Guide: Three huevos rancheros to try

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Huevos rancheros is a simple and hearty breakfast dish, originally conceived to fortify farm workers. At its most basic, it's just eggs, corn tortillas and salsa (typically a tomato, onion, jalapeno and chile combination dubbed ranchero sauce). But it's also an increasingly popular brunch option around town-and a beloved alternative for those who can't face piles of sugary French toast or pancakes, or who'd like a little kick of heat to get their morning going. Although the dish has a Mexican origin, local chefs are interpreting it in interesting and innovative ways.

Starliner Diner

This Cuban-Tex-Mex-American diner is perhaps the restaurant most associated with huevos rancheros in Columbus, and with good reason-they've been serving this satisfying breakfast for two decades. As many a downtowner can attest, it's worth the drive out to Hilliard when the craving takes hold. Starliner's much-imitated rendition starts with two corn tortillas filled with melted cheese, topped with a nice chunky ranchero sauce and two eggs cooked to order. Accompanying sides are your choice of black beans, home fries or (recommended) half of each. Portions are generous, so bring an appetite.

Tasi Cafe

Tasi Cafe's version of huevos rancheros is certainly unorthodox, but this hasn't compromised its appeal one bit. In addition to being delicious, it's one of the prettiest plates of huevos in town. Flour tortillas are used to make a crisp quesadilla filled with black beans and queso fresco. Eggs are poached, shakshuka-style, in oniony ranchero sauce, and the result is a pleasant kick of spice. The quesadilla adds a nice texture contrast and is a necessary accompaniment for dipping into the soft egg yolks and sauce.

Katalina's Cafe Corner

Katalina's huevos rancheros is the most customizable version in town-not only can you choose your style of eggs, but also whether you want the dish with Shagbark tortilla chips, hash browns, chorizo or veggie sausage. Our nod goes to the chips with chorizo combo, which adds satisfying crunch and spicy zing and almost makes the dish a tasty huevos rancheros-nachos hybrid. The black bean puree is creamy and flavorful. The dish is generously sprinkled with queso fresco and garnished with avocado and cilantro.