Panclog #20: Corner Bakery Cafe
Coffee at the Corner
January 12th, 2016 – 7:05 A.M.
Location/Environment: The Corner Bakery Cafe is clean, spacious, and has an inviting atmosphere. The eatery is much in the same vein as Panera, from how orders are taken to the style of decoration. Both restaurants seem to be using the same formula. Succinctly, The Corner Bakery Cafe is Panera minus the bagels. The absolute best piece of art in Corner Bakery Cafe is this fine statue:
If you are thinking that you feel the strong urge that you need this, you are not the only one. I need this baker in my home.
Service: The Corner Bakery Cafe is a pay-first style restaurant. You go up the cashier, who has a large menu on the wall behind them. This style does not often lend itself to great service. That being said, our cashier was very sweet and our plates were cleared promptly after our meal.
Wait time for food: 7 minutes
Menu/Selection: Corner Bakery Cafe has breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have some nice baked goods for snacking. It tends to be of a lighter fare. They have plenty of sandwiches ranging from breakfast to grilled panini. You can browse the full menu here.
Buttermilk Pancakes and Eggs (Brent)
Ordering is done at the counter where the menu is displayed high above. There is an array of baked goods and breakfast sandwiches offered. I went ahead and ordered pancakes, which did seem slightly out of place given their other menu items.
Looks tasty doesn’t it. Two-thirds of it was.
The bacon was quite tasty and well cooked. My preference for bacon is to be crispy and juicy. The Corner Bakery did an excellent job at hitting the bacon sweet spot. The eggs were also very good. They were dense but light on the palate. I was quite happy with how those two items turned out. Unfortunately, it would have been wiser of me to have opted for a bacon and egg breakfast sandwich.
As you have surely guessed, I was displeased with the pancakes. There were a few things going on with these flapjacks that left me disappointed. Firstly, the pancakes were not completely cooked through. Secondly, there was a definite waxiness to the cakes that left a sad aftertaste and texture to the pancakes. Lastly, there was a distinct pickle flavor to the pancakes that implied an accidental spill occurred in the kitchen. Hopefully we caught the kitchen on an off day and that it is not indicative of their normal output. They certainly looked nice on the plate, but those looks were deceiving.
Per usual, I had black coffee with breakfast. The Corner Bakery offered four different roasts that morning, and I went with their darkest roast available. The coffee was good, but not better than what I can make at home.
Considering its price, $2.29, that was a little disappointing for an expensive cup of coffee.
Pancakes, eggs, and bacon – $7.99
Large Coffee – $2.29
Commuter Croissant (Jared)
I went in a different direction, didn’t I? This Commuter Croissant is exactly what it looks like. Tastiness. I could have eaten 3 of them. That is saying more about my ogre-like appetite than about the size of this nice sandwich. This appetite is why I built one of those “complete breakfasts” you always see at the end of cereal commercials. I added on some oatmeal and a slice of cinnamon creme cake.
The ordering process was a bit different. After ordering and paying, I was given a buzzer. The same type that they give you at Cheddar’s when they are packed and you have to wait for your Monte Cristo. Not that I have a lot of experience with that. When I sat down, I assumed I would have to get back up when the buzzer did its thing. It never buzzed, but I was brought my food. This wasn’t a negative. But it did seem unnecessary to use the buzzers.
The sandwich was scrambled eggs, tomatoes, bacon, and cheese all on a buttery soft croissant. I enjoyed this breakfast sandwich. The tomatoes added a nice acidity to the heartiness to the sandwich. I added on some steel-cut oatmeal for $1! It felt like a steal, I could not pass on this fine deal. The oatmeal was topped with the perfect amount of cinnamon. It was enough to flavor the whole cup without overpowering the creaminess of the oats themselves. The oatmeal also was not hard like when I make it at home in the microwave. So that was cool.
Cinnamon Creme Cake was a nice table share. It was dense like most coffee cakes, and very rich. This richness led to the urge to share it with my tablemates.
Commuter Croissant: $4.99
Cinnamon Creme Cake: $2.79
Overall: (Brent) Overall, I would give The Corner Bakery a C-. I am not a fan of giving out such a low grade, but I think you have to if you do not plan on returning. I’m not saying this restaurant should be placed on the banned list, where you would actively refuse going, but it shouldn’t go on the suggestion list.
(Jared) I would have to agree with the sad sad pancakes. I had a couple of bites and I knew something was wrong with them. I am surprised he finished them. My sandwich and sides were tasty. There was nothing to dislike about my meal.