Corner Kitchen: A Fun Take on Mexican Fusion

Jaclyn’s Pick:

Corner Kitchen
4218 S 50th Street
Fare: Mexican street food with global flare
Cost: $65 for three beverages, two appetizers, three meals and one dessert
Reservations: Not that type of place. There are roughly 8 tables, but half or more of the traffic is to-go orders.

Greetings, Eaters and Readers!

I’ve had my sights set on Corner Kitchen for the better part of a year. I live four minutes away, the reviews are nothing but rave and the food pics on Google make you drool. So when I needed to pick a nearby place for my friend Amy to join us, Corner Kitchen was just the spot.

Situated in a literal corner, Corner Kitchen is a cozy, family-friendly restaurant serving up Mexican street food with a few nods to Asian fusion.

As an order-at-the-counter place, we made several trips to order a few things at a time – apps, then meals, then dessert. We wanted to enjoy each item hot and fresh as they came to the table. The timing worked out perfectly and we’d recommend it to anyone wanting a similar experience.

Mexican Fanta ($2) | Horchata ($3.50)

Martha and I both ordered Horchata (she also got a refreshing orange Mexican Fanta). If you’ve never had it, Horchata is a traditional Mexican drink made out of rice, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.

And usually, I love it. This batch, however, was gritty and lacking in cinnamon flavor. I kept trying sips as I watched Martha slurp hers down to the bottom, but I barely made a dent. Martha said she’s had better, too, but she enjoyed it enough to get her money’s worth.

Rangoon Fries ($8) – Creamy rangoon cheese, sweet chili sauce, fried wontons, green onion
Elote Tots ($8) – Corn, chile lime mayo, jalapeños, cojita cheese

Having arrived a little early to catch up, Amy and I ordered fries and tots for an appetizer. They came to the table just as Martha was walking up – perfect timing.

Our eyes grew with excitement at the heaping piles of tots and fries.

Digging in, all three of us loved the rangoon fries. They were sweet, salty, crispy … we couldn’t stop putting our forks in it. The sauce – a creamy rangoon cheese – complimented the bed of fries without turning them soggy, which is a real win in our book.

The elote tots, while they seemed promising, weren’t our favorite. The tots didn’t withstand the heavy blanket of mayo, corn and cheese like we wanted it to. So we each nibbled at them, but poured most of our focus on the fries.

Nashville Chicken Burrito ($12.50) – Nashville fried chicken, mango coleslaw, rice, house pickles, salsa macha mayo

Martha had never heard of Corner Kitchen and missed the buzz I had seen on Omaha Food Lovers. Looking over their menu, she was impressed with their adventurous approach to mixing Mexican flavors with other-worldly tastes. It might not sound as worldly as the rest of the menu, but she ordered the Nashville Chicken Burrito. She was eager to discover just how hot their take on Nashville chicken would be – and the mango coleslaw sounded delightful.

Her first bite was delicious – she had a mouthful of every ingredient. But as she worked her way through the burrito, she noted a few things that left her wanting. She realized she could barely taste the mango that should accompany the coleslaw. She wasn’t blown away by any ‘hot’ taste from the chicken, either – unless she added a dab of the “A” sauce that accompanied all of our orders. And the half of the burrito she started with didn’t contain much of the chicken – it appeared most of the chicken was in the other half. She would have to wait until the next day’s lunch, however, as she was nearly full after the opening loaded fries, her horchata, and the half burrito. Looking back, Martha wishes she had skipped the burrito and ordered some of the delicious looking tacos that she watched me and Amy devour.

Quesa Birria ($4.50) – Beef birria, cilantro, onion, jalapeño
Quesa ($4.50) – Korean carnitas, melted mozzarella between corn tortillas, cilantro, grilled onion
Korean Pork ($3.50) – Citrus braised pork, Korean coleslaw, sriracha mayo, green onion, sesame seeds
Al Pastor ($3.40) – Adobo pork, pineapple, pickled onion, avo sauce
Sriracha Chicken ($3.50) – Sriracha chicken, avocado sauce, sriracha mayo, onion cilantro, curtido

Amy and I split a round of street tacos. It was Taco Tuesday, after all.

Two for her and three for me – we loved all of them.

I had the Quesa, Al Pastor, and Korean Pork – listed in order of my favorites. Each had deeply seasoned meat that you’d expect with an authentic street taco and the toppings were well-complimented with each one. The Korean-style carnitas inside the double tortilla held together by melty mozzarella are what made the Quesa rise to the top. The mash-up of cuisines is a solid choice for adventurous eaters like me.

Amy’s two – the Quesa Birria and Sriracha Chicken – were just as good. Never having tried Birria, Amy’s pretty sure she found her new favorite taco. The consommé they give you to dip in it was spectacular. It had a hint of cinnamon and all sorts of flavors we can’t even think of. I dipped one of my tacos in it and I can confidently say it’s the best I’ve tried yet.

Cappuccino Bread Pudding ($6)

Even though we were all nearing our capacity, we felt the need to uphold one of our Good Bite traditions. Offered as part of their rotating dessert special, we spied Cappuccino Bread Pudding on their specials menu and ordered one serving, three spoons. We gave Amy all the details about our affinity for the comfort food dessert while we waited. 

What we were served was warm and dense – but if we’re just honest and straight to the point – it wasn’t our favorite bread pudding. The cappuccino, we think, was just poured over the serving and lightly filled the bottom of the bowl. There was a dollop of whipped cream next to the slice, but not much. We missed the scoop of vanilla ice cream most places serve alongside their warm versions of our favorite dessert. 

All three of us still had a handful of bites – but we spent most of the remaining time telling Amy about our favorite bread puddings from around the city. (See Plank’s Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.) Truth be told – we’d pass on this on our next visit to Corner Kitchen and probably try one of their flans.

Final Bites

It’s no surprise to us that Corner Kitchen is holding their own in an unsuspecting strip mall. The other tables were full and we saw a steady stream of to-go orders come through the evening. With rotating specials offering foodie fusions on top of their already uniquely crafted menu, there’s plenty of reason to return again and again.

Underwhelmed by her burrito, Martha gives Corner Kitchen a fork sideways – with the hopes of coming back and getting what they’re known for. Between the Rangoon fries and all of our tacos, Amy and I are solid forks up. We’re both glad to live less than five minutes away from this new favorite and can’t wait to dig into the rest of the menu.

The Good Bite Gals & Amy

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