When Kent and Tina Wood opened Corner Burger in May 2017, they sought change on both a personal level and a wider scale. After owning a large restaurant—and noticing a need for more burger restaurants with all-natural, locally-sourced ingredients in their travels—they ultimately decided they were ready for a fresh start that they could share with others.
“We had previously owned a much bigger restaurant,” Kent Wood says. “We decided that we wanted to do something where we could really just focus on quality on a smaller scale. We traveled a lot and tasted other people’s burgers, and we realized that the route we wanted to take was different than a traditional burger joint. We decided that we wanted to be all-natural, and we discovered that we loved the taste of grass-finished beef.”
According to Wood, there is an important distinction between “grass-finished” and “grass-fed.” “Most people think that grass-fed beef refers to cows that have been fed only grass their whole lives, but that’s not true at all,” he notes. “Grass-fed cows eat grass maybe 50 to 60 percent of their lives, and then they’re finished on grain and given antibiotics and growth hormones.”
Corner Burger’s beef, on the other hand, comes solely from grass-finished cows that have eaten only grass their entire lives. Additionally, the cows come from three local farms located in Floyd County, Big Island, and near Richmond. “It’s as clean a beef as you can buy,” Wood says. “It costs more, but it has about 25 percent fewer calories and about 25 percent more vitamins than traditional beef. The flavor is also much better.”
The restaurant also sources preservative-free buns from a small bakery in Harrisonburg, cheeses from Homestead Creamery and a farm in Fairfield, and organic produce from local farms whenever possible. Fries, onion rings, and sauces are all scratch-made in house.
Wood says that the “Corner Classic” burger is their most popular lunch item, but his favorite burger is the “Blue BBQ,” which is topped with blue cheese, onion rings, mayonnaise, and barbeque sauce. Wood also enjoys the “Champagne Chicken” sandwich, which consists of all-natural grilled chicken, Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and Champagne mustard.
Three salad options are available for those seeking lighter fare, and Homestead Creamery milkshakes and scratch-made cheesecakes are available for those who want to indulge.
New menu items and other upcoming developments are on the horizon. “We’re getting ready to add three to four new burgers and a couple new chicken sandwiches,” Wood says. “One of the burgers will be called ‘Some Like it Hot,’ which is going to feature Habanero cheddar, chipotle mayonnaise, and fries with jalapeños.”
Wood also hopes to delve into the delivery market within the next three to six months and expand if the opportunity arises.
No matter what the future holds for Corner Burger, Wood’s primary goal is to continue to produce what a lot of folks are calling the best burgers in town. “When people tell me ‘That’s the best burger I’ve ever had,’ it makes all the hard work worth it,” he says. “Hearing that never gets old.”
AT A GLANCE
12130 E Lynchburg Salem Turnpike, Unit 3, Forest
Monday – Saturday,
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.