The Corner Bakery – Manhattan Beach

Like most people out there, I needed to hit up the mall/grocery store on Christmas Eve for some last minute items.  What a nightmare…but it did give me the excuse to have lunch at The Corner Bakery in Manhattan Beach.

I’ve seen this chain around and heard good things but never tried it.  It reminded me a lot of Panera, another bakery-restaurant chain. When I walked in, the setup was quite similar…big board with the menu and baskets of breads behind the register.

Corner Combo

I ordered the Corner Combo – half a sandwich/panini and a cup of soup or salad.  I opted for the chicken pesto sandwich and tomato basil soup.

My first impression when my food was delivered was mixed.  The soup looked quite tasty with chunks of tomato but the sandwich looked a little wimpy filling wise.

Tomato Basil soup

I tasted the soup first.  Lots of flavor.  The tomato chunks were soft but not mushy and there was plenty of basil pieces.  It seemed a little thin, not as creamy as other tomato basil soups I’ve had, but then again, the menu did say soup, not bisque.  Definitely a nice filler for a chilly winter day.  I’d come back to eat this again but in a bread bowl.

Chicken Pesto Sandwich

As you can see in the picture, there doesn’t seem to be much in the sandwich…bread, tomato, a thin piece of chicken and some arugula.  The bread was good, soft inside, semi-crunchy crust.  The dressing gave the sandwich a little bit of a sweet flavor.  The ingredients were fresh and the chicken was moist but bland.  I appreciate the use of good quality ingredients but there was nothing about this sandwich that made it memorable or interesting.  I think I’d try a different sandwich next time.

The portions of this meal were just right to fill me up but not uncomfortably stuff me.  I also thought the price was decent but a little on the high side.  With a regular fountain drink, it cost me around $12 for everything.

I give The Corner Bakery 3 NOMs.

The Corner Bakery
3208 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266-2454
P: (310) 545-2596
F: (310) 545-3295
http://www.cornerbakerycafe.com
Corner Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Mint-basil-walnut pesto

Courtesy of Food Network…love their website for finding recipes.

I just mixed this pesto together and it is tasty! It’s a slight variation of one of the recipes I found on their site while searching “lamb loin mint”. It’s got a nice lightness to it as it’s not overly oily. The mild minty-ness is refreshing and you get a hint of sharpness from the Parmesan.

Here’s the recipe:
1 loose cup of fresh mint
1 loose cup of fresh basil
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of toasted walnuts
2 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp – 3/4 tsp each)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a processor. Drizzle in the olive oil as you continue mixing. If the pesto is too thick to your liking, just drizzle in a little more olive oil until you reach the consistency you like.

I’m going to put this over some broiled lamb loins. 🙂