There is a wonderful buzz about Katalina’s Cafe Corner. So many folks I know love it and eat there regularly. Other fantastic places help with local sourcing of meats. I found myself wondering why in the world I hadn’t been there. What was wrong with me?
I rectified that situation this morning with a brunch during Dine Originals Columbus week.
And the place is adorable. A gorgeous, rusty old chandelier hangs over the cases and counter where you order, plentiful chalkboard menus tempt you with all manner of delicious descriptions, shelves stocked with salsas, ketchups, Nutella and Abuelita (a PK favorite) for buying and taking home. And a highchair in the back made me feel like I wasn’t wrong for bringing nearly four-year old Cherub along with me.
Somehow, when I walked in, there was the gestalt experience of thoughtful food and cheerful, comfortable ambiance. It felt like the owners kind of “got it.” That this was a place I’d be returning really soon. If not simply moving in right away.
And I hadn’t even ordered yet.
I’ll admit, it was the Huevos Rancheros special that had been calling to me since I first spied it when perusing all the member restaurants’ special menus. And Hades, ever the fan of all things Ohio pork, was of course enamored with the Mazatlan Pork Sandwich.
They were both lovely.
I’m a huevos rancheros fan. Seriously. And they do a terrific job at Katalina’s. The over-medium eggs were cooked just as I ordered: firm whites and a thick oozy yolk. The tortillas the eggs and ranchero sauce topped were house-fried and delicious. Another mark of “getting it” for me was the refried beans served along side the rancheros proper were sprinkled with just a tiny bit of queso fresco or cojita. There’s something about that addition of pure white crumbles that elevates a spoonful of beans from blah to beautiful. I really didn’t feel like sharing too much. I did, but it was hard.
Hades’s Mazatlan pork sandwich was a substantial way to start the day. He said it was right in line with the food philosophy of eating like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner. The pork from Bluescreek Farm Meats was shredded and tender, the egg hard fried and the warm red bell pepper added sweetness. If you’re having lunch, this is the sandwich for you. Truly. And I know that I didn’t share too much of mine, but I really do wish Hades had shared more of his. It was fabulous.
We both enjoyed the coffee from Stauf’s. It’s just the right amount of richness and balance.
Little Cherub devoured her bowl of fruit and buttery whole grain toast and enjoyed making trips to the pretty water jug to refill all our glasses.
It was such a perfect pause. One of those little moments where the world stops whirling a little too fast and you slow down, share a meal, really see each other and then head back out into the rain to continue on with your day, a little better for it.
Katalina’s Cafe Corner | 1105 Pennsylvania Avenue | Columbus, Ohio 43201 | 614-294-2233