Salt Lake City, restaurant, Bruges Waffles and Frites, Waffles, Frites, Sugarhouse, Manneken Pis, Torpedo Waffle, Machine Gun Sandwich, Freak'n Dog, Liege Waffle, Baguette, Freakendel, Merguez, Andalouse, Sweet, Salty
Did ya know that Bruges Waffles & Frites opened a second location a few months back, in Sugarhouse – ain’t that sweet? If you didn’t know, now you do. So, once you decide to set out to this hot spot, know that the parking between the liquor store, gym, and Bruges is a bit hairy. In fact there was some shared concern about how much of a hassle it was to simply get a parking spot. Eeek. But, heck, in the end it was worth the risk to park in a spot not meant for Bruges customers. All worry melted away when we walked into the quaint little place.
The restaurant is a little hole in the wall: a small, local little bistro that offers savory and sweet items. Are you following? The space had some capricious things on display that gave it a little character, like the manneken pis fountain hanging out in a corner.
If you have never experienced Bruges, you might be a bit confused by the concept of this stomping ground. Some of the items may seem bizarre, like their torpedo waffle – a waffle stuffed with two entire chocolate bars – or sandwich stuffed with French fries. In retrospect I should have ordered one of each – dang it. Regardless, you might think that this would be a good place for a snack…until you start digging in.
As I was looking over the space some more, I noted that there is more seating here than their downtown location. Whew, we didn’t have to compete to get a table with anybody. In sum, it was a cool spot and although the food was “fast,” Bruges didn’t have any fast-food feel. And OMG, they have bathrooms here, too, which are not available at the downtown location or The Canyons location.
You order at the counter at this joint. The young lady taking our order was helpful and nice: after studying the menus on the walls for a few moments, we were offered a paper menu to survey what they offered. She helped us decide on a freak’n dog, liege waffle with toppings, and a machine gun sandwich.
The guest who ordered the freak’n dog declared, “It was a tasty sausage in an over-sized baguette with chopped onions and curry sauce, served with a side of fries [with his choice of samurai in-house made mayonnaise].” Alas, the verdict was somewhat of a disappointment, because the bread to dog ratio was too high. Sure, the frites were perfectly crispy, but overall there was just too much bread. My guest was left jonesing for more chopped onions and/or other accoutrements to satisfy his expectations. Therefore instead of ordering this at his next Bruges rendezvous, he would most likely order the freakendel, which should leave him satisfied, as it is a Belgium sausage equipped with the same topping, but sans baguette.
Another guest had a bit of the sweet tooth and decided to order a liege waffle, which had a thin caramelized glaze on it, topped with strawberries and crème fraîche. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Don’t let the vocab scare you – it’s more or less a tasty waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. It certainly satisfied her sweet tooth. Yup, it was a delicious little hearty goody that was more like a dense pound cake due to the special ingredients in the dough. What a perfect combination of tastes and textures: fresh strawberries, nice and fluffy crème fraîche. Yes, my guest would absolutely order this again. In fact, as I’m writing this, I am thinking about heading down the road and grabbing myself one!
And finally, I was the one who ordered the machine gun sandwich, a famous menu item, which has spicy lamb sausage (merguez) cradled by a wedge of a baguette, salty, yet tasty, frites covered with in-house andalouse mayonnaise. It took me awhile to find the merguez, but once I did, the spiciness and flavors presented themselves with a bang. But, just like my guest who had the freak’n dog I, too, was a bit frustrated with the baguette. Simply put it was a bit difficult to eat, and I ended up tossing the baguette because I was not going to wrestle with it and in the end embarrass myself by ripping off a piece with my teeth, inevitably creating a scene around the table. Fortunately there were more than enough frites and I left full.
All in all, Bruges offers a unique menu to those who visit either location in Salt Lake City by none other than a Belgium man himself. Still, I haven’t tried everything on their limited menu, and I do believe that the Sugarhouse location has other goods that are not available downtown, like the ricky burger, the dogs/sausages and some other ice cream dessert. Even though there was a waffle craze that passed through our town a couple of years ago, I do feel like Bruges is here to stay and I welcome it with open arms. I hope you will, too.
Rating — I would be willing to return when I get a salty or sweet tooth craving.