Restaurant Review: Katalina’s, Too!
Pancake Balls arrived in Clintonville this summer, as Katalina’s debuted its second Columbus location. Long a mainstay in Victorian Village, the joint is overdue for a territory expansion. The original spot is almost always crowded, with more hopeful guests queued-up in line than seats available for dining. Katalina’s is something locals are willing to wait in line for, and its extra outlet has the potential to ease the pressure on the original location.
That said, the new installation is already pretty populated. Indeed, the Pancake Balls ($12.50 and trademarked for good measure) are worth investigating. When filled with warm Nutella and dusted with powdered sugar, the pancake balls need no syrup (although, syrup is there for you; it’s just that chocolate and syrup always seemed like an unseemly combo).
An order provides all the joys of fair food, without the shame. There’s something fancy about these treats: after all, it IS Katalina’s. The order comes with bacon, fried crisp: which anchors down the sugar rush, and provides a little salt to balance out all the wonderfully starchy sweetness.
In addition to world of Pancake Balls –which includes filling choices such as dulce de leche, the menu offers lots of options in the Southwest-centric category. Case in point: a big section devoted to taco choices. The Black Bean Tacos ($12.50) make an excellent meat-free choice, built on achingly tender Koki’s tortillas (made in Columbus), with the beans, plus avocado, corn, enough sprouts to feel virtuous, dewy greens…all of it tied together with pico de gallo and a vinaigrette. It’s a hefty, satisfying taco combo rounded out with some relentlessly crunchy Shagbark chips.
For those who need an animal in their tacos, there are pork and BLT taco-combos.
Migas ($12) is on the menu too, and it’s an egg dish you don’t really see much of on local menus, perhaps because it’s not a particularly…attractive item. Scrambled eggs can be pretty, but eggs scrambled with crunched-up tortilla chips has always been on the struggle bus when it comes to photogenic plating. That said, you can’t argue with taste. The chips, along with Snowville crema and ranchero sauce, add a world of flavor to humble eggs. The migas is at once homespun, and oddly addictive. Katalina’s sprinkles the egg dish with plenty of pepitas, which add helpful texture and perhaps cuteness.
In the sandwich scene, you’ll find the Prego Steak Sandwich ($13.25). It’s a dish that suggests Portuguese influence, as steak-on-a-roll is an iconic “Prego” combo in Portugal. Katalina’s starts with fancy sirloin (from The Butcher & The Grocer), and it shows: the slices are tender, but not over-cooked or over-tenderized into mush. It’s pure, full-bodied, steaky-steak, finished with piri-piri sauce and greens and served in a soft brioche bun.
You can find the new Katalina’s, Too! at 3481 N. High St. It’s open and serving every day from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. As might be expected, it’s been busy on weekends, but it’s easy to slip in for some Pancake Balls on weekdays.
For more information, visit katalinascafe.com.
All photos by Susan Post