March 1, 2013
By Trista Cornelius, Contributing Writer
We are excited to announce A.N.D Café as our newest Business Supporter! A.N.D Café, on 5420 East Burnside in Portland, offers a relaxing dining experience and a haven for the eco-conscious, gluten intolerant, or stressed out!. The space feels inviting without the clattering, noisy rush of other jam-packed breakfast spots in Portland. Natural light, engaging artwork, a few plants, and a Feng Shui deliberateness to the design create a calming effect.
“A.N.D.” stands for “Ashley & Dan,” the creators of this micro restaurant. The kitchen in this inviting space could fit in a closet (no exaggeration), and yet, the four people working there the morning I visited, glided past each other with ease and cheerfulness. I wondered if they did an employee meditation or yoga class before opening their doors each day, but Ashley explained that they worked together in the 7x10ft food cart of Off the Griddle (Ashley and Dan’s first enterprise), and by comparison, the 650 square feet of their new space feels huge. In fact, they wanted the space this small to encourage interaction with chefs and servers.
A few other things contribute to the warm, kind vibe of this place. From the countertops to the hashbrown “nests,” Ashley and Dan reduce and reuse whenever possible. When they remodeled the space, for example, they used eco-paints and covered formerly bright yellow Formica countertops with an eco-friendly and durable cement product. They re-used the lighting already wired, but added pendant lights inside mason jars. They even serve their cocktails in mason jars because they are made in the USA. Most remarkably, due to composting, serving “just-right” sized portions, and emphasizing quality over quantity, the bistro empties a five-gallon trashcan maybe two-to-four times a month.
So, how is the food? A unique twist on traditional meals. For example, they sculpt hashbrowns into muffin-sized nests. My breakfast included three nests filled with vegetables, sausage, and hollandaise sauce: a very rich, satisfying meal. They also have weekly waffle specials, so of course we had to share one of those. We watched as our thick, dark brown, gingerbread waffle received a scoop of fruit compote and spiced nuts, a perfect balance to the salty, creamy hollandaise I’d just finished eating.
Whether you want to try the meatloaf benedict, the “Hot Nest” (red pepper and kale tofu scramble with jalapenos, mozzarella, sour cream, and chimichurri sauce), or the biscuits and gravy, everything is made vegan. You can substitute dairy-based cheese or eggs if you’d like. Impressively, the entire breakfast menu can be made gluten-free—even the biscuits and gravy. Most of the lunch menu can be gluten-free as well. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to go back for lunch, but I have been craving the Pizza Press (smoked tomato seitan, mozzarella, spinach, red onion, and pizza sauce) ever since reading it on the menu while waiting for our breakfast.
Finally, A.N.D. also serves cocktails, kombucha, tea, and coffee. They open at 8am on the weekends, which is a boon for early risers looking for any breakfast spot open before 9am! They are open weekdays: Monday, Thursday, and Friday 9-3 and Saturday and Sunday 8-3.
A.N.D. incorporates the conscientiousness of a plant-based life in addition to providing savory plant-based meals. You will feel nourished and ready to face the rest of your day after a meal at A.N.D.
Visit A.N.D Cafe on Facebook to see photos of daily specials and much more! andcafepdx.com
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