Catch Up With: Hungry Soul Café
When George and Anita Keller took over the space formerly occupied by The Inn Between at 30 South Young Street, they had a clear plan for what kind of cuisine they would offer at one of the city’s best kept secrets.
See, George is of Hungarian descent, and Anita is Southern to her bones, and the combination of their tastes and flavors have created Hungry Soul Café, Columbus’ only Hungarian Soul Food joint.
The transition from the classic American fare served at The Inn Between to the ethnic offerings at Hungry Soul took a while, but now, they’re established, and serve a regular clientele a from-scratch menu filled with sandwiches, salads, burgers, and dinner plates.
Diners can still find a couple of The Inn Between’s best-loved dishes on the menu, like The Original Salad – lettuce, grilled chicken, bacon, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes, golden raisins, and two types of cheese – and The Rumplemeyer, a chicken salad BLT sandwich.
But The Hungry Soul Café has its own signature dishes, like the Hungry Soul Pastrami, a combination of fresh-sliced meat, house-pickled onions, and Swiss cheese on marble rye, and the Hungry Soul Pulled Pork, slow-cooked for hours, and served with all the fixings on Texas toast.
Recently, Hungry Soul Café added brunch to their operation, served every Sunday morning from 9am – 2pm. Oatmeal, Omelets, Palacsintas (Hungarian Crèpes), and Breakfast Plates litter the menu that’s familiar, yet creative.
Diners can enjoy the Hungry Soul – a Belgian Waffle, 2 eggs, choice of meat, hash browns, and toast – French Toast, Apple Butter Palacsinta, Fancy Oatmeal #2 with bourbon butter-cooked peaches, or a Southwestern Omelet for a very reasonable price.
All the brunch items at Hungry Soul Café cost between $4-$9, including their takes on the Bloody Mary and Mimosa, which can each be purchased for $5 each. Hungry Soul Café will also sell breakfast during the week if customers call ahead and ask.
The Hungry Soul Café offers daily lunch specials that change weekly. During that time, diners can order dishes like Southern Fried Pork Chops, Shrimp Gumbo, and Hungarian Stuffed Peppers.
There are also Heritage Specials served at dinner time that showcase the Kellers’ backgrounds. On Mondays, for example, guests could find Chicken Paprikash on the menu, while on Wednesdays, Hungarian Cabbage Rolls.
The 2,300 square feet restaurant can seat about 120 guests at a time. Hungry Soul Café offers catering services for special events, and looks forward to an ever-increasing number of patrons as breakfast options in the downtown continue to be small in number.
“We offer big plates of comfort food in a warm, welcoming atmosphere,” shares front-of-the-house maven, Anita. “We would love for all to come in and experience what real, love-filled food taste like because that’s all we do here, and all we’ll continue to do.”
Hungry Soul Café is open Monday-Friday, 11am – 8pm, and Sunday, 9am – 2pm. They are closed on Saturdays. For a longer look at their menu, visit www.hungrysoulcafe.com.
Photos by Ayana Wilson.