Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: The Corner Bakery & Café, Westheimer & Tanglewilde

"Feed the Day" is the motto of the midgrade artisan bread, bakery and eatery chain known as The Corner Bakery and Café.  This bakery/café chain is like a mix between Panera Bread and a Chicago Style sandwich shop.  Kind of odd considering they are headquartered in Dallas.  At any rate, their location in Woodlake Square off of Westheimer and Tanglewilde was convenient enough for me to stop at on more than one occasion, and then I realized I never game them a proper review.  Allow me to correct this oversight.

Corner Bakery Woodlake
A good bakery/sandwich shop/café typically needs to have a homey, inviting feel, have a good selection of sandwiches and other fare, and have some good coffee for the AM crowd, along with other great beverages for lunch and dinner, and some good baked sweets for the kids or those with a sweet tooth.  Based upon my previous visits, all of these check out just fine at The Corner Bakery.

That's one good Panini!!!
As this was a late lunch, I chose to have a sliced meatball on sourdough panini, which included a dish of marinara sauce for dipping, house potato chips and a dill pickle spear on the side.  This was a hearty, savoury sandwich, with peppery sliced all beef meatballs, stringy melted provolone and parmigiana cheese, with lovely grill marks on the crunchy sourdough bread.   It was a satisfying and filling meal.  The warmed marinara sauce complemented the cheese and the hearty meatballs very well and the sourdough bread was crunchy and crusty and a pleasure to nosh on.  The chips were salty and crunchy like kettle chips.  No nasty surprises, no complains, just a darned fine sandwich that hit the spot.

About the only thing I can say that wasn't so great was that the cups they use for their cold drinks don't stand up well after a couple of hours.  I refilled my iced tea a couple of times and after a bit the cup had weak walls. I get the feeling that they are using cups made in a sustainable fashion that have little or no plastic coating.  This is better for the environment, but is hard on those of us who consume a lot of liquid in the Houston Summer heat.  I normally carry a refillable cup that I wash and reuse at a number of places.  I am always suggesting that any chain or local place seriously consider giving a customer that brings their own cup (provided its not a ridiculously large size) a discount of five or ten cents off the equivalent size cup/glass they offer in their stores as this will lower their costs and be even better for the environment.  However, I also understand that the logistics of doing so are very tricky and I appreciate concerns about free-riders.

The Foodie Professor's Report card for
The Corner Bakery and Café:

Grilled Sliced Meatball Panini: A
House Chips: A-
     Friendliness: A
     Speed: B+
     Dining area:  A
     Men's Room:  B-
Atmosphere: (Chicago style bakery/diner) B+

Overall Grade: A-

My infamous Birthday
Mini-Bundt Cake
This wasn't my first time eating at The Corner Bakery and Café: I've had their Grilled Corned Beef Reuben on Caraway Seed Rye before, as well as a Birthday Mini-Bundt cake that I mentioned in a previous post.  They are consistent, they are better than just average, and the folks at the Woodlake Square location are nice and friendly.  The franchisee is frequently going around bussing tables and making chit-chat with the customers.  This chain is nice, midgrade, on the order of Einstein Bros. Bagels and Panera Bread.  There is plenty of space for it in the Houston market and I'm very glad for the location that is closest to where I live.  It's a nice alternative to fast food as well.

The Corner Bakery and Café has three locations in Houston.  I went to the one at:
Woodlake Square
9630 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77063
P: (713) 782-1702
F: (713) 782-1793
Mon - Sat: 6:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Sun: 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM

And remember:
Eat Happy!
Zao an, Y'all!

1 comment: said...

I have eaten at the downtown location a few times and really enjoyed it. Soups, salads, sandwiches have all been good. But I especially like those chips, and I'm not normally a huge fan of potato chips!