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Tasi Café is a Steady Presence in Columbus’ Short North Neighborhood

May 13, 2023May 13, 2023

Tasi Café is a rarity in the Short North. Not only is it woman-owned, but with 15 years under its belt, the well-loved eatery is one of the dining old guard, not just in the Short North, but in our constantly changing city.

Although the dining room is showing some signs of wear, Tasi's highly functional, no-nonsense experience is the same as it's always been. Tasi's menu still focuses on Greek- and Latin-influenced breakfast, brunch and lunch entrées, with brunch-worthy coffee and cocktail selections. Throughout the years, paper menus have been replaced with QR code menus (bracketed by Greek and Pride flags), but generous pours of mimosas and daily goods on the counter remain consistent.

You can't go wrong with the stuffed fruit French toast ($14.50), a decadent pile layered with banana slices, cooked strawberries, granola and melted Nutella as a syrup. The dish is a symphony of textures, and a dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries give it a tang.

The poached eggs with black bean cakes ($15) is less of a sure bet. Two perfectly poached orbs sit atop inconsistently seasoned black beans, next to a fanned display of Roma tomatoes topped with dried oregano. Toast slices are there for using the black beans as a dip or creating small sandwiches. The menu promises jalapeño butter, but overall this dish lacked much flavor.

The smoked salmon bagel ($15) with house-smoked salmon, red onion, cream cheese and tomato was as expected for a deli-style breakfast sandwich. The dense, house-made everything bagel didn't skimp on the "everything." The tangy onion was particularly outstanding, though the bagel itself was a solid B, compared to its bagel shop neighbor, the Lox.

The smoked salmon burrito ($15) balances smoked salmon with equal portions of cooked spinach, scrambled eggs and avocado. Scant amounts of red onions and tomatoes join the heavily salted mixture inside a lightly grilled flour tortilla in this sizable breakfast option. Tasi Café doesn't skimp on the accompanying fruit cup, which includes apples, blueberries, grapes and pineapple.

Tasi generally updates its specials on Tuesdays and Fridays, according to one server. One such special, the Greek hamburger ($16.50), was a quarter-pound of beef and a bit small for the price, though a half-inch layer of feta cheese and tzatziki made up for the slight size. Tomatoes, red onions and crisp zucchini pickles added freshness to the ensemble. The accompanying hand-cut Greek fries were sprinkled with feta cheese and herbs with a spicy kick.

Just a block away from bustling High Street, Tasi was once a hidden gem on Pearl. But as the Short North has expanded—and Experience Columbus has excelled at getting out-of-towners to explore the area's offerings—Tasi has become a central stop for visitors, especially on weekends. It's the barren tables during prime, weekday "breakfast meeting" hours that make me wonder if Tasi Café is still on the menu for us locals.

Tasi Café

680 N. Pearl St., Short North, 614-222-0788

This story is from the May 2023 issue of Columbus Monthly.

Tasi Café