I've learned that traveling down High Street in the Short North area often gives me a bit of tunnel vision. When I'm in a car, the traffic during the most traveled times slows down to a trudge, caused by a combination of COTA city buses and bicyclists being squeezed along car-lined sidewalks, keeping my focus mainly on the road around me.
When I ride the bus or walk through the area, other distractions predominate. The streams of people traversing this once sketchy neighborhood are natural attention grabbers, not to mention the surrounding buildings, which like a chameleon change over time due either to constant construction or the latest business venture hoping to strike success in one of the metro's most attractive neighborhoods.
These aspects make it easy to lose track of what might lie in the areas block or two over on either side of High, and is certainly a big factor for me personally as to why it took me so long to get over to the very compact space that is Laughlin's Bakery, just a couple dozen steps off the main strip on East 2nd Avenue.
There are plenty of bakeries that advertise specialty goods baked fresh daily, but there are a very select subset of those whose products add a sheen of artisan beauty with the usual quotient of mouthwatering decadence. That Laughlin's offerings fall into this subset is not terribly surprising really, considering owner Jonas Laughlin's background as an opera singer. His travels through Europe, matched up with his roots in the American South, provided him a rich baking palette from which to draw as he pursued his Columbus bakery in earnest when his singing career ended unexpectedly.
The range of baked goods vary by season and whim and sometimes both; dropping by in the height of summer, we found some Lebkuchen during their "Christmas In July" promotion. This aspect just makes it all the tougher not to part ways with your good hard cash for these delectable delights.
Every visit brings about the same challenge - how do you possibly choose, with everything looking so deliciously beautiful?
When an impossible a task like this emerges, a well-worn strategy seems to work - go with your gut. And from the Ham and Cheese Croissant, the Gateau Engandine, the gluten-free Carrot Almond Torte and more, our respective guts have been quite happy with our selections.
15 E. 2nd Avenue (Short North - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43215
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