Bruges Waffles & Frites: A Waffle Win | Wine | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

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Bruges Waffles & Frites: A Waffle Win


There’s no such thing as “too much” when it comes to waffles and frites. After spending three weeks in Belgium and nearly overdosing on their specialties—beer, waffles and frites—I swore off American versions of the latter two. My loophole, however, was I could eat Belgian-made waffles and frites. And, as it turns out, Salt Lake City’s Bruges Waffles & Frites makes its simple fare better than anything I found across the pond.

Bruges owner Pierre Van Damme sits on the patio outside his tiny brick-faced shop—slightly reminiscent of a Flanders cafe—and discusses “fresh” over a waffle smeared in strawberries and Speculoos (a Belgian graham cracker-like cookie turned into a spread). “It’s just not good there anymore,” says Van Damme of frite shops and waffle trucks in beautiful, historic Bruges, where he’s from. “Everything’s frozen: the waffle dough and the frite potatoes.”

In Belgium, waffles are typically cooked in batches to sit on shelves until re-warmed on demand. They’re served plain but sugared occasionally with cinnamon; generally only tourists eat strawberry-and-whipped-cream-covered ones. Not here, though. As Van Damme plops a spoonful of fresh dough on the griddle, his crew busily peels and double-fries potatoes—the secret to crispy, less-greasy frites—which are served in pointy cone bags. “The food is how we’d make it at home, and it’s just fun. When I stop having fun, I’ll quit,” Van Damme says.

While Belgian classics like cherry kriek-cooked rabbit or mussels aren’t served here, the Machine Gun sandwich—a frite-covered sausage on baguette, common to French-speaking Belgium—hits the spot. As in typical frite shops, there’s a bevy of mayonnaise-based sauces to choose from, including the house garlic aioli, green sauce, mammouth and a curry ketchup, among others. And, of course, the beer-based Flemish beef stew—Carbonnade—can bring out the Belgian in anyone. 

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