You’ve bought a ticket to the Oregon Country Fair and chances are high that at some point during the three-day odyssey, you will develop the munchies, suddenly needing a place to satiate this supernatural hunger.
But with the fair hosting more than 50 food vendors — including the addition of new vendors to its roster for the first time in many years — how ever will you decide where to pig out?
One option is Off the Waffle, a Eugene fixture making its Fair debut. The booth will be located near Main Stage, just off Sesame Street at Fair address WO-8.
“We’ve been wanting to be a part of the Country Fair for years,” says Off the Waffle co-owner Omer Orian, who notes that, when they opened shop in 2009, one of the first things the restaurant did was apply to be a part of the Fair.
If you haven’t been to Off the Waffle, the signature food is the liège waffle. The liège waffle, originally a Belgian specialty, is a dessert-like delicacy in which pearl sugar is added to the dough to give the waffle a sugary kick.
Off the Waffle fare is sweet enough that slathering it with extra sweets, as is customary with lesser waffles, isn’t necessary — although the menu explains they “won’t judge you” if you decide to add syrup and butter. It also advises you to take a bite before you decide to sugar it up.
The waffle I sampled was indeed sweet, and might have been too sweet had I added syrup. Fortunately, I won’t be judged for adding butter.
For its inaugural year at the Fair, Off the Waffle “will be serving up some of our regular fare that people know is tried and true,” Orian says. He adds that, in honor of the Fair, their H-Bomb waffle will be rechristened the H-Bob, because the violent imagery the name conjures doesn’t quite suit the peacenik-hippie fest that is OCT.
There are many options food-wise at the Oregon Country Fair, and Orian doesn’t think “you should limit yourself to just waffles.” Joining Off the Waffle as brand-new vendors this year are Viva! Vegetarian Grill, Horn of Africa and Edible Improv, with Bangkok Grill relocating to the spacious New Area near Chela Mela.
But if you do opt to shop the waffle stand, Orian says, “You will experience Off the Waffle and you will, for at least that moment, be a part of our community.”