Despite what Eggos might lead you to believe, waffles aren't just for breakfast. A few years ago, I was in Brussels. After a morning hunting chocolates and settling on a box from Leonidas, I had a few Euros left in my pocket, and a hunger for a snack--something to tide me over until dinner.
I'd done the whole Belgian fries thing a few hours prior, and now I craved something else. Something sweet. That's when I came across a waffle stand, a simple cart next to a river, on a cobblestone courtyard where people sat out in the sun and sipped beer in the middle of the afternoon. I didn't see the waffle stand as much as I smelled it. The wafting scents snaked through the air and hooked on to the nostrils of whomever just happened to pass by.
I ordered one and a woman prepared it fresh, poured from a jug of batter and crisped to brownness on what looked like ancient equipment. After a dusting of powdered sugar, a thin-wrapper of paper, I ate the square-shaped treat right there on the street with my hands. It was one of those indelible food moments.
I was reminded of it when a press release went out yesterday to all the local food press about a waffle joint opening in Old Towne Orange. This won't be the first or last time you hear about Bruxie, which touts its Belgian-style waffle (and a name that recalls Brussels itself), but also the waffle as the bread for sandwiches filled smoked salmon and dill cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese, or even a burger.
It takes the space from a retreated Dairy Treet, and will, in fact, still continue offering the soft-serve custard its predecessor plied for over 60 years. It officially opens next week, on Monday, November 8th. I've not yet tried it, but I plan to. I already have my eye on a buttermilk fried chicken waffle sandwich, which I don't expect so much to remind me of my trip to Brussels as it should my last car ride to Long Beach...for Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.
The menu is as follows--
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Bacon, Egg & Cheddar
Prosciutto & Gruyere
Smoked Salmon & Dill Cream Cheese
Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese
Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffle
Fruit & Cream
PB & J
Nutella & Bananas
Lemon Cream & Berries
Bruxie, 292 N. Glassell Street (at Palm Avenue); Orange, www.bruxie.com.
*Thanks also to OC Weekly's #1 Fan, Diamond Dog, for the early tip on this place!