Saturday, September 24, 2011

all fries go to heaven: Bruges Waffles and Frites

This weekend I crossed paths with Salt Lake City, Utah.
I love it when that happens.
However, as it is three hours away by car (and that is being optimistic when you have two kids under the age of five in your backseat!), it is a special accomplishment. One that deserves a reward. A reward of delicious proportions. You see, driving makes me hungry. ...and so does, ummm, passengering-while-reading-a-magazine. So it follows that I made my husband pull over in downtown SLC for one of my favorite treats.
Get ready.
Are you ready?
 Bruges Waffles and Frites (as seen on Travel Channel's Man vs Food [5:40]! Not gonna lie- I love Adam Richman. A lot. But can you blame me? Anyone who can be charming while stuffing copious amounts of greasy food in their mouth deserves... well, they deserve their own show. And my undying love.) is an adorable brand-spanking-new kind of place designed to look sort of like a hole-in-the-wall kind of place across from Pioneer Park on Broadway. And their food is not only legit- the owner and his brother-in-law run the place, and they are Bruges natives!- it is some of the most delicious fare I have ever eaten, let alone on a metal table. On a sidewalk. With a plastic utensil.
 Let's start with their famous Liège Waffles. Yeah, I do dessert first. 
The waffles here at Bruges are the real deal. If I could define waffle it would never again mean flour and baking powder and water fluff with syrup on top. The real definition of waffle is a homemade yeast batter crusted in sugar and cooked in a screaming hot iron, which produces a crispy, sweet exterior and a soft delicious interior. Fill that with two bars of dark Belgian chocolate and Bruges' calls it a "Torpedo" (umm, yes please). Sandwich vanilla bean ice cream, strawberries and speculoos spread (a crunchy caramel ginger spread made with ground Belgian cookies) between two vanilla waffles and they call it a Waffle Monster (If there are any monsters under my bed reading this, please please please be of the waffle variety). Top one with fresh fruit and/or homemade crème fraiche (pictured), and I call it "ummnnsffrafins!" Which is my-mouth-is-full-of-delicious-waffle-and-I-don't-want-to-talk-to-you-right-now for "So super delicious. Can I have another, please?"
I didn't even get a picture of this bad boy after we had dug in so I could show you the delectable dark chocolate inside.
And we ordered another one when we finished our sandwich.
And I didn't get a picture of that one, either.
You're just going to have to trust me. You want this now.

 Now to the "Machine Gun"!
And, yes, as I type this review I am beginning to realize that the owners of Bruges Waffles and Frites seem kind of violent about food. But if there was one sandwich that could be used as a WMD, this one takes it. This sandwich doesn't just fire a few rapid shots off, though. It's the bomb.
Just not literally. Because that would hurt.
The "Machine Gun" sandwich starts with a crusty french baguette. Then there are two merguez lamb sausages, which have a crisp skin and are juuust a little bit spicy. The sandwich is then piled high (oh, so heavenly high) with the best french fries you have ever eaten. No joke. I mean, when you consider that Belgians invented french fries, that the guys at Bruges Waffles and Frites are making them like they do at home, and that the word FRITES is in their restaurant's name, you have to figure that they are legit. And they so are. Finally the gun-fire sandwich bomb is topped off with a big old glob of andalouse sauce, a mayo-based sauce with a little bit of spice and a ton of flavor. *For those of you who hate mayo, ask for it on the side. But try it. Please try it.

Some friendly tips on ordering and devouring your Machine Gun:
+Tell them that you are splitting it because 1: You should! Do not eat this whole thing by yourself! You will die prematurely (As in TODAY. ...granted you will be in food heaven when you go...) and 2: They will cut it in half for you. Honestly, I could not even pick this entire thing up with two shovels for hands. Heck, half of it gives me a run for my money!
+Do not let your spouse get his hands on the camera while you are enjoying your Machine Gun. If you do, he will take a picture of you looking like this.
 And then you will really wish for a machine gun.
+Wash it down with a waffle. Or if you had your waffle first, like someone I know (ahem-me), get another one. It's just worth it.
+Bruges Waffles and Frites sells Coke in glass bottles. No joke. Drinking Coke from a glass bottle is pretty much my favorite thing in the universe. So just like when you give a mouse a cookie and he asks for a glass of milk, if you give this girl a "Machine Gun", she is going to split it with you, and wash it down with glass bottle Coke. And a second waffle. Stop judging and order yourself one, too.

Like I said before, I love this place. I dream about it. I have vowed one day to have my own waffle food truck. But mostly so I can just make myself breakfast.
And someday have to be hoisted out of my living room by a crane.
But that's another dream.

So here is my take on a few things that I find important when choosing a place to eat out. I hope you find it helpful.
Wallet-Friendliness: I would say these guys are at a fast-casual price point similar to what you would find at a place like Chipotle or Cafe Rio. The "Machine Gun" sandwich will run you about $9, the "Torpedo" waffle at $5, a cone of fries with some sauce at between 3-9$ depending on the size of the cone of deliciousness that you choose. My husband, the kiddos and I split the sandwich and got two "Torpedo"s with crème fraiche, which clocked us in at right around $20. And a stomach ache. ...but, you know. The good kind.
 Kid-Friendliness: I didn't see any high chairs around, just in case that is a deal-breaker for you, but my one-and-a-half year old held her own on a metal chair next to her dad. The food is super finger-friendly, too! They have regular ketchup for the fries, which is a huge deal to my four year old. PLUS you are eating outside. So, you know, there is less embarrassment about the killer arm that your baby has when it comes to food-flinging. But the down-side is...
Waistline-Friendliness:  Umm, it's not. Anything that might have been a vegetable at one point has been deep-fried beyond recognition. There is tons of fresh fruit, but only when it is served on a delectable waffle, preferably stuffed with chocolate and topped with cream.
Friendly-Friendliness: Good, friendly and fast service. Order at the counter, grab a cup of water and head out to the curbside tables or deck upstairs overlooking the park. You pick up your food at the window shown above. In the winter you will probably want to either bundle up or take your food to go, but this is definitely one thing I would hang out in snow for. My only caution: don't let your loved-ones get too close to the hipsters that frequent this location... or the ones that work there... You know, unless you're into that sort of thing. Me, I just don't see why a boy would want to put on his little sister's jeans, his grandpa's knit sweater, his grandmother's silk scarf and a pair of fake plastic glasses from his dress-up box to go out and eat a waffle.

Bruges Waffles and Frites on Urbanspoon
Bon Appetit!


  1. I seriously need to eat here. I hear it calling my name.
    p.s. LoVe your food blog!!!!!

  2. hey I love your blog and that pic if u!!

  3. so, either you need to stop involving such delightful descriptions in your writing, or i need to stop looking at your blogs when both hungry and poor. option c, of course, is that you move next door and include me in your meal plans. let me know what you decide.