chicken and ribs, and pastas and sautes such as lobster and shrimp in champagne cream. Pizzas are baked in Forno ovens, and soups, sandwiches and finger foods round out an eclectic menu.

“The one thing it all has in common is that it’s made from scratch,” Bates says. “Nothing is pre-prepared, nothing made until you order it.”

The hearty fare has attracted a good-sized neighborhood following, including celebrity sightings such as Dallas Mavericks Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, who have occasionally been treated to after-hours service. Even Jerry Jones stopped by midday one Sunday, only to leave when he found out Early’s didn’t offer brunch at that time. (Note to Mr. Jones – Manager Doug Ross says: “Please come back. Sunday brunch at Early’s began April 15.”)

“The neighborhood here has been great,” Bates says. “Customers here have been helpful in directing the menu – in helping us get to know what will work in this area.”

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