Ashley Rowland and Brian Arthus have combined two of the Island's dining trends — vegan eats and food trucks — with the opening of Peach and Pine Cafe. The mobile eatery is servicing mainly Suffolk County with Instagram-worthy comfort food and baked goods for people and dogs, too.
On a recent visit, Peach and Pine offered its signature "hot lil biscuit" (an "egg" sandwich served on a Sriracha maple biscuit), fried "chicken" and waffles, $15, and Buffalo Brussels, $10.
The menu changes weekly, but one thing is consistent — there’s a flavor for every palate: "Sweet n’ sour chik’n" served on a black sesame scallion buttermilk biscuit; a "Reuben" sandwich on grilled housemade marble rye; banh mi made with caramelized chili cauliflower; and the aptly named "new bacon-ings" (a hot honey buttermilk biscuit topped with fried "chicken" and "bootleg" bacon).
Rowland and Arthus, partners in life and in business, make everything from scratch, and that includes the cafe’s "bacon" and "chicken," both of which are made of vital wheat gluten.
When it comes to sweets, the longtime vegetarians-turned-vegans turn out tarts, cupcakes, cookies, scones and the like. For Fido, there’s a sweet potato "couch potato" or "Cookie Monster" treat.
Rowland, a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, said she grew up cooking and baking with her mother and grandmother. She went on to launch a cake business, but "never thought cakes were going to be the end all," adding that she’s "an artist and cakes are edible art. Now we are taking that and putting it into our food."
The duo said they put in long hours during the week to keep up with demand on the weekends, but they owe it to friends Rachel Apicella, who helps at the window, and Greg Apicella, who they’ve dubbed "Fry Daddy," to keep them afloat.
Initially the plan was to open a brick-and-mortar spot in their hometown of Patchogue, but browsing Facebook Marketplace turned up a listing for a food truck. Seven months later, they were ready to serve the community — or so they thought.
During the truck's soft opening, "everything went wrong," Rowland said. Half the refrigeration went kaput, the griddle stopped working and they quickly learned the layout of the kitchen was insufficient, too.
The duo got through it, but the truck closed for three weeks for an overhaul.
Peach and Pine Cafe can be found parked at breweries and distilleries including The Better Man Distilling Company in Patchogue, übergeek Brewing Company and North Fork Brewing Co., both in Riverhead. The truck participates in special events such as the traveling Long Island Vegan Pop Up on Sept. 5 in Levittown. Moreover, its "chicken" will be offered at Hot Chicken Mama in Blue Point during a three-day collab Aug. 27-29. Stay up-to-date on its whereabouts by following @peachandpinecafe on Instagram.