Words by Nicole Scopelliti | Photos by Sierra Pedro
It’s Saturday night. Before you know it, you’ve had one too many beers. The aftermath of this unforgettable night out will surely rear its head the following morning. When that stubborn headache and growling stomach arrive, head over to Off the Waffle to get just what the doctor ordered: a cup of coffee and a plate of waffles to get you back on your feet.
A trip to Off the Waffle is what the restaurant’s co-owner, Omer Orian, refers to as a “magical waffle experience.” The restaurant’s atmosphere is vibrant, warm and welcoming. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by friendly counter staff, upbeat tunes and the sweet smell of Liege Waffles wafting out from the kitchen. The welcoming, communal atmosphere Off the Waffle continues to offer has not changed since the Orian family sold their first waffle, but the shop’s location has. On September 28th, 2009, as the Orian family’s passion for waffles continued to grow, brothers Omer and Dave, and their father Shimon, opened a waffle shop out of their home in the Whiteaker neighborhood, where they began to attract a cult following. On March 28th, 2010, the trio opened their first shop in South Eugene.
Off the Waffle has become a staple in the community for both University of Oregon students and Eugene natives for good reason. The restaurant is built on a foundation of passion, love and a constant yearning for excellence. Omer stated that his family and the restaurant’s staff are “super passionate, crazed and obsessed about waffles.” With so much dedication, it’s hard not to produce a delectable product. However, Omer remained humble about Off the Waffle’s irresistible creations: “We have a great waffle, and I’m so proud of it, but I know I could make an even better one.” Omer, Dave and Shimon have been updating and refining their waffle recipe for 11 years, and don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Constantly striving for excellence, as well as the uniqueness of the Liege Waffle itself, is what truly sets Off the Waffle apart from other breakfast establishments. The waffles are made from brioche dough, which is made in-house. Off the Waffle chooses to use organic eggs and milk, and everything made from the kitchen is fresh and sans preservatives. When asked about his favorite item on the menu, Omer said that he preferred a plain waffle and a cup of coffee. Although this might seem simple, it only reinforces how effective starting with a simple, delicious foundation can be – additional fixings like eggs, bacon and even goat cheese are just added bonuses.
With just one glance at the menu, you might be overwhelmed. Off the Waffle offers both sweet and savory waffles, as well as what Omer calls “in-between” waffles. If you’d like to try something on the sweeter side, I suggest The Wiffle – a Liege Waffle is topped with Nutella, sliced banana and powdered sugar. Looking to try an intermingling of sweet and savory flavors? Try The BMB – a Liege Waffle topped with two strips of bacon, melted havarti cheese, fresh basil chiffonade and maple syrup.
Off the Waffle currently thrives at two locations: its South Eugene shop, located at 2540 Willamette Street, and its Downtown shop, located at 840 Willamette Street. Both shops are open seven days a week, from 8 am – 2 pm daily.
Off the Waffle received 3rd place in EMG’s 2017 Best of Campus this spring.