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Corner Store

Update 2/1/12: Corner Store is closed.

In a word: Neighborhood ethnic food that's out of this world.

The specs: #0288
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, Maillard Reaction, Madison Magazine; bio of manager Pone Vanphravong; Corner Store on Urbanspoon

Latest Corner Store news and reviews

JM ate the pad thai with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the beef curry.
We split some crab rangoon.
The bill was $9, or $4.50/person.
JM and Nichole both gave Corner Store an A- (see our grading rubric).

Corner Store

We're glad Linda reviewed Corner Store for her Cheap Eats column, because we might never have stopped in otherwise. We certainly wouldn't have known they serve such good Thai food, and that you can even eat in the minimalistic dining area if you'd rather not let your curry get cold on the way home.

Corner Store is essentially a convenience store with a slightly larger-than-average line of groceries. Judging by our one visit, their beer case also gets a lot of customers - the guy who was shopping there at the same time as us was kind of a little on the suspicious side of nice, asking the clerk too many personal questions, but thankfully her mom was running the kitchen a few feet away.

Beef curryClientele aside, the food was, in fact, great. The beef in Nichole's curry had grown fork-tender after what must have been all day cooking. The sauce was pleasantly hot, but one could mute that spiciness with a bite of potato if so desired. Peanuts were a nice touch. The only complaint Nichole had was that there were no veggies in the recipe at all, but for a one-pot meal it was very good. It would have been even better chased down with some ice cream from the nearby coolers, but she behaved herself.

Pad thai and rangoonJM thought the pad thai suffered from a certain degree of homogeneity, though overall it was flavorful in other ways. Some might say pad thai is an acquired taste, but here it tastes like you've been eating all of your life. 

The rangoon were quite good, despite the fact that they were soggy from reheating. Truthfully, it's probably the hot pepper sauce that made them shine. Other than the rangoon, which we finished with no problem, we went home with 2 sets of leftovers.

It felt good to eat at a family-run place that's so comfortable being itself, yet somehow feels like it's been transplanted from the east or west coast. Now, we're still curious about what Corner Store's take on burritos and tacos is, but the mixed-up menu just seemed authentic in its own funky Willy Street way. If Madison is ever going to rival Milwaukee, we need more Corner Stores.  A lot more.


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Only question is, why did I wait so long?!

Don't know if it's old news or not, but Corner Store is moving to the Milwaukee/Fair Oaks area -- if what I overheard at Bongo Video is correct. Was in there a couple three weeks ago and heard the employees discussing it. Anyone else heard this?

Great. Now people will want us take down that picture too.

If you're lucky. ;-)

Its true, the corner store is moving to fair oaks. But instead of being a convenience store its going to be a restaurant type of thing, or at least thats what the owner told me. But if its a restaurant that means there will be more variety of food! yei (=

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



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