Corner Store Attitude with Sophisticated Tastes: Jackson's Corner Finds the Perfect Combination | Chow | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Corner Store Attitude with Sophisticated Tastes: Jackson's Corner Finds the Perfect Combination


A veggie sandwich on focacia served with sunshine at Jackson's Corner.It's rare to find an environment where freelancers with laptops, ladies who lunch, families with children and neighborhood locals are equally comfortable, but less than a year after opening, Jackson's Corner has achieved that and more. In attitude, it certainly has the feel of "corner store," which reflects its location in the historic Delaware Market building. Though you're out of luck if you're expecting to pick up your groceries-unless, of course, your diet consists entirely of gourmet condiments, Kettle Chips, many and varied local and international beers and organic cat food. But behind the curiously stocked shelves is a kitchen of the highest caliber, and in the end, isn't that what you'd rather have on your corner?

It also doesn't hurt that the open, bright space, dominated by blonde wood and brick, has something for pretty much everyone. It's perfect for your morning coffee and croissant with the paper, a lunch meeting or takeout for the office (it's just blocks from downtown) or a couple of pints with a sandwich at one of the sidewalk tables on a summer day. As Jackson's is rather near my corner, I've spent an afternoon or two plugged in at the window counter using the free wi-fi (as I am now) and have never felt pressured by the friendly staff to wrap it up after my meal was finished.

For all its many upsides, the real draw is the consistently impressive food. House-made pastries, pastas and breads, local ingredients whenever possible and great flavor combinations elevate the paper menu and casual, counter-service atmosphere well above your average deli. Daily egg scrambles, available both with meat and vegetarian, are a good bet for breakfast. Dinner includes specials that are high-end restaurant grade (as well as near the price). On one visit, the pasta special ($14), rotini in garlic and white wine sauce with shrimp, fresh spinach and tomatoes, kalamata olives and Romano cheese served with a hunk of fresh baked bread was light yet full of engaging flavors and could have come out of the kitchen of a fine Italian restaurant.

Lunch fare, nearly all of which is also available for dinner, is where Jackson's Corner stands out most. With a large brick oven at the center of the open-air kitchen, it's not surprising that the pizza is excellent. Regular combos ($10-$14) on thin tasty homemade crust like the chicken pesto and the Mediterranean with chicken sausage and caper olive tomato sauce are supplemented by daily specials worth checking out. Sandwiches are hearty and attractive across the board, but my favorite is the Havana ($10). The slow-roasted pork with ancho-chili sauce, caramelized onions and a melted mozzarella-provolone blend beautifully merge into a smoky flavor that resembles barbecued pulled pork more than a traditional Cuban sandwich. I ordered it on a soft, house-baked focaccia roll kissed with olive oil (ciabatta is also an option) which perfectly framed the potentially messy filling making it possible for each juicy bi