Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cornering the Market on Good Burgers?

The Corner
8961 Adams Ave. 
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

I have to admit, I have become pretty obsessed. I recently got a copy of the Orange County Register's Burger Guide, and I was shocked to see that I had not been to some of the places on their top ten burgers list. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the ever changing OC restaurant scene, but there were a few of these places that I had never even heard of. At that moment it made me question my whole quest to eat at the best places in OC, and show them to you in order for you to make some good choices on where to spend your hard earned dollars when going out to eat. I have now made it my mission to hit up all of the burger restaurants listed on the top ten that we have not been to yet, starting with The Corner.

We were up this way for a beach outing, which featured some great food. I probably had about ten ribs, salad and other assorted barbecue treats, but I saved just enough room to try the burger at The Corner. We were driving right by it on the way back home, so this was a golden opportunity to try out one of the ten best burgers in the county. Coming from the beach, I was a little worried that we would be under dressed for this restaurant, but the dark restaurant really hid the wear and tear the beach had on us.

We got to The Corner at about 8PM on a Saturday night, and were lucky enough to get a table right away. This restaurant is located in an older strip mall, that had a bustling Italian market and take out place next door. Unlike the strip mall, the inside of the Corner was sleek and dark. Part hipster vibe, but without the pretentiousness, we came in here with our flip flops and shorts, but did not feel uncomfortable at all. There are two rooms that make up The Corner. One side is the busy and loud dining room, while the bar area takes up the other half, and shows off a painted ceiling mural that is left over from when this establishment was a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant really had a good mix of customers. Small groups of young women out for a bite to eat before hitting the clubs, middle aged couples out on a rare night away from the kids, and multiple generations of the same family enjoying dinner together. The Corner also kind of felt like the neighborhood kind of place where a lot of people know each other.

The menu here is kind of all over the place. I guess I would characterize the cuisine as new American. The menu is sectioned off by appetizers, salads, small plates, and entrees. The menu notes that a lot of their items are prepared without gluten, and for the vegetarians out there, there are quite a few options for you as well here. The cocktail portion of the menu looked promising as well, but I did not get a chance to try anything from the bar. Let's take a look at what we did order though.

I was not really in the mood for an appetizer because I had eaten at the beach, but Katie really wanted one, so I deferred to her, and let her pick which starter we would share. She settled on the Pickled Seasoned Vegetables ($7). This odd appetizer came with of course the pickled veggies, but also grilled sourdough bread, house made butter, and white cheddar cheese. The components were all executed well here. The bread was nice and grilled, the vegetables were pickled well, and the butter was very creamy, but I do not see how all of these items fit together. The cheese and butter were not easily spreadable on the bread, and the veggies seemed out of place here. After this selection, Katie has now had her appetizer ordering privileges revoked for a long while.

Hopefully Katie had better luck with her dinner selection at The Corner. She went with the House Made Spaghetti ($10). This is an eggless carbonara style pasta dish with English peas. Since there were no eggs used here, it was not as heavy as other carbonaras we have had. The lightness of this dish did not sacrifice flavor though. The sauce was seasoned well, the pasta was fresh, and this meal helped bring back some of the food cred that Katie had lost by ordering that appetizer. This was not a large serving size, but for the ten dollar price tag, it was more than fair. Katie would definitely get this again.

Now the real reason we made the stop here, the 7oz. Hand Formed Burger ($12). This burger came with a plethora of toppings, starting with white cheddar cheese, bacon stuffed jalapenos, grilled onion, tomato, and a salsa mayo. The meat here resembled a backyard style burger. Very good flavor, seasoned well, and cooked to a perfect medium. The jalapeno provided a slow burn that escalated as time went on. The bacon inside the jalapeno was pushed to the background here, but it still lingered. The cheese and salsa mayo provided moisture to the burger, but not much else. Both seemed to get a little lost here. The bun kept everything together, but was a little on the bready side. This was a good burger, and would be worthy of being either on the top ten list of burgers, or real close to just missing the list. For just $2 more, you could add their 48 Hour Fries to your meal. These fries were some of the best we have had, and kind of overshadowed the burger. They are soaked overnight, then dried, then frozen, and then deep fried. Whatever this does to the fries really made them taste good. They had a decent crunch on the outside, and the potato inside was pillowy soft. These were served with a house made ketchup and a secret sauce that resembled a less tangy thousand island type sauce. The dipping sauces were good, but not needed with these great fries.

I really liked our visit to The Corner, but the next time I eat here, I will not be eating at the beach beforehand. I look forward to exploring more of their menu in the future. The Lobster Shepard's Pie, the Sweet and Sour Pork Belly, and the Bacon Wrapped Dates all look very promising, and will be on our table during our next visit, which will hopefully be soon. I did not think the prices were too out of control here. They seem to cut down on the serving sizes a bit to shave some dollars off of the prices. Not necessarily a bad thing. During our visit the service was a little on the spotty side, maybe due to the busy Saturday night crowd, but it did not detract from our experience here. I'm glad I could cross another burger off of the OC Register's best burger list, and now I am down to three that I have yet to try. Better get going.

Out of five soccer balls, (because you can not have a corner kick without one), five being best to zero being worst, The Corner gets 3.5 soccer balls.

For more information on The Corner, click here:

The Corner on Urbanspoon


  1. ...But Zubie's is right across the street. (OK, it's a "different" kind of vibe over there)

  2. Mike - I have not been to Zubie's in years. Might be time to make a return trip and blog about them. As always, thanks for taking the time to comment on the blog.