site stats
My Last Bite: Rockford restaurant mixes good food and good neighbors |

My Last Bite: Rockford restaurant mixes good food and good neighbors

My Last Bite, the Rockford Register Star’s dining column, publishes at noon Thursdays at rrstar.com. This week’s featured eatery is the Corner Cafe in Rockford.


Name: Corner Cafe

Address: 1339 Latham Road, Rockford

Opened: May 2015

Owners: Jack Useini

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily

Phone/website: 815-633-2155

Most popular items: Owner Jack Useini said the restaurant has a lunch menu, but his customers are all about breakfast food. Both he and our waitress said the skillets are top sellers, and there are more than a dozen from which to choose. Prices range from $6.95 for the Hobo Skillet — hash browns, sausage and cheese — to $9.95 for the steak skillet, which features steak strips, onion, peppers and cheese. You can add items for a small fee or subtract items based on your taste. Useini emphasized that everything on his menu is made-to-order.

The Corner Cafe has a fairly large lunch menu as well. It ranges from your typical cheeseburger ($6.95) — a 1/3-pound patty served with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles — to a pork tenderloin sandwich ($7.95) and a plethora of wraps ($8.25), including a ranch chicken wrap and a tuna salad wrap.

We ate: My husband, Eric, and I ventured out for an early morning breakfast a few Sundays ago. We arrived shortly after the restaurant opened at 7 a.m. and were surprised that five of the tables already were filled. While we hadn’t visited this restaurant before, we were warmly welcomed by the owner and our waitress, who seemed to know everyone else in the room, including their go-to breakfast choices and how they took their coffee.

Eric chose a full order of biscuits and gravy ($4.95) and a side of corned beef hash ($3.45) with two eggs ($2.55), cooked over easy, on top. Honestly, I could have fed my entire family with the amount of food we received. The biscuits and gravy came in a glass serving dish that was layered in buttermilk biscuits and topped by a mountain of sausage gravy. The biscuits were flaky and not too rich. The gravy, which was heavier on the flour and lighter on the sausage, was creamy and flavorful.

My husband was happier with his more-than-generous helping of corned beef hash and eggs. “They got the eggs right,” he said with excitement after his first bite. Apparently, in his opinion, a lot of restaurants fail at the proper way to cook eggs in over-easy fashion. The eggs also were slightly seasoned and not too salty or peppery. He praised the corned beef hash as “good” and “hearty.” I have to trust him — I don’t like corned beef hash.

I went for the breakfast special ($6.95) of cinnamon French toast with a side of sausage links ($2.95). My order came with four round pieces of French toast. While the bread was not fluffy and thick, which is what I typically prefer, it was seeped in cinnamon flavor, satisfied my taste buds and quickly filled my belly. It’s hard to ruin sausage links — these were just fine and not too greasy.

“Hmm” factor: I thought the gravy with the biscuits and gravy order was a bit too thick and had a lot of flour. I just didn’t find a lot of sausage inside, and I prefer a lighter sauce.

“Ahh” factor: My favorite part of Corner Cafe was the neighborhood feel. This restaurant doesn’t have a lot of decor, its signage is simple and it sits a distance from the main Illinois Route 173 business traffic, but everyone inside was friendly and most of the customers seemed to know each other. This was a nice place to enjoy a bit of conversation and a good meal with no frills.

Next time, I’ll: I don’t think I could resist the farmers skillet again. It is a mixture of ham, sausage, bacon and onion for $7.95, and it smelled heavenly as it was delivered to a customer at the next table.

Maggie Hradecky: 815-987-1367; mhradecky@rrstar.com; @MaggieHrad

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.