Nobody Puts Burger in The Corner

Burger Breakdown

The Corner - Map It!
$14.00
Aged cheddar, lettuce-tomato-onion, and a pork belly slider (pork belly slider not included but recommended).
Thick golden brown, hand-cut, salt spiced, and included. Hard to beat.
7.0/10

The Corner is the kind of building you expect to find in Rajovic, Iceland circa before the country ran out of money. It's a sleek brick exterior with lovely tree-topped deck and modern variant on a rustic wooden interior. The restaurant is long and thin like any row house in the city, boasting a nice happy hour with half price appetizers and reasonably priced beers. Beer drinkers beware though, there are no taps down on the corner.

The Burger: The no frills cheeseburger uses aged cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and onion on a brioche roll.

 

Photo of the burger at The Corner in Philadelphia

Laurence: The hardest reviews to write are for restaurants I like but that didn't strike me as amazing. That makes writing about The Corner the editorial equivalent of brushing one's teeth: it needs to be done but there's not much joy in it. The problem is that eating the food there was very enjoyable. The atmosphere was comfortable and relaxing which makes it easy forget much, like a friend's living room.

I recently returned from a trip to Colorado, and had spent an evening in Aspen. Looking for a decent restaurant in Aspen was a long and painful experience, not because the food or menu looked subpar anywhere, but due to the fact that the ambiance of many of the bistros and cafes made them seem impossibly snobby. This sentiment was seconded by the clientele, many of whom were impossibly snobby and stirred in me the desire to smash a Ferrari with a tire iron. Had The Corner existed in Aspen, my search would have been considerably less protracted. The Corner is the kind of restaurant I find myself drawn to over and over again. It's just an easy space to fit into, which makes it hard to describe in some ways because it doesn't stand out as much as other establishments.

The burger is a simple preparation, topped with nothing more than cheddar, the top of which seemed to have been exposed to the flame of a blow torch to allow it to melt into the coarse texture of the patty while adding a light browning to the cheese itself.

My first bite of the meat left me thinking that it was cooked in a vat of butter. Now it obviously wasn't. The top and bottom were charred just slightly but the taste was incredibly savory. It may very well have been cooked with a dollop of butter over it allowing it to liquify and help sear the meat or it may have been the cheese, saturating the meat. Whatever the cause, the effect was a very savory burger that triggered every salivary gland immediately upon touching the tongue like some sort of hard line into a slightly more animal past.

The bun was probably a brioche. It was fresh, artisan, and had the telltale glossy brown crust that usually comes about by being brushed with egg while baking. It was sliced and grill-warmed, probably with more butter prior to serving.

The only other toppings were the standard lettuce, tomato, onion. The vegetables were very fresh and vibrant, with rich color bright flavor, even though much of it disappeared into the more pronounced salty savory flavors of the meat and cheese. The healthy side of fries came golden brown, skin on and hand cut, putting them on the above average side of the city's offerings in that department.

And while all very good they somehow fell backburner to the happy hour priced pork belly sliders we had with our beers. Kyle elaborates on this more fully but I will sum it up by saying that they are damn good and well worth your time as is The Corner in general. Rating 7/10.

Photo of the burger at The Corner in Philadelphia

Kyle: Here are the things I remember about The Corner:

  1. Amazing pork belly sliders
  2. Cool, contemporary atmosphere
  3. “Nobody puts baby in The Corner.”

Not included on this list? The burger I ate there, which doesn't bode particularly well for the 13th street establishment.

I know that The Corner's burger was good, because I wrote as such in my notes, and I would never lie to myself except about little things like alcohol addiction and why getting a linguistics degree was a good idea. But despite allegedly enjoying the meal, I don't remember a lick about it.

What I do know (e.g., what I'm making up right now) is that The Corner offered a very basic, but very enjoyable hamburger. Modern American cuisine seems to revolve around doing simple things well, the “simple” part being the American contribution, and The Corner's fare exemplifies this to a tee. A lightly seasoned, perfectly cooked and flame-kissed beef patty is adorned with the most traditional of toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar. Pickles and fries on the side, American flag and screeching eagle in the background.

All ingredients here are as good as they get. The patty is seared on the outside, pink on the inside with a buttery flavor. The vegetables are fresh, the meat pink and flavorful, the potato bun soft and sweet. The extremely crispy fries smack of kettle potato chips, matched by the crispness of the pickle on the side. It's all very good.

It's all very boring.

It's so very boring I don't have anything to say about it. So let's talk about the pork belly sliders instead, because goddamn son. Goddamn.

Soft as a baby's cheek and cooked just enough to reduce your trichinosis risk by 50 percent, these little beauties are worth several trips to The Corner. The light gray-and-pink slab is heavily marbled with fat, and the strong roast pork scent hits your nose before the plate hits your table. Add in the perfect mini brioche and spicy mustard combo, and I could easily make a meal of these. At $5 between 5 and 7, they're my vote for best happy hour food in the city. Go get them today, and then guiltily order the burger so people don't think of you as one of those cheap bastards who tries to make a meal out of discounted happy hour snacks. Rating: 7/10.
Pork Belly Slider Rating: ∞/10.

Verdict: 

It's a good burger though there are more memorable in the city. Easy atmosphere and a few good beers. Awesome happy hour includes half priced pork belly sliders that really will leave a lasting impression.

7.0
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