UPDATE June 2020: Baba’s has closed. 🙁
It’s been just over three years since I first wrote about Baba’s, shortly after they opened at the intersection of the University District and Clintonville. I stop there regularly on my Columbus Food Adventures breakfast tours, and pop up for breakfast on my own whenever I can.
Baba’s has updated their space and tweaked recipes over the years, so I figure it was time for a revisit!
First, where to find them: Baba’s is found at the southwest corner of Hudson and Summit streets, in a small strip labeled SoHud.
While their storefront is very unassuming, you’ll probably recognize the SoHud mural on the side of their building, facing Hudson. Each letter was painted by a different local artist.
In the past month they’ve reorganized their space to maximize seating capacity. Now you’ll find a small counter and a collection of tables near the front.
And in the back is a low counter with stools that looks into the kitchen! I love a good diner counter, so I really enjoyed seeing this addition.
They’ve updated the menu here and there over the years. The big focus is sandwiches and burgers, all made with their griddle muffins (more on those shortly).
But you’ll also see smoked meats and vegetables, house-baked goodies, and something called the Evolved Plate. It’s named for the tattoo shop across the street. You order the plate and they put what they want on it – no questions or complaints.
The breakfast sandwiches are my main draw. They slice a griddle muffin, add fried egg and havarti cheese, plus your choice of sausage, chorizo, ham, bacon, or shredded vegetables.
They’re all good, but my hands-down favorite is the chorizo. All of their meats are butchered and cured in house, and the chorizo has a lovely zing to it.
Kudos to Baba’s for featuring vegetarian dishes that are creative and not just “we left the meat off.” Their vegetarian breakfast sandwich (on the left) features shredded carrots, zucchini, and peppers to go with the egg and cheese. I dig it.
And Baba’s is a more-than-worthy lunch stop, too! They use their same griddle muffins to make diner burgers.
Be sure to try Chef Dan’s soups in the colder weather. They change all the time, but he creates a super hearty stock and adds whatever smoked meats, beans, vegetables he has.
Their diner burger should be ordered with a side of fries, too. They’re crispy and salty, and have gotten specific shout-outs in other local press over the years.
Their signature is the house-made griddle muffin. Dan and his team have tweaked the recipe over the years and have really hit on something. He calls it a cross between an English muffin and a biscuit.
When they started, it was a really wet, heavy dough that they had to cook in scoops on the flat top – that’s why they’re called griddle muffins. Nowadays it’s a much lighter dough.
The muffins are baked in ring molds that Dan constructed. They’re sturdy without being too dense, and hold up well to heavier meats and cheeses. You can also buy them to take home!
Baba’s produces a full range of baked goods, from cinnamon rolls (definitely try those), pies, cookies, and a rotating day bread.
They also feature Thunderkiss Coffee for their brewed coffee, espresso, cold brew. Jason roasts some wicked coffee, and Baba’s puts it to good use. They also sell retail bags.
Overall, Baba’s continues to be a fun, cozy little find in the University District. It’s one of those places that’s a hidden gem, although I don’t want it to stay too hidden! Three years in and I think they’re really hitting their stride. Here’s to many more years to come!