In our Lunching in Little Rock blog series, Michael Kirkpatrick will explore and review the city’s best restaurants – all in time to get back to the office. This week, Michael ate lunch @ The Corner downtown. Click here to read more in this series.

This week, I fully intended to go to a healthy place to eat lunch and write you a feel-good review. I joined a client on Good Morning Arkansas on KATV, where I saw @ The Corner Modern Diner and their homemade turkey bacon. They were making a Cobb salad and I thought I’ll go, get the Cobb, and be totally healthy and all you wonderful readers won’t think I’m a total glutton. When I walked through the doors @ The Corner, my whole plan went off the rails.

When you walk inside the restaurant, you are immediately transported into a ‘50s diner with red vinyl booths and chairs with chrome accents, seating at the counter, and ketchup on the table. That is where the traditional diner experience ends. The diner is family-owned and -operated and uses locally grown ingredients. When one of the sisters recognized me from the morning, there was some funny back and forth sister arguing about who gets to make public appearances and who has to stay back and do the work. Truly a family-run business.

The menu was a foodie’s dream: it had customary diner delights like the Corner Classic Hamburger, as well as more unusual fare like the Barbecue & Pimento Cheese Burger and Marinated Halloumi Burger. The sandwiches were modern takes on traditional favorites. Topping the menu were the house cut fries served poutine style with cheese curds and brown gravy.  Somewhere on the back of the menu were the salads, but I didn’t make it that far. My eyes were fixed on the Summer Grilled Cheese with halloumi, blue brie cheese and fig jam. I was unfamiliar with halloumi cheese and I had never had blue brie, but I am a sucker for a grilled cheese. Paired with an ice cold Coke and a side of fresh cut chips, my meal was an absolute flavor delight. I am not a huge fan of blue cheese, but the blue brie has a lighter tang and the sweetness of the fig jam covers the harshness.

@ The Corner Modern Diner was a great surprise on all accounts. I planned on a salad review and walked into a restaurant that is having fun with food and flavors. The chips do come with a side of ranch salad dressing. Does it count as a salad if you pour the dressing over your chips?


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