Friday, March 23, 2012

Bruges Waffles & Frites

Where: Bruges Waffles and Frites, 336 W Broadway, Salt Lake City

Who Went: Chelsey and Devynne

Number of Visits: 1

What We Ordered: 1 small order of Frites with Brasil mayo, Torpedo Waffle, Waffle Monster

What It Cost: $20.49

What We Thought:


I have to admit -- I was skeptical about this place. I've never really been a huge waffle person, only spent $2.50 on a crappy waffle maker from Walmart on Black Friday to satisfy my husband's repeated requests, and definitely don't want to spend lots of money on what I viewed as a glorified breakfast food. When I heard about Bruges Waffles and Frites, I thought -- "Really? They just serve waffles and fries?" I had looked at pictures of different orders on Urbanspoon, thought that the portion sizes looked totally dinky and overpriced, and figured it was just a fad thing. What's the big deal about Belgian waffles anyway?

Well the raving reviews haven't stopped, and I decided that during a recent trip to Salt Lake, I needed to find out for myself what the big deal was after all.


Let's start with the shop itself. There really is only one word to describe this place -- TINY. There is only a 6-seat bar for people to sit, approximately 2 feet away from the register. Luckily we came on a weekday at 11, so it was pretty empty, but rumor has it that this place fills up quick and can have crazy lines. Go during the off-hours! The owner has a delightful accent and is very friendly - apparently he and I have the same car, so we chatted about gas mileage and snow capabilities for a while. He also encouraged us to taste of the store's crunchy Specaloos spread. I also have been skeptical of this supposedly imported spread, since I can find it at my local grocery store (the brand name is Biscoff spread), but I've only ever been able to buy the smooth variety -- this crunchy kind took it to a whole new level for me! We ordered 2 waffles and some frites of course, though they do have a couple other options (the intimidating Machine Gun sandwich and some stew?), and got our food pretty quickly.

The fries were good. They were served hot, were nice and crispy, and were just the right width and consistency. I liked them with the fun flavored mayo we got (the Brasil mayo had flavors of pineapple, curry, and more!) and ate every last crumb. But would I make a 45-minute drive just for these fries? Probably not.

Now, the waffles...these are a totally different story. 


As I was reading up about this place, I learned that there are actually two different kinds of Belgian waffles - Brussels waffles (which are thinner, crisper, with deeper holes and rectangular shape), and Liège waffles (made with a thick dough more like bread, with chunks of pearl sugar that melt and caramelize on the outside of the waffle and form a crispy coating). Bruges serves Liège waffles, and they were one of the most heavenly things I have ever partaken of.

The imported pearl sugar forms the most delicious crispy exterior of the waffles, and is still melty and amazing when they serge it to you. The waffles are thick, but not overwhelming, and perfectly sweet. The Torpedo waffle, which was stuffed with Belgian chocolate bars, was wonderfully indulgent. The crème fraîche on top was the best I've ever had, and helped counterbalance the intense sweetness of the chocolate and waffle. This waffle was so mind-blowing that it inspired me to make my own crème fraîche for an apple pie I made, following this recipe -- it is so much better than regular whipped cream!



The Waffle Monster, shown above, was a waffle split in half, with warm crunchy Specaloos spread inside, along with sliced strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream. Wow. Wow. Wow. I don't think that there are words that can sufficiently how breathtaking the combination of sweet Specaloos, tart fresh strawberries, and creamy delicious vanilla bean ice cream were inside this perfect little waffle sandwich. All I can say, is you gotta try it. And I totally get what the big deal about Belgian waffles is now!


Waffle Sources: 

- A woman's experience in Belgium with both types of waffles
- An authentic Liège waffle recipe
- Wikipedia's input
- Another traveler's experiences


What You Should Do: 


Get in the car, and drive there right this minute! Seriously. Your life is not complete until you have tried this incredible Belgian treat. If you're feeling extra carb-hungry, then you can get the frites too, but definitely be sure to get a waffle. Or two. Or three. Or more... If you're daring, try the machine gun sandwich -- I think that when I get up there again with my husband, I'll try to convince him to get it. Some love it, and some say it's WAY too heavy. All I know is that these were the most life-changing waffles I've ever had, and you know, I think I may be a waffle person now.


Read other reviews here:
Bruges Waffles and Frites on Urbanspoon
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7 comments:

  1. Oh do not doubt the goodness of Speculoos. And yes, it is a foreign treat, although relatively new. Speculoos cookies have been around awhile, but the company recently started making the spread in maybe 2008/2009. I fell in love with it on my mission--when I first saw it at Winco next to Nutella, I almost started bawling right then and there. Its marketed in America as Biscoff (cookies and spread).

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    1. I saw yesterday that they are now selling the Biscoff cookies at Maceys too!

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  2. I was seriously obsessed the first time I went to this place. I always want one now.

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    1. I know - they are incredible! We always get one whenever we're up in Salt Lake now!

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  3. Love this place. Glad they have opened a second one in Sugar House that is has a lot more indoor seating.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, that would definitely be good - especially in this awful weather we are having right now!

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