Friday, 02 November 2012 10:46
It’s here! The place on the corner to get your morning café con leche! A place to read the paper and treat yourself to a real guava pastry while you start your busy day.
A chance to satisfy your appetite for world flavors, feel at home with old favorites, and dine where borders meet. Corner is not your usual Gainesville Latin dining experience. The Latin Confusion restaurant is ahead of the tide, as it builds flavor bridges, takes modern turns and excites your tongue with fresh ingredients and a strong base of tradition.
Story and photo by Megan Alfaro
Corn is traditionally the common denominator of Latin dishes, from the corn in your tortilla chips to the corn in your Arepa. Generations of corn cooked at your abuelita’s echo in Corner’s kitchen. Owner Leonor Antoni passionately expressed her mission and the meaning behind the new restaurant’s name. Located on one of the most popular corners in Gainesville (some things are just meant to be), Corner is, by definition, where borders meet. Each dish has the traces of signature American, world and traditional Latin flavors fused together to form a new Gainesville blend.
Changing the Game
Venezuelan Leonor Antoni, the owner, lived in Ocala for the past 10 years before relocating to Gainesville. She entered culinary school in Miami and walked away with a degree to back up her lifelong passion and expertise. Her mission is simple, “I want to create a place for everyone to experience a new concept in Latin fusion,” she says. Corner is considered Latin Confusion: ‘con’ means ‘with’ in Spanish, and fusion is a marriage of flavors. Each dish is a unique experience with a chic modern twist of ingredients. The atmosphere is clean, engaging and bold and invites you to try something new world with something old world.
The standout menu item would have to be the arepas. They span three groups: Las Latinas, Las U.S.A and Las World. If you’ve had an Arepa it probably was a Latin experience, but at Corner, there is a modern twist to the dish that begs for your taste bud’s attention. Las U.S.A Arepas include signature American sandwiches packed into a corn-based patty, made fresh twice daily, and provided with tortilla chips. If you have a craving for your favorite BLT ($6), grilled cheese ($6) or chicken salad ($7), this is your menu section! However, the star dish would have to be the Rueben Arepa ($7). Filled with homemade sauces, it’s a sandwich that any foody would not be able to resist. Las World Arepas consist of flavors from all over such as panang ($7), a red curry chicken arepa. The arepa menu touches on each ethnic background in a way that no one’s taste buds will be left behind, and everything is wrapped in the Latin arms of corn.
Leonor was excited to provide morning pastries, especially in a town where you have great food markets such as Wards and Fresh Market. Searching for the best guava to fill the traditional Cuban guava pastry was more difficult than she expected. The solution? Leonor brought in her own pastry chef and baked it fresh daily. Leonor felt the need to give her customers quality over quantity, even down to that little guava pastry with your café con leche ($1.50). Once you have a bite of the authentic, sweet, thick, fruit paste you’ll know why.
Corner’s dining experience is intended to bring a diverse crowd of people for an innovative and well-thought out palette of food; a place to feed not just customers, but a community. And though the star dishes are fused with worldly flavors, classic Latin dishes like the pork arepa ($7), tostones ($2), Cuban sandwich ($7) and the sweet dessert dish flan ($2.50) round out this menu’s Latin roots. Corner introduces a menu that invites people of all cultural food backgrounds to redefine Latin fusion. There’s much more to explore on the Corner, so drop in and have a bite.
Phone: 352 240 6355
Address: 1220 W. University Ave.
Hours: Mon-Wed 8am-8pm, Thu-Sun 8am-10pm, Breakfast hours everyday 8-11am
Signature Dish: Arepas! From old world to new world and not missing signature American styles like the BLT, each arepa is packed with flavor and caters to any one.
Dress Code: none
Delivery/Takeout: delivery available
Outdoor Seating: Yes