Corner 41Address: 4138 N. Lincoln Ave.
Corner 41 seems like the type of place you can take anyone. It could be a romantic date without the kids, the bar where you finally become a regular, or the place to take in-laws who are picky eaters. That might not sound like an exciting endorsement, but I’m eager to return to Corner 41 and try the many dishes it serves. Most of the credit belongs to Al and Sima Bovali, the husband and wife team who transformed this former steakhouse to a swanky-yet-friendly neighborhood joint.
They offer a lengthy menu of sandwiches that cost under $10, entrees that range from $14 to $28, and something called “shrimp newborn,” which I hope is more akin to shrimp newburg and not a newly born shrimp. There are several side order options that accompany sandwiches, like “Lyonnaise fries,” which are potato wedges fried in bacon. Surprisingly there are several vegetarian options beyond salads.
The only sandwich more expensive than $10 is the lobster burger, which is a large seafood cake served on a brioche bun that’s tasty but very sticky due to its citrus sauce. One of my dining companions ordered our favorite dish of the night: a pulled pork sandwich smothered with Al’s signature barbecue sauce. The salads are fresh with sophisticated touches, but the goat cheese appetizer is disappointing. We really had to hunt for the cheese in the marinara sauce.
It’s hard not to compare Corner 41 to its competitor a few blocks down the street—The Bad Apple, which opened last year with a lot more hype. Corner 41 may not have an extensive beer list or creatively composed burgers, but the interior is much more conversation friendly (despite the exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and open kitchen), and I didn’t feel like I was eating in the hip level of Dante’s Inferno.