The Corner Pocket Sandwich Shop has changed corners, owners, and decorative style through the decades it has been on downtown Garland’s square, but through all the changes, this locally owned restaurant remains a regular lunch spot for city workers, locals and visitors.

For full disclosure, we’ll tell you up front that two of us have been eating here (under several owners and menu changes) since childhood and one of our writers worked here in high school. Of course that puts the lens of nostalgia into our opinions, but it also sets a pretty high standard for the current staff meet. For instance, the pocket sandwiches have been pretty much the same combination for decades: meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and dressing in a pita. But how you put it together can make the difference between eating the sandwich with your hands and using a knife and fork. We know to cut pitas at the little hole in the seam (they all seem to have one) in order to keep the contents off the table, but that little tidbit got lost somewhere along the way. So, even though you order a pocket sandwich, grab extra napkins because more often than not your pita will develop a hole right at the bottom. Of course, if it really bothered us THAT much, we’d stop eating here. But we can’t. The food is good, eavesdropping on the locals as they holler their conversations across the room is entertaining, and the atmosphere is downright comfy. On top of that, there are several vegetarian options and nearly everything is somewhat customizable, so what more can we really demand here?

Corner Pocket Stuffed Avocado with Egg SaladThe menu has expanded quite a bit over the years. The original pocket sandwiches, baked potatoes, nachos and chili are still there, of course, but now you can get things like stuffed avocados, frozen custard and more. We recently tried the stuffed avocado with egg salad and were a little hesitant at first. On the plate is a whole avocado, split in half with each side containing about a scoop of egg-salad. Between these is a little lettuce, tomato and a hard boiled egg and everything on the plate is sprinkled with paprika. While it sounds like a dainty little bit of food, this is an extremely filling meal. The egg salad is amazing, actually, but pairing that creamy texture and mild flavor with something as mellow as an avocado was a new experience for us. You can ask for ham, chicken or tuna salads as well, but, as always, we went for the veggie-friendly option. The dish grew on us with each bite, and by the time we finished, we were full, happy, and convinced we’d get this again.

Other vegetarian options include the MAC (Mushroom, Avocado and Cheese), Veggie Deluxe, salad, nachos and a broccoli and cheese baked potato. The MAC contains the ingredients that make up its name: four cheeses (melted, but usually not at the center these days) with mashed avocado and sliced mushrooms. The standard fixins of lettuce, tomato and creamy italian dressing are fine, but we tend to omit the lettuce and add black olives. 

Similar to the MAC, the veggie melt sports all of the goodness without the avocado. Honestly, almost anything you get here is good. We have run into some stale chips in the nachos in the past, but on our most recent visit even those were extra crisp and tasty.

If you have room after your meal, head back up to the counter and get some frozen custard. No kidding, this is worth the trip downtown on its own. The flavors change, so check the sign and pick a favorite.

In a city of more than 200,000 people, it’s nice to see such small-town charm on the downtown square. Pictures of stars from Elvis to Marilyn Monroe, sports icons and garland’s history line the walls and hand written menu boards offer selections. You fill your own soda cups and pick up your order from a window halfway down a hall when you hear your number called. Patrons smile, wave and usually have something nice to say to each other.

Overall, this is a great place to visit, a major piece of Garland’s charm and history in its own right, and vegetarian friendly to boot. Of course we’ll be back, we’ve come here for more years than we admit to being alive, but we also recommend you give it a try. Corner Pocket Sandwich Shop is a one of a kind treat that everyone should have the chance to enjoy.