We all know that February 14th is Valentine’s Day, but what about Galentine’s Day? On February 12th, Off The Waffle hosted their first annual Galentine’s Day in their Portland and Downtown Eugene locations. Inspired by Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope, Galentine’s Day works to empower and uplift women across the community. Since Knope is a feminist and has a love for waffles, it’s only fitting that Off the Waffle would serve as the venue for her cherished event. In fact, their menu even contains a waffle called The Swanson, containing all of Ron’s favorites like sunny-side up eggs, bacon, and a side of maple syrup.
Galentine’s Day itself functions as a community event to honor the women in our everyday lives, like our mothers, sisters, or friends. In fact, for every waffle sold, Off the Waffle in Eugene donated $1 to Womenspace, a local nonprofit organization that provides a safe space for victims of domestic abuse. They offer services like an emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis line, and support groups.
While there weren’t mosaic portraits made from cans of people’s favorite diet soda, personalized 5,000 page essays, and probably not any disastrous reunions of long lost lovers, there was still plenty of love. The whole store was full of energy and bustling with activity. Friends and family conversed over plates of golden waffles, servers weaved between tables, and a line of hungry customers stretched to the back of the store. Paper hearts, streamers, and mason jar lanterns decorated the walls and ceiling. While most of the customers were women, many men were there too.
Near the entrance, Womenspace set up a table with information pamphlets and a volunteer sign up sheet. Members of Alpha Chi Omega were running the table as a part of Healthy Relationships Week. Next to the table was a purple photobooth with flowers and the phrase “Love is….”.
For the special event, Off the Waffle featured “The Leslie”, a waffle topped with pear, lavender whip, and Euphoria white chocolate hearts. Drink specials included rosé, champagne, mimosas, and tangelo juice. Along with these items, mini waffles also debuted. These adorable bites resembled doughnuts and came in different flavors, including maple bacon.
Entering the store, I could immediately smell the sweet aroma of waffles. Despite the continuously long line, the wait was pretty short. Finding a seat was a little hard because the store was so packed, but my group managed to grab a table. Even with a large crowd, there was still an upbeat, fun vibe that was never lost. Employees took orders and served food with a smile. While there was some music playing in the background, the chatter and laughter of friends and family made up most of the soundtrack.
Personally, I ordered the Leslie. The setup was gorgeous and the colorful plate was beautifully dusted with powdered sugar. The waffle itself was warm and delicious, and the pears smelled fresh and fruity. Everything was topped with a whopping pile of whipped cream that contained a subtle hint of lavender. The chocolate hearts were also melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Overall, this tasty delight definitely sweetened up my day!
At the end of the day, Off the Waffle sold around 500 waffles, raising $500 for Womenspace. They hope that this event will start a chain reaction and inspire others to celebrate the women in their lives. After the success of this event, Galentine’s Day is sure to become an annual tradition. After all, what's better than supporting the community, hanging out with loved ones, and gorging on delicious waffles? As Leslie Knope said, it’s all about “Ladies celebrating ladies”.
Special shoutout to Sandra, Sara, Bee, and Lenie for celebrating Galentine’s Day with me and to Off the Waffle for holding this wonderful event!
Look forwards to next year's Galentine's Day, sure to be filled with community, love, and (importantly) waffles!