Our Mom and Kid team take on Katalina's Cafe Corner in Harrison West.
THE MOM SAYS
The Ten-Second Version of this review: Go to Katalina's Cafe Corner. Have the Swedish Pancake Balls with Nutella. You won't be sorry.
The Five-Minute Version of this review: Katalina's Cafe Corner is one of those little gems that many suburban families probably don't know about. Located near Victorian Village and the Short North, the restaurant is so small you could actually blink and miss it. But that would be a shame because Katalina's is truly special.
After reading several online reviews of Katalina's that mentioned the possibility of long lines for breakfast, my family decided to get there as early as we could on a Sunday morning, which meant about 8:15 am.
Our efforts paid off because there was only one other customer at the time. However, when we left an hour later, the place was almost full. With only 18 seats (19 including the one highchair we saw), space is limited. In warm weather, there is additional seating outdoors.
Katalina's has an extensive sandwich menu, but we came for the breakfast choices which were varied and interesting. The kids split the Mexican French Toast with a side of sausage and the Swedish Pancake Balls filled with Nutella and a side of sweet and spicy bacon. The adults ordered the Breakfast Tacos and the Mexican French Toast. We also had fresh-squeezed orange juice and Stauf's coffee.
The bill came to over $40, which for us is a little steep for breakfast. However, there was a lot of food, and a lot of leftovers. When we go again (and we will) we'll probably order two or three meals to split between the four of us.
The Mexican French Toast was everything you want in French toast, topped with a mixture of powdered sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder. It was amazing - sweet but not too sweet, soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. We didn't even need the syrup that was served with it.
The Breakfast Tacos were a generous portion of eggs, chorizo, cheese, salsa and avocado on corn tortillas, served with hash browns. Katalina's has a money-back guarantee on their Breakfast Tacos and we weren't disappointed. They were delicious and hearty.
The real star of the meal was the Swedish Pancake Balls. They were like not-too-sweet baked doughnut holes filled with Nutella (you can also order a strawberry preserves version). They were soft, warm and gooey. Both adults and kids loved them. There was so much food that we didn't finish everything, but we ate every morsel of the pancake balls.
The meat sides were delicious. The sausage was of the patty variety and very good. I didn't detect much sweet or spicy in the sweet and spicy bacon, but it was nonetheless wonderful. And I finally understood the big deal about fresh-squeezed orange juice. Katalina's serves its OJ in little Mason jars and only on the weekends. Don't miss it if it's available. The Stauf's coffee also was excellent.
Service at Katalina's was friendly. You order at the counter and the food is delivered to your table. The young woman working the counter was very patient with our questions; she also checked back to make sure everything was to our satisfaction.
There was one bathroom; it was very clean and big enough for a parent and two kids. However, there were no diaper-changing facilities.
Bottom line: Katalina's Cafe Corner is worth the drive and the price. The unique menu, locally sourced ingredients, and excellently prepared food would please any parent, and kids will find plenty to smile about.
THE KID SAYS
Before I got to Katalina's Cafe Corner, I knew the food would taste awesome. I was right! I had seen the menu and couldn't wait to order the Swedish Pancake Balls.
When I walked into the restaurant I was surprised at how tiny it was. There was only room for 18 people to sit! I thought it was neat that some of the walls were like a chalk board. The workers had written the specials and other things on the walls. Don't get your hopes up, though - customers aren't allowed to use the chalk.
We looked at the menu a little bit, but I already knew what I wanted. I ordered the Swedish Pancake Balls and gave some to my brother. He ordered the Mexican French Toast and gave some to me. They were both so good! The best part: Nutella in the pancake balls! You could order jelly in them, but I wanted Nutella.
To drink I had fresh-squeezed orange juice. It tasted like you were drinking an orange. I loved it! The only bad thing is that they only have it on weekends.
I'm supposed to write about the bathrooms (or bathroom). It was nice. The sink was one that you would use in a kitchen. There's not really anything else to say about it.
For service, the person we ordered from was nice but I didn't have to see her that much because you order at the counter.
I would recommend Katalina's Cafe Corner to everyone who loves