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Husband and wife duo make barbecue breakfast at Baba’s

A sausage griddle muffin and tea from Baba’s restaurant. Credit: Courtney Ward | For the Lantern

A husband and wife brought barbeque to the breakfast menu in Columbus from a food truck to a new restaurant.

Together for 15 years, Dan and Caroline Kraus took on a new challenge and opened Baba’s, a bakery and cafe that specializes in house-made smoked meats.

The restaurant opened in November 2016 at 2515 Summit St.

After finding success with their food truck “That Food Truck,” in 2014, the duo signed a lease for their first brick-and-mortar restaurant and spent two years renovating it with the help of family and friends. They knew they wanted to open a sit-down restaurant but wanted to make sure they had the right timing and location before investing, Caroline Kraus said.

Dan and Caroline Kraus opened Baba’s in 2016. Credit: Courtney Ward | For the Lantern

Baba’s features griddle muffin sandwiches with a choice of meat: sausage, chorizo, pork tenderloin or bacon. They also offer baked goods made daily and local Thunderkiss Coffee. The menu also has options for vegans and vegetarians.

From passed-down, cast-iron skillets to handwritten recipes, Baba’s is a family-oriented restaurant serving quality food, Caroline Kraus said. The restaurant’s spiced sausage and chorizo is made in-house, while every night Chef Dan Kraus smokes the meat for their pork loin and bacon sandwiches.

“This sausage griddle muffin is amazing,” first-time customer, Michael Carter said, “It’s nice to get away from the chained restaurants and try something new.”

Dan Kraus learned how to cook as a young boy from watching his mother and trying her recipes. After working in many kitchens in the early 2000s, the pair moved to Portland, Oregon, to further his culinary education. Caroline Kraus said it was in Portland that they first immersed themselves in the food truck scene, learning all they could from their friends.

After moving back to Columbus, Dan Kraus continued working in kitchens in Columbus, having gained a lot of experience but not allowed to express his full creativity, he said. Discovering a new opportunity, the couple took their savings and bought a diesel truck.

With the Columbus food truck scene rising around 2007, the couple opened That Food Truck, selling gourmet, dinner-sized sandwiches and fries.  

“If we are going to do this, now is the time to (start a food truck),” said Caroline. “It’s opportunity meets ability and That Food Truck took off, very quickly.”

Caroline Kraus said they were the first food truck at local Seventh Son Brewing Co. She said they were one of the first trucks to stay open during the winter season, allowing Dan Kraus to start smoking meats.

Baba’s does not have a specific clientele, Caroline Kraus said.

“We never want anyone to walk in and feel like they don’t belong here,” she said. “Anyone that walks in here, we want to feel like this is their home, too.”

Dan and Caroline Kraus said they have many ideas for expanding the menu and the restaurant, to appeal to students and families. They said opening a business is getting the opportunity to do what you want to do and their way, and find it important to incorporate the community in the process.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Caroline Kraus said. “Taking care of your neighbors; the people that come in and support you.”

Staying with their roots, the couple will also have the new “Baba’s Porch Truck” stationed throughout the Columbus area this spring.

The interior of Baba’s restaurant, located at 2515 Summit St. Credit: Courtney Ward | For The Lantern

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