FOOD: The Corner, Philadelphia

Taking a walk through the city on 50-degree and overcast day, dressed in a sweater and laced up in boots, it becomes difficult to stay away from comfort foods. Between the fresh crunching of leaves beneath your soles and the faintest beginning of the steam that rises from under the city streets, all anyone can want for afternoons like this are hot bowls of soup and hearty sandwiches, which is exactly the kind of meal you can get stopping by The Corner.

The Corner serves lunch and dinner everyday, brunch on the weekends, and after 5 p.m. opens up their second floor bar. It’s unassuming to the point that I walked by it twice and didn’t notice until I started paying attention to addresses or signs. Inside, though, the restaurant is inviting and classic. They offer a lunch special for $15 that includes a soup, or salad, and a “larger bite” which generally refers to their sandwich menu. The menu read like autumn’s greatest hits, although the sandwich selections are light on the vegetables—eggplant and avocado were the only featured non-meats. The sandwiches range from french dip to pulled lamb, or grilled cheese with short rib to the Monte Cristo. For lunch on a day like this, it’s simply too easy to skip past salads.

For fall, The Corner is offering a daily butternut squash soup, although the cauliflower soup of the day seemed far too autumn-y to pass up. It came to the table drizzled with olive oil and fresh herbs, creamy and thick without being too heavy. It was warm and as much as I wanted to savor every spoonful, I think the chilly walk that preceded the meal prompted more of a guzzling than what was probably proper for lunch.

The pulled lamb came on a bun topped with red cabbage & yogurt slaw, fries sidled next to the sandwich, which were kind of forgettable. The sandwich, however, was great, holding back on the sauce enough that the lamb stood out for it’s own sake. After eating, it was obvious that the standard pulled pork just wouldn’t have cut it in that moment.

The truffle grilled cheese came packed up with short ribs and definitely stood out with a crispy crust and soft cheese that mixed perfectly with the meat. Accompanied by the cauliflower soup, it could be the more sophiscated colleague of the tomato soup & American grilled cheese that’s considered the traditional cold weather companion. The kind of meal that fortifies a person for the season ahead, and heading back into the chilled streets with a full stomach.

 The Corner
102 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107