We like to spot light the one of a kind restaurants on our feature Dinner Out. But on our Facebook page, Monique De La Rosa insisted we check out Corky's Homestyle Kitchen and Bakery. The Rialto location is right off the 210 freeway. There are also locations in Eastvale, Corona, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga and Ladera Ranch. The fast growing restaurant chain is only eight years old and already there are two more locations set to open.
The bright, spacious restaurant is decorated in country kitsch. The five page menu has all that you would expect from a 24 hour diner, but peppered through out are the dishes originally cooked by owner Mike Towles' grandmother, the namesake and inspiration for Corky's. Everything is made daily and on premises
Order any breakfast plate and you can enjoy her biscuits and gravy. The biscuit is dense, yeasty and the perfect foil for the creamy, slightly spicy gravy dotted with ground sausage.
Her meat loaf is a firm bite that's seasoned with Liquid Smoke, Steak, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. There's also milk, sourdough bread and cheese. The cheese seemed to be the biggest surprise in the dish, since there was nothing cheesy about this meatloaf. Towles says the cheese gives the meatloaf texture and taste. Add a beefy brown gravy and some fresh made garlic mashed potatoes and no wonder this is a "must have" at Corky's.
Another Grandma Corky recipe is the Chicken Fried Steak. Pounded Swiss steak, breaded and cooked to order, then smothered with creamy country-style gravy. This is homestyle Southern cooking, nothing fancy, nothing to "elevate" it to modern cuisine; just a hearty dish so big, you'll take most of it home for leftovers.
But sorry, Grandma. I enjoyed the meatloaf, I might crave your pillowy soft dinner roll, but my fave was actually the chile verde omelette. The recipe was developed by Towles and his kitchen staff. What makes me think there was heavy influence from someone's abuelita. This is autentico chili verde, with tender chunks of pork and a spicy, green tomatillo sauce. The chili is stuffed inside and poured over a 5 (!) egg omelette.
Corky's is all about gigantic portions. You're meant to share or take home leftovers.
I watched someone put together the chicken pot pie. Housemade pie crust is filled with a filling of chunks of chicken, gravy and fresh peas, carrots and potatoes. The top crust and bottom are hand crimped and trimmed. Once again, this is a classic presentation done well. The crust is golden brown on the top and tender on the bottom. The filling is classic. It reminds me of the frozen pot pies my mom used to serve us. The difference is, this pot pie is a full 8 1/2 inches in diameter and the vegetables aren't mush.
Another basic but done well dish is the hand battered fish and chips. Three pieces of cod, coated in a tempura style batter. The end result is a light and crispy crust, served with a daily made tartar sauce and thick cut steak fries. This dish would make some ex-pat Brits very happy.
Not sure how anyone would have room for dessert, but apparently that's another draw for loyal customers. And, just like the rolls, the biscuits, the meatloaf, the pot pie et al; all prepared on premises and baked daily.
Corky's Homestyle Kitchen & Bakery
We visited Corky's Rialto
2019 N. Riverside Ave. #11
Rialto, CA 92377