I’m pretty sure this is how it happened. Maybe I’m going to make it more of a story than it really was but.. yeah, this is how it happened…
Waffle Sandwich – the legend of EVOKE. Maybe the most popular thing on the menu and for sure the most popular personality at EVOKE (except maybe Kyle.. everyone liked Kyle, too….)
Here are the characters:
An EVOKE House Waffle..
Ham (and then at one point Turkey) and then Ham again (<– supply chain? Boredom? Who knows…)
Here is how I remember it all going down. We were in the kitchen.. I think it was Katie and Jenni and Me… I’m sure there were others. We were talking about the menu and it came up that we wanted a new sandwich. We didn’t have bread (or thought it would be lame to make it) so we put the ham and cheese on the grill to make it all nice and melty.. BUT, instead of doing the normal thing and putting it all on wheat bread or something, we grabbed the waffle out of the waffle maker that had just beeped.. Added some of that EVOKE Pesto Mayo, slammed the cheese meat on, added an egg (you know, to “tie the room together”) and BAM!
It was November of 2013. and here is the truth: That thing was never supposed to be a real thing. It wasn’t really a joke but for sure something we were just playing with on a slow day and it took off. Like really.
I mean, our pal Steven Adams made it legendary by eating at least two of them on his way to the arena on home game nights for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was always calling in to order like 30 minutes after the kitchen would close for the day.. funny how excited the crew up front would be on those calls to jump back there and fire things back up for him.
This waffle sandwich quickly became a staple at EVOKE – for staff and for guests – and I’m glad the joke of an item became something. It felt like us.
The History of Waffles at EVOKE
When Jenni and I first began expanding on the idea of an EVOKE in a real space that wasn’t just catering, we really hadn’t planned on a big food menu. We knew coffee well and wanted to be sure we respected our boundaries. However, we knew our new spot in Downtown Edmond would require a kitchen and something more than just baked goods.
So, we pushed this idea for waffles but couldn’t really feel comfortable about how to make it happen properly so we launched with our first menu. It was a year or so later that we decided to open up that menu and do a special Waffle Brunch on Sundays to try and satisfy that waffle itch that we had.
EVOKE’s Sunday Waffle Brunch
So many great options on this menu — I especially missed serving that Chili Waffle and Savory Deluxe Waffle. People couldn’t believe we would serve a waffle WITHOUT Syrup! HA. Even that waffle sandwich with the meat, cheese and pesto mayo was hard for people to understand.. a waffle without syrup? Crazy town EVOKE.
When we launched this menu, we had no idea how it would take off. We had one.. maybe two.. people in the kitchen at a time during this phase and they just got BLASTED. There was one Sunday where my friend Mandy S made something like 72 waffles in one shift. That’s a ton.
I think this menu really set us up for success at EVOKE through the kitchen. We were not prepared but we learned as quickly as we could. This menu lasted for a few months before we decided offer waffles 7 days a week instead of just Sundays. It ebbed and flowed until we landed on what we thought were the top 5 or so and kept those going for years to come.
A few years after this, we added the Cinnamon Roll Waffle to the menu and that became a staple, too. So so good. I can still taste it today!
Those were good days at EVOKE. I hope you enjoyed eating waffles there and maybe that you still do! What was your favorite? Leave it in the comments!
All I remember is a cloud of strawberry balsamic steam punching me in the face every time I went in the kitchen!
Such good times. There was an energy in the air those days. What was that? We were making coffee and waffles and covering extra kitchen shifts, but those days were special.
EVOKE people are special.
You missed typed – that balsamic was caressing.. not punching.
I think there was a “can we pull this off” excitement.. like when you aren’t sure if what you are doing is smart or even doable but it is working and people are having a good time and the buzz of the FOH is enough to keep the heat at by in the kitchen..
When ideas that look good on paper end up actually tasting good and are being asked for by the crowd..
When the people you are working with are so fun to work with that even the shitty days seem to be ok..
I think you are right. There was an energy that was hard to clamp down as we tried to marry the coffee story with a food story that might not have even really been in our DNA.
EVOKE people are special. Truth.
“ When the people you are working with are so fun to work with that even the shitty days seem to be ok.”
I wasn’t there in those beginning days but i wish i could have been! I feel like the line above sums up working at evoke for me.
You were a big part of lots of good times!