A Hidden Gem: The Corner chicken

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Matthew Martinez

If you’re ever in the East Village of downtown San Diego and love chicken sandwiches, the Corner Chicken is the place for you to stop by. This hidden gem is nestled in the quiet corner of G Street and Ninth Ave., the restaurant gives you their simplistic yet spicy approach on how Nashville-Style chicken is all about.

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we weren’t able to sit inside and enjoy the full experience The Corner Chicken had to offer, but needless to say it did not deter from the food. Before ordering, the cashier gave us tips to guide us in choosing what we wanted.

The menu consisted of three main dishes followed by two appetizer options and three side orders to compliment the main dishes. After choosing an order, you must then pick the “Spice Level” of your choosing so that the chicken can be dipped into that specific level. The spice level chart is pretty simple, it consists of five levels in order: “Naked,” “Feelin’ it,” “Its Lit,” “Flamin Hot,” and “XXX.” These spice levels are also color coordinated as well to make it easier to choose the right flavor for you. I kept it simple and ordered the chicken sandwich and chicken wings, my spice level for the sandwich was “It’s Lit” and the sauce for the wings were “XXX.”

When looking at the appearance of my order, I was very concerned that the restaurant overcooked my sandwich and the wings; I almost asked for another order because the skin looked burnt which hinted that the chicken meat could be dry. I was greatly mistaken after taking the first bite of my sandwich, the chicken was enjoyable. I appreciated how the spice level, “It’s Lit,” didn’t overpower the whole sandwich; it blended well with how crispy the sandwich really was. The Corner Chicken really did an amazing job on blending the tastes of chicken, spices, and the kale slaw, which is featured to cleanse your pallet each time you take a bite. Once I was finished with the sandwich I felt my mouth water a little bit due to the spice level I picked, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me from trying the wings. “The first wing I had was anything but a disappointment. I noticed that the wings were bigger than any wing I’ve ever had — bigger than the wings at Dirty Birds, and Buffalo Wild Wings. I only had one wing because “XXX” was just too hot. One bite of a drumstick came with an instant boom of flavor. I was no match for how hot each wing really was. If you don’t want your mouth on fire stay clear of the spice level “XXX.”

Since the Popeyes’-Chicken-Sandwich craze that happened almost a year and a half ago, more chicken restaurants have emerged in the city. Restaurants such as Dirty Birds, who have locations in numerous spots around the county, Liberty Chik, and Dave’s Hot Chicken have put their own style to what is already a smash hit. The Corner Chicken stands alone with its intimate outside seating so that customers can enjoy eating without having to fear closed spaces.