With good reason, when I want to curry favor with my better half, I suggest we go to Bruges for breakfast. Her eyes light up, and before I know it, she’s packed our two-year old in the car seat, buckled her self in, and honking the horn to get me out of the house.
We first found Bruges several years ago while frequenting the Farmers Market at Historic Pioneer Park in the summer time. They hosted a booth there, and we would pick up a hot, chocolate dipped Liège waffle while we shopped. A couple of years later, Bruge found a permanent location in a building across the street from the Market, right next door to Caputo’s. (But don’t take your waffle into the deli at Caputo’s…there are signs all over the doors warning waffle eaters away.)
The shop is tiny, quainter than quaint. A bar sits against one wall with stools for about five, and the counter where you order is just three feet away. Outside, tables sit in the open air for customers to enjoy the waffles, which are served through a window when ready. They come out hot, in vanilla or cinnamon, with cream or strawberries, or both. If you’re looking for a real treat, get it dipped in chocolate, too.
A lot of people ask me what kind of waffles these are: are they real Belgian waffles? Yes, and no. They’re Liège waffles. Here’s what the website says:
Like the Brussels waffle, the Liège waffle is eaten hot. Its particularity is that it must contain pieces of sugar within a leavened dough.
According to legend, it was invented in the 18th Century by the Prince of Liège‘s cook. At the Prince’s request, he experimented with cooking a kind of bun by adding polished sugar to the dough. Seduced by the appetising odour of vanilla that emanated during the cooking, the Prince fell for the new cake’s charm.
He was not the only one, and the waffle rapidly became very popular in the Liège region and throughout Belgium. Today it is known as the Liège waffle and continues to seduce generations of food-lovers !
Once your sweet tooth is appeased, it’s time to get something salty. And if my wife weren’t such a fan of the waffles, I’d go straight to the frites (I think that’s just a fancy way of saying French fries) every time. Bruges makes them crispy and dry. While I have no doubt that there is little about them that’ll improve my health, they aren’t oily or greasy, at least not abnormally so. What they are is fantastic, crispy, and delicious. After a super sweet waffle (did you notice that the waffle has pieces of sugar within the dough?), the salty taste of an order of frites is just right, and a step up from your fast-food fries.
It’s not hard to recommend Bruges for breakfast, but they’re open all day, and the waffles make a great desert, too. If you see me checking in on a Saturday morning, be sure to say ‘hi.’