When brothers Omer and Dave Orian moved to America after spending some of their childhood in Belgium, they started to dream about opening a shop that served the Liège-style waffles. Today the curly-haired duo—dubbed “Eugene’s Waffle Imperialists” by the Eugene Daily News—prepares their yeasted waffles across two Eugene locations.
To make Liège waffles, the brothers fold Belgium-imported pearl sugar into a brioche-like yeasted dough, caramelizing the batter in a cast-iron waffle maker before it’s crowned with sweet and savory toppings, like the goat cheese, avocado, and eggs of the shop’s Goat in Headlights waffle. The menu also includes sweet waffles, such as The Ol’ Banana Split. For the adventurous eater, try an “In-between” waffle like The Sweet Funk Machine, with pear, gorgonzola, cinnamon, and wildflower honey. Omelets, salads, and organic coffee round out the menu.
Chef Richard Balajadia’s food presentation can be dazzling—in his hands, green apples become swans and ahi tuna piles atop rice and vegetables to create gravity-defying sculptures—but he relies on seasonal ingredients to ensure that the dishes taste as good as they look. If organic arugula and free-range chicken don't sound like standard sports-bar fare, that’s precisely the intention. Lifelong friends and owners Michael Hoover, Todd Bardwell, and Bill Hutchins told the Register-Guard that they hired Balajadia because they wanted a menu that would appeal to their own "foodie tastes." Accordingly, even the bar’s burgers transcend their simplistic origins with jalapeño barbecue sauce, grilled portobellos, or house teriyaki sauce.
Even the bar’s drink menu rotates seasonally, with specialty cocktails that change to incorporate fresh summer fruits or entice tipplers with autumnal spices. The mixologists create their medleys of rosemary-infused Gentleman Jack whiskey, silver-agave tequila, and guava nectar at a bar where flat-screen televisions keep the atmosphere lively by showing Ducks’ games instead of documentaries about watching paint dry. The patio's red and yellow triangular shade sails for sunny days, and outdoor heaters fire up on chilly ones. DJ Reddfox transforms the vibe by spinning live on Saturday nights.
Question Ambrosia Restaurant & Bar chefs on how their pizzas acquire a rich, smoky flavor, and they'll point you toward the wood-fired oven that burns brightly near the restaurant's main entrance. Inside its superheated walls, pans of crusty crostini, lasagna, and thin-crust pizzas bake at high temperatures that seal in juices and bring out flavor. After checking on pizzas, chefs return to the kitchen, where they fold fresh herbs, premium meats, and fresh seafood into the pastas and regional Italian classics lauded by reporters from Ethos magazine.
Diners at Ambrosia await their meals amid the high ceilings, exposed-brick walls, and rustic accents of a multilevel dining room. Behind an antique wood bar, servers blend specialty cocktails and uncork bottles from the restaurant?s extensive Italian wine list, which was honored with a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. On the first Wednesday of the month, staffers host a wine event in their private tasting room, where guests intent on honing their wine skills can learn about different varietals or practice juggling water balloons filled with fine champagne.
A Craigslist ad for vegan entrepreneurs first connected Sheree and Kristy, which led to them launching a vegan food cart in January 2010. After a successful year with the food cart, the duo focused on creating their own restaurant. Sheree and Kristy opened the critically acclaimed Cornbread Cafe in 2011, and with it came even more delectable vegan spins on classic comfort foods. In lieu of pulled pork, for instance, they toss shredded seitan into sandwiches with slaw and barbecue sauce, and a cashew-based ?unCheese? sauce smothers their mac and cheese. Along with making 95% of their menu in-house with organic fixings, the caf??s cooks remain committed to local ingredients, as well as whipping up myriad gluten-free options.
Named for the famed expedition that trekked across the continent in search of the country's tastiest arugula, Lewis & Clark Catering celebrates the culinary landscape of the Pacific Northwest with locally sourced feasts of succulent seafood, sustainable meats, and fresh veggies, each created in-house by gourmet-minded chefs. The company's ample banquet space provisions patrons with seating for over 200 guests, with a full service bar, dance floor, patio, two separate dining areas, and picturesque views overlooking the Willamette River. On Fridays, the caterers open their doors to individual diners for a seasonal four-course meal, bolstered by live music and wine pairings chosen for their complementary bouquets and the past entrée experience listed on their resumes.
Beyond a comfortable, classic façade of bare brick and warmly-lit windows, Gridiron Sports Bar & Grill houses revelers hoisting frothy glasses of beer and relishing the smoky, savory aroma of hearty American fare. Traeger grills sear strip steaks until they're ready to share their nutritional value with diners and feed the bar's eight meat-fueled HDTVs, whose large screens flicker with the likes of football, basketball, and celebrity euchre. Beers domestic and imported (including microbrewed options) work with wine and cocktails to keep palates clean and the atmosphere lighthearted. Breakfast hits the tables from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends; patrons under 21 are welcome to hang out in the family-friendly pub until 8 p.m. daily.