2601 SE Clinton St.
8 am – 2 pm daily
The origins of Off the Waffle restaurant is an interesting tale of a family originally from Israel who end up in SE Portland making Liége waffles on Clinton St.
Brothers Dave and Omar went traveling in Latin America around 2008 but when the cash they’d saved started to dwindle, they quickly made their way to San Francisco, bought a car and headed north. They made it as far as Eugene, Oregon, a city they felt could be home for awhile.
The brothers describe themselves and their family history as nomadic. Their father Shimon was in the technology industry and he was sent all over the world to develop prepress applications. Omar was born in the US and while they were living in Brussels, Dave was born. It was during one of their stays in Belgium that they discovered the aroma and taste of the Belgian waffle.
While making their way north from San Francisco, the brothers quickly realized there weren’t many waffle places and especially the Liége waffle they liked so well. The lack of this gastronomical offering inspired them to open their first restaurant on Willamette St. in Eugene in 2009.
It quickly became a family affair when their dad, mom and sister came to Eugene to help with the business. Expanding to Portland was a logical next step and now people here can taste for themselves the rich, sweet flavor of the Liége waffle. It is an adaptation of brioche bread dough with chunks of pearl sugar folded into the dough. After rising, it kind of melts into the waffle giving a carmelized exterior.
Liége waffles are served savory, sweet or in-between. The “Be Brie-Peared” is a delicious example of the in-between. A light sprinkle of the maple-balsamic glaze and a side of the sugar-glazed bacon complete this meal, suitable for anytime of the day.
An example of the savory is the Goat In Headlights: chevré, avocado, basil, and fresh farm eggs topped with special spices. Then there’s The Sweet Belgian: chocolate chips, sliced banana, drizzled with the housemade dark chocolate sauce and freshly-whipped cream. Each category has a tantalizing selection and different toppings.
Omar spoke about their decision to use good organic ingredients and to prepare everything on site. “On the weekends, we will have as many as eight people bustling about waiting tables and making sure every order is served up fresh,” he said. One of the secrets to a good waffle is the cast iron skillet because it cooks the waffle thoroughly and gives them their unique texture.
Off the Waffle also makes gluten-free waffles served any style. For the breakfast/brunch eater, there is a selection of omelets and salads or a combination of both. They have made a special effort to offer a variety of beverages, from organic herb tea mixtures, green and black teas, organic coffee to specialty cold drinks and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
For now, Off the Waffle is a open everyday until 2 pm but their hours will be expanding into the evenings in the near future. They are self- admitted fledglings in the restaurant business, but the whole family is giving their all to make the Liége waffle a part of Oregon’s dining repertoire.