By Cat Wurdack
5420 E. Burnside
Thurs. Fri. Mon. 9 am – 3 pm
Sat. Sun. 8 am – 3 pm
On a sunny Sunday morning, the a.n.d. cafe is packed with diners that fill up the patio tables under the maple tree. There’s a lively buzz – everyone’s chatting and digging into agave-sweetened, gluten-free banana waffles and cornmeal pancakes with maple syrup. Word is out that this SE Burnside eatery is a popular destination for breakfast and brunch. The a.n.d. is a friendly, inviting space: lots of natural light, ivy twisting out of mason jar vases, and colorful, origami-style butterflies on the wall.
a.n.d. stands for Ashley and Dan. Dan Harding and Ashley Arthur are the chef-owners of this all-vegan cafe at SE 54th and Burnside.
Missouri-born Arthur (who was raised on meat and dairy) liked how she felt, she said, after she switched to a vegan, gluten-free diet at 18 and started cooking healthier food for herself. Harding was an off-and-on vegetarian before he adopted a vegan diet.
a.n.d. cafe gives them an opportunity to integrate business with their health-conscious food choices.
Arthur, who creates many of the menu items, likes to develop delicious vegan and GF-friendly meal choices inspired by American favorites: a reuben sandwich with apple kraut and red cabbage; mac’n cheese with vegan gruyere and arugula-hazelnut pesto; waffles stuffed with marinated tempeh and peppers, and topped with Arthur’s mole; butternut hash with kale, leeks, and almond ricotta.
Sweet treats – pumpkin butter, caramel and walnut waffle, a raw, vegan and gluten-free cinnamon maple custard, for example – are sweetened with organic molasses, maple syrup, and coconut milk.
The menu is very affordable with most dishes around $10.
Everything is very fresh, says Arthur. “We have a tiny refrigeration space so we prepare everything fresh daily or every other day. We can’t prep for a week at a time.”
Arthur picks up fresh, same-day tofu at the Ota factory three times a week and serves it the next day. Since Ota doesn’t deliver, they pick it up.
She notes that after repeat visits to a.n.d., even non vegan diners gravitate toward the GF and V options. Her Missouri-native dad, for example, loves the ‘meatloaf’ benedict, a toasted walnut meatloaf with egg or tofu and hollandaise. “He says he doesn’t miss the meat,” Arthur says.
Arthur and Harding live in the Foster-Powell area. “Southeast has supported us very well,” says Arthur. “We’ll always be grateful to the people of SE Portland.”[The owners of a.n.d. would like to put the word out they are looking to feature the work of local artists in their commission-free space.]