Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Off The Waffle, Eugene OR

Brunch Philly: Summer Travel Edition

If you are ever in Eugene Oregon, a trip to “Off The Waffle” will be well worth the line. I was introduced to the place by a brunchmate who declared: "I really don’t like waffles but I love this place!"

When my brunchmates & I arrive the line to order is long still but inside. By the time we receive our waffles, it is out the door and wrapped around the building.

Off The Waffle was started by three brothers who spent time living in Belgium, perfecting their yeast-based Liège Waffles. Crispy, with tiny sweet spots of imported Belgian pearled sugar that caramelizes in the batter, I’ve discovered that their waffles go best with a “savory” or “in-between” topping.

Ole Banana SplitI order the Ole Banana Split ($5.75 without substitutions) but substitute the ice cream for a locally made mango sorbetto and add strawberries. Something is lost in translation, because I get strawberries but no bananas. The waffle is incredible—topped with fresh real whipped cream, slivered almonds, a dark chocolate sauce, fresh berries, and the cold tart sorbetto. However, the sweetness is just too much. It overwhelms the waffle rather than compliment it. That said, it is a very tasty treat.

One brunchmate orders the BMB ($5.75), bacon, basil, maple syrup and Havarti cheese. Everyone decides this is one of best, if not the best combination, that Off The Waffle makes.

Another brunchmate orders the Habib ($5.50 without additions), raw pistachios, chévre goat cheese and ground cardamom. She adds bacon to this combination. The cardamom nicely complements the chévre and the crunch of pistachios really pulls everything together.


On a second visit, much later in the day, there is no line at all. I try the Shmooli ($5.50) pear, smoked gouda, applesauce, crushed walnuts, and ground coriander (sorry, no picture!). This combination works much better than the first, each ingredient compliments the other in an outstanding flavor combination!

No matter what combination you choose, even if you decide to have one plain ($2.75) you really cannot go wrong.

Oh, and if you’re broke, Off The Waffle is open to bartering for their waffles…

If you go:
  • 2540 Willamette St
    Eugene, OR 97405
  • Phone: (541) 515-6926
  • Hours: Sun-Thur: 7am-7pm, Fri & Sat: 7am-11pm
  • They accept credit cards.
  • Off The Waffle

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cafe Chocolate of Lititz, Lititz PA

Wilbur Chocolate FactoryA few weeks ago I had the pleasure of brunching at the Café Chocolate in Lititz, Pa.

About an hour and a half outside of Philly, Lititz makes for a great day in the country. The town itself is quaint, with delightfully kitschy shops galore.
Lititz is home to Wilbur’s Chocolate Factory and Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. It’s well worth the drive on a beautiful day.

Despite it’s name, the Café Chocolate offers a full menu of other delights, with lots of vegetarian-friendly options. I am tempted to order the Mulligatawny Soup (with organic quinoa & veggies) but the day is just a tad too warm. Instead I opt for the House Salad.

House Salad & Chocolate Strawberry LushSuper fresh mixed baby greens, perfectly ripe grapefruit slices, artichoke hearts, and crushed walnuts, served with a perfectly tart chocolate raspberry balsamic vinaigrette, this salad is a not a bad deal for $3.95.

Chocolate Strawberry Lush

I also order a Chocolate Strawberry Lush ($4.95). Clearly the drink to order, about 4 or 5 locals stop in and order it to go while I am enjoying my meal. Similar to a frozen hot chocolate, this drink combines cocoa, strawberries and ice.

Café Chocolate also offers some fantastic looking desserts. I can’t help but order a slice of the Key Lime Tart, which comes in an organic chocolate cookie crust, and beautifully plated with dark chocolate sauce. Not too sweet, not too sour, this tart is delicious but extremely rich.

Key Lime Tart

Totally full, I relax for a bit in my comfortable sofa-chair and take a look around. There is a shelf full of books to read, if you want to settle in for awhile. There is also a soda-fountain style bar, where a couple has just adorably ordered one drink to share. As I leave, I notice they also have a patio area if you want to eat outside. As well as a shelf full of cute little gift items.

Next time I’m here I am going to have to try the Breakfast Panini – toasted peanut butter & banana panini with dark chocolate ($5.95). Or perhaps some Sunshine Crepes – filled with fresh strawberries, kiwi, pineapples, grapes, bananas, with pure local maple syrup & dark chocolate, dollops of organic fresh whipped cream ($9.95).
Or maybe I’ll go savory with a Portabella Mushroom Burger – Meatless burger served on a wheat bolillo roll, with vine ripened tomato, Vermont cheddar cheese, and jalapeño mayonnaise ($7.95).

Oh yeah, they also sell some super good chocolates too…

If you go: