Healthy and delicious
On the Way Café finds a niche in Mequon

By Will Skalecki - News Graphic Staff

August 22, 2017

 Steve Perlstein, Jill Check and Dynami Al-Anjeri of On the Way Café stand in front of a mural in their restaurant that was completed by Mequon artist Bridget King.
Photo by Mark Justesen

MEQUON — At Mequon’s newest café, breakfast can mean anything from eggs over easy to raw apple pie made with cashew cream, or a Quinoa kale bowl topped with maple syrup.

What do all these items have in common? Nothing – except the freshest ingredients available.

On the Way Café, which celebrated six months of business Aug. 14, was opened by Mequon resident Jill Check. After noting that there was no local restaurant devoted to organic food, Check made fresh ingredients the top priority when designing the restaurant and its menu.

“We use whatever tastes best,” said Steve Perlstein, co-manager and head chef. “This is the first restaurant I have worked at where, given the choice between a cheaper, more conventional ingredient, and a more expensive organic one, will choose the latter.”

In their search for healthy ingredients, the restaurant does not have to look far. Their tofu, served in dishes such as the Hippy Bowl, comes from Simple Soyman, a Milwaukee company. Their maple syrup, a staple in their Quinoa Breakfast Bowl, is from Slow Pokes in Grafton.

 The dessert case and the wine selection are both popular features.
Photo by Mark Justesen

Along with breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees, the café has a versatile beverage menu that includes craft beers, juices, smoothies and teas. The desserts, all vegan and gluten-free, are a customer-favorite.

“Our pies typically sell out quickly every day,” said co-manager Dynami Al-Anjeri. “A lot of people are skeptical about vegan desserts, and ask how you can make a dessert without cream. We use cashew milk.”

“I’m a classically trained French chef, so I’m used to using cream in everything” added Perlstein. “These desserts are really, really good.”

Following a successful first few months of business, Perlstein and Al-Anjeri said they hope to grow the café’s business. They plan to implement event catering, including a special- order service for athletes and other groups who may want healthy take-out food.

Growing the business also means extending its reach beyond the Mequon area. With plans to open more locations in the greater Milwaukee area, the café hopes to share its commitment to organic food with more individuals.

“Not everyone realizes that healthy food can be really delicious,” said Al-Anjeri. “We want to prove it to them.”