This can’t be right, I’m thinking, as I drive around and around a gas station in Walla Walla, Washington. Finally, I go into the attached convenience store and there, just off to the cashier’s side, it is: *Andrae’s Kitchen.
Andrae’s is serving up no convenience store snacks, let me tell you, but scratch-made breakfasts and lunches, produced in a little, open kitchen. And diverse to boot. How about a pork schnitzel sandwich, halal-spiced chicken, short-rib tacos or grilled corn salad? They even sometimes slow-roast pigs and goats out back.
It’s the brainchild of Andrae Bopp, a French-trained chef who migrated to Walla Walla and eventually set up this gas-station kitchen, along with a roaming truck.
“I wanted to cook, not just open bags,” says Kevin, who’s running the early morning grill. “I’ve learned more here in three months than I did in five years at other places.”
He flips my perfectly over-easy eggs onto a toasted biscuit, melts some topping cheese under a lid. Voila, I’ve got a first-class breakfast biscuit ($5), which I scarf down at a plastic table.
It seems Andrae has made a convert of the convenience store cashier, too. “You’ve got to try the Voodoo fries (with pulled pork),” he calls out to me as he’s rings up a gas purchase. “I never knew French fries could be a meal.”
706 West Rose Street (Co-op gas station), Walla Walla, Washington (check the web site for truck locations)
Daily 6 am-6 pm, except 6 am-4 pm Sunday at the Co-op