I probably should have divided counter service restaurants from table service, but, at least for me, I get the same joy from both, even though they are two completely different eating experiences. I judge them more by their atmosphere and food quality versus whether or not it's a "typical" restaurant setting. You still sit and eat at both, the only real difference is getting stuff yourself versus tipping someone else to do it for you. At least with getting it yourself, you know you're getting it the way you want it.
Like Pecos Bill's, Earl of Sandwich is one of those places that I end up at several times throughout the trip, although not quite as frequently, since it is Downtown. It's also the last stop on our way out because we always buy several sandwiches to take home in either checked bags or in a cooler for the drive. I have had them several days after arriving home (refrigerated, of course) and they still taste almost as good as if they were fresh! The meat still melts in your mouth and the bread (which I'm not a fan of any kind of bread) holds up quite well considering.
I'd like to say this is one of the few times it wasn't crowded, but a huge group of people had just left and there was plenty in the queue to easily fill all these seats plus some:
I do typically get the same sandwich every single time...the Original 1762. It is roast beef and cheddar with a horseradish sauce. Typically, I don't care for horseradish, but theirs is different! I have been known to vary sometimes with either the Italian or the Full Montague (which is basically the same as the Original, but without the horseradish and with tomatoes, lettuce, and mustard).
Here is my favorite:
On a dessert standpoint, I typically will either get a muffin or a cupcake (since dessert is part of the meal plan and you're paying for it anyway). They do have bread pudding, but theirs has a touch of cinnamon in it, which is just a touch too much.
Earl of Sandwich is not owned by Disney, but unlike its other non-owned counterparts (i.e. Wolfgang Pukes or Rainforest and T-Rex), it still has a bit more of a definite Disney flair to it (and I can't honestly say why). On the negative side, it is ALWAYS crowded and extremely loud. The drink dispensers are not easily gotten too because they are way too close to the seating area and there are tons of people standing around waiting for their order. There is never enough seating either. It is definitely one that could use an expansion! We typically end up outside on one of the brick-edged foliage displays and enjoy it much better:
The CM's that work there also tend to be a bit curt...not necessarily unfriendly but not really "nice" either. They are all running around like chickens with their heads cut off 24/7, so I get it (and can get over it). The end result of the food is more than worth it!