North Side Cheap Eats - Cornerstone Cafe
Nestled in the crook of Western, Diversey and Elston in Logan Square is the Cornerstone Café. While out of the way for many Chicagoans, the Cornerstone impressed us as worth the trip with its unassuming food, friendly atmosphere, and reasonable prices. With a cozy interior populated with booths, wooden tables, and an old-fashioned lunch counter that mimics the shape of the intersection, the Cornerstone is frequented largely by Logan Square and Bucktown locals. Upon entry, we were greeted by a few older fellows who appeared to have set up shop for the entire morning with endless cups of coffee and newspapers spread across the countertop. In a local cafe, that’s a good sign.
We tried “Paige’s California panini,” ($7.50) which sports turkey, avocado, bacon, tomato, and Monterey Jack. We also indulged in a bowl of the homemade chili ($5.15), which seemed appropriate given the late-fall nip in the Chicago air as of late. The option to substitute sweet potato fries for regular fries with the panini at no extra charge was a welcome surprise. The menu offers the full diner compliment of "egg-ceptionals," including scramblers and gourmet omelettes, and the crepe selections made our sweet tooth ache with anticipation. Try the Grilled Cobb panini, with classic Cobb salad flavors of bacon, avocado, and blue cheese crumbles. All of our food came quickly, and while the panini could have been warmer, the chili was first-rate and hearty. The sweet potato fries were perfect, crispy on the outside with a warm and soft interior. Lunch for two for under $15 makes the Cornerstone Café a place we will try again and again.
The Cornerstone Café is located at 2753 N Western Ave., open from 7am-4pm seven days a week.
By Caitlin Roth