Editor’s note: Adam Brandt is a graduate from the Cobra Kai School of Culinary Callousness, where he received their highest award, the Red Apron of Merciless Eating. Aside from eating and talking about eating, he makes pots, paintings, prints, books, photographs, and generally, a big mess. He has been the studio assistant at Mudpuppy Pottery for 10 years and is attending a local university in a desperate attempt to earn a biology degree.
I have finally returned from a month on the road and am ready to sit down for a civilized meal. Luckily, there’s one place that serves frustratingly consistent food and it is calling my name once again. It’s dinnertime. Or lunch time. Which ever is better for you.
Located on the corner of the Cornerstone, in what was recently (among many other things) the Pumpkin Patch, is the new Cornerstone Grill. They haven’t really changed the décor too much. They might have ditched one or two of the pumpkins, but for the most part the place looks almost exactly the same as the last time I wrote about it. In fact not much has changed at all. The staff is mostly the same. The menu has one or two different things, but overall it is still consistently mostly Goodson’s.
Now I’m a little torn about this. On one hand, a restaurant providing the same service and the same food that you have come to either love or hate can be considered a very good thing. We, as a species, generally dislike change. I get that. Changing the place too much will risk losing a loyal customer base. I get that as well.
But what I don’t get is going into a business without providing any of your own personality to it. That boggles the mind. Perhaps I cannot see food as solely a business. Making food is a passionate thing. Strangely enough, the food at Goodson’s/Pumpkin Patch/Cornerstone Grill is consistently good. And here is where I think the answer to the riddle lies. The owners have changed, but the kitchen crew has remained the same. The group of people who prepare the food and those who serve it, could care less what the place is called just as long as they get to pour their creative’s juices into the dishes that they make. And might I say, make quite well.
In the past, I’ve mainly focused on main dishes, and given my pseudonym, I felt it time to speak on behalf of their sandwiches. I know I’ve caught flack for it in the past, but I love a good patty melt and I have since George’s opened my eyes. Cornerstone Grill’s patty melt is top notch as well. The handmade beef patty is seasoned and cooked perfectly just above medium, which gives it just the right amount of juiciness without running the risk of giving you food poisoning.
The other favorite of mine is the prime rib sandwich. It is a whole piece of steak on a hoagie with lettuce, tomato, and horseradish and served au jus. The horseradish is a very, very nice touch. If you prefer chicken, the ranch chicken sandwich is pretty awesome. Be warned though, it is a drippy mess. It also tends to be a bit of slider (you know, when the meat and toppings slide out the other side when you bite into it).
My only suggestion for the kitchen crew at C.G. is try not thinning down the ranch dressing so much. A little bit thicker dressing would go a long way in the presentation and consuming departments. All of the sandwiches come with home cut fries, but for a dollar more you can get sweet potato fries. Either way, these fried taters are wonderfully salty with just the right combination of crunchy and tender.
I could talk for hours about this stuff, but I have a box of leftovers calling my name.
If you haven’t visited the corner of the Cornerstone in a while be sure to drop in for a visit. You won’t be disappointed. Until next week, good eating to you and yours.
When he’s not beating his eggs, Adam makes time to respond to e-mails that get past his hard-ass spam filter. You can try to reach him at [email protected]
Adam also has this thing called Sandwich Control.