Earlier this year Katalina’s Cafe Corner shortened its alliterative (and somewhat protracted) name to Katalina’s. The name change, accompanied by the introduction of a new menu, signified the transformation owner Kathleen Day had envisioned when she purchased the Harrison West sandwich shop in 2009. Drawing inspiration from her Southern background, Kathleen has spent the last five years utilizing her design aesthetic and culinary experience to revamp the space and fine-tune the menu. The result is a boutique eatery featuring Latin-influenced flavors and reimagined Southern fare.
Inspired offerings like the Mazatlan Pork and Egg sandwich (slow roasted pork with a fried egg, provolone, avocado, and Sriracha/lime aioli) and Bret’s Chorizo Patty-O (fresh, house-made chorizo served with cheddar and pickle slaw on toasted sourdough) invite patrons to step out of their sandwich comfort zone. The cafe’s selection of soups, salads, and appetizers, such as the Maque Choux Salata (Katalina’s version of the New Orleans classic) and Hominy Bowl (hominy with roasted red peppers in a mole/lime broth served with or without pork cracklins), showcase the cafe’s interpretative culinary approach.
A meal at Katalina’s wouldn’t be complete without an order of Pancake Balls. Encompassing your choice of filling (Nutella, fruit preserves, or dulce de leche), the light and fluffy balls come with a side of Ohio maple syrup and Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Bacon (which is delicious in its own right). The Pancake Balls have become Katalina’s signature dish as well as one of the key tenets of her tripartite credo: Peace, love, and pancake balls.
An enthusiastic supporter of everything local, Katalina’s uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and features products from Thunderkiss, Shagbark, and Snowville Creamery. The cafe actively collaborates with Ohio vendors, including North Market Spices and Cooper’s Mill, to concoct unique flavor combinations and create new dishes. You can view the full menu here.
Katalina’s growth has been limited only by its small space (a former gas station). Crowds spill out of the dining room onto the cafe’s spacious patio during warmer weather. Although the winter months have previously confined guests to the limited interior seating or carry-out, customers now have another option.
The restaurant has recently partnered with Oddfellows Liquor Bar in the Short North. In addition to offering Katalina’s brunch on the weekends, Oddfellows serves an abbreviated selection of the cafe’s small plates and appetizers, some exclusive to the bar like the Shagbark Walking Taco (a perfect accompaniment to one of the many Ohio beers on tap). As part of the collaboration, Oddfellows also features a line of Katalina’s-inspired cocktails, including the Katalina’s Kupp #6—a twist on the Pimm’s Cup: Middle West Spirits Stone Fruit Vodka, cucumber, basil, grapefruit juice, and finished with ginger beer.
Kathleen Day has conjured her stylish Katalina’s brand from a bricolage of Southern tradition, bright Latin flavors, and modern cuisine. Her concept continues to evolve through partnerships with local businesses and vendors, creating a dynamic and vibrant dining experience for her guests.