Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Cheeks

Randomly wandering into a place and discovering a new hang out is one of very few things in life that truly thrill me. This is how it happened for The Corner and I. Open from 9am to 1am on weekends, the newly opened wine bar, coffee shop, restaurant hybrid is a fresh face in the Mission. The graphic wallpaper, painted black accents and upstairs seating make The Corner an inviting and comfy place to people watch over a few glasses of wine, or peruse the internet on their free wi-fi while sipping locally roasted Four Barrel coffee. Both the lunch and dinner menus are extremely reasonable. But, to make the most of your experience come during happy hour and stick around for dinner hour. Ask your server for chef Alexander Jackson's off-menu nightly special for the culinary equivalent of a mushroom trip for the tongue. Tonight it's beef cheeks and oxtail served over garganelli pasta in a sherry-vinagrette sauce and topped with goat gouda. Taking meat parts that are usually reserved the garbage can and transforming them into something great is no easy feat, but this simple and DELICIOUS cheek/oxtail dish is just that. Though a bit vinegar forward, (I suspect from being soaked in vinegar for days and boiled down to soften the tough cuts), the shredded meat is flavorful, fork tender and chewy, but not tough, like a well-made pot roast. Paired with the sherry vinaigrette sauce sprinkled with a few carrots and oregano(?) the perfect bite is a mouthful of flavor combinations that just won't quit, even after you've swallowed. Though the mood of this place is somewhat silly, what coming out of the kitchen can hardly be categorized as tongue-in-cheek. 2199 Mission Street, (415) 875-9258

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