On our last drizzly day in Portland, we met with some dear friends for brunch before heading to the airport. Two members of our group are gluten intolerant, and so we wanted to go somewhere that could bountifully accommodate their gluten-free diets and would also offer lots in the way of vegan options as well. We decided on the vegetarian restaurant, A N D Cafe, which I’d had a chance to sample at one of the Vida Vegan Con breakfasts. Everything on their menu can be made vegan, and the only thing that can’t be made gluten-free is the reuben.
When we arrived that Monday morning, the small restaurant was bustling, and there was a short wait while a table for five was ready for us. Once seated with menus in hand, my eyes settled in on their nests. They serve a variety of hashbrown “nests” that look like they were baked in muffin tins. Those nests are then filled with an assortment of toppings.
I couldn’t refuse the Hot Nest. It’s filled with a red pepper and kale tofu scramble, jalapenos, and drizzles of vegan mozzarella, sour cream, and a chimichurri sauce. Putting a fork through the soft spicy filling, it hit a satisfying crunch as it broke through the bottom layer of hashbrowns. I loved every messy bite. (I even made my own version later! Click here for my recipe for making vegan nests at home!)
On the side, David and I split one of their vegan sausages. I expected something in a patty form, but their vegan sausage was totally unique and made in house. It was flat and thin, covering the area of a salad plate. Crumbly with the taste of fennel seed, it was crisp on the outside and then softer on the inside. They don’t offer any hints to the ingredients on the menu, and every nibble was like a puzzle trying to figure out what was inside. One thing was for certain – it was completely tasty.
For his meal, David sided with the banana & walnut blue corn waffle. Dense and crisp, it was topped with fresh bananas and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. All of the waffles are made gluten free, and this one was soft and moist. Unless you told them, no one would have an inkling that it wasn’t your typical all-purpose flour waffle.
I would happily go to A N D Cafe the next time I’m in Portland for breakfast or perhaps even better, for lunch. Clearly that aforementioned reuben needs to be procured!