|The current mural outside Baba's in Columbus' South of Hudson (SoHud) neighborhood|
When it comes to Baba's in the South of Hudson neighborhood, we are still working through all the menu, but there's one item that is quickly falling into that must get on every visit.
The road to Baba's Kitchen has been a long and winding one for owners Dan and Caroline Kraus, who have experienced even extreme highs and lows in the food business than most. They started off hot with the highly regarded That Food Truck food truck (a truck we enjoyed quite a bit at Italian Village's Seventh Son Brewing), whose engine sadly and ingloriously gave out beyond repair. Later, their vision of aspiring brick and mortar cafe/bakery owners appeared in serious jeopardy when an unexpected electrical issue in their cafe-space-to-be cropped up and a crowdfunding push to raise the needed funds to fix it failed.
The result (with badly needed cash flow assistance from the Kraus' smoked meat-oriented food trailer Baba's Porch) was a more focused Baba's, which opened up its doors to the public late 2016. In fact, the sandwich board on my latest visit proudly touted the cafe's "No Frills Upfront", though in reality the interior is a lot nicer than a true bare-bones joint, with potted plants and wooden pallets that act as erstwhile bulletin boards
The menu is similarly focused; in some ways, the number of offerings at any one time might mirror what you might see at your typical food truck, with a select assortment of baked goods (pie and coffee brewed with beans from Thunderkiss Coffee is an option) and sandwiches bracketed by seasonal specials such as Halupki and Schnitzel. The whims of the chef come into play as well with the intriguingly named Evolved Plate, originally created for those employees who work at the neighboring Evolved Body Art.
We can attest that the baked goods, from the cinnamon roll (a solid rendition with a nice touch of having the icing on the side so you can make it as decadent as you'd like) to the day bread and the cookies are all quite lovely creations.
But it is Baba's breakfast sandwiches that are simply to die for, featuring a beautiful hand-scratch griddle muffin as pillows for various renditions of Baba's house-made meats (a veggie option is available too.) And even here, there's a hierarchy - the veggie option is nice; the bacon is, well, it's bacon, dammit; and the chorizo ticks off all the boxes with a nice spicy kick and greasy disposition. Add in a fried egg and gooey melted Havarti cheese, and you have heaven in your hand.
However, it is the Sausage Breakfast Sandwich that rates in our minds as just about perfect, combining all those prior elements with a spicy, house made, wonderfully textured pork sausage. This is easily one of the best breakfast sandwiches here in the metro.
Yes, we do want to make sure we give Baba's lunch items, such as their soup-of-the-day paired with an Inside-Out Grilled Cheese or their Diner Burger, a fair shot. But based on our visits, we're well on our way to making the Sausage Breakfast Sandwich a default choice, and when you think about it, that is hardly a bad way to go at all.
2515 Summit St (SoHud - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43202