So, for those of you who don’t know, I spent a semester of my high school career in Belgium. It was hard…very hard; just ask my dad about the phone bill in December of 1992. I was really young (14 to be exact) and not fully prepared to be away from my family for that long. Anyway, I digress.
There were some things I loved about my experience (at the time; there are lots of things that I love about it now…in hindsight). Two of those things: frites and gaufres. Or, in English, fries and waffles. Belgian waffles are familiar to most people, but did you know that fries are really Belgian and not French? Probably not.
Moving on: in Belgium they have fry and waffle stands, just like we have hot dog stands. It’s amazing. The fries are twice fried. Once to cook the potatoes and once to crisp them up. The waffles are not made from batter, but dough; delicious dough full of little chunks of sugar that caramelize when they bake.
When I was in NY, the girls and I went to this place called Pomme-Frites that was amazing. Just like I remember fries in Belgium, right down the curry ketchup (something I find completely and totally disgusting, but authentic, nonetheless).
Then, two days ago, while traveling through the tubes of the Internet, I discovered a place in Salt Lake, serving frites and gaufres (again, fries and waffles). I had to try it before leaving town. The good news, I needed to go to Salt Lake today to run a few errands anyway, so this was just the slightest detour.
Bruges is the name of this fabulous little place, named after the city in northern Belgium where the owner grew up (think Venice, but cooler and cleaner). You can read all about it on the website.
Anyway, it was so worth the detour. The frites are authentic in preparation and taste (the shape was slightly different than those I had in Belgium), served with real European mayonnaise. Not the same as American mayonnaise, but for those of you who think you would never eat fries with mayonnaise (and are currently judging me for doing so), I hope you realize that “fry sauce” is just mayonnaise with ketchup. I know, I thought it sounded disgusting, too…and then I tried it. So yummy! And if you still can’t stand the thought of it, they have other options.
And then there were the waffles. I wish I had taken a picture of Pierre (the owner) pulling the dough off the parchment and putting it into the waffle iron so you could all see what I’m talking about. But I didn’t. I did, however, capture the end result…a delicious Liege waffle. (Belgians do make batter waffles, too…but the dough ones originated in Liège, which happens to be the province where I was living in high school.)
It was amazing! It’s only been open five weeks and I hope it sticks around for a while. And yes, I did get both waffles and fries. Sue me.