The first time I laid eyes on a Machine Gun, I knew I had to have one. It was on a segment of “Man vs. Food,” The Travel Channel show where the host tours the country to “challenge” the biggest, cheesiest, hottest, most intimidating piles of food he can find. In this episode, the foe was the aforementioned Machine Gun, a hearty baguette stuffed with lamb sausage and a mound of frites, covered in a spicy sauce (I didn’t pay attention to what the sauce was at the time.) I was smitten.
Years later—I guess love had to wait—I found myself enjoying a spring ski day at Alta, noshing on a hot waffle lathered with Nutella and the memory of the Machine Gun returned with a glorious thud like Thor’s hammer. How could I have forsaken thee! The time had come to get my hands on one and, at the same time, learn where to satisfy my winter waffle fix all summer long.
Of course, I knew where Bruges Waffles & Frites was, passing it a thousand times but never having the chance to stop. This time, I was beckoned to the neon frites sign (indicated by the cone-shaped container = not regular old fries) like a magi to a divine star. Once inside the tiny cafe (the interior is maybe 200 sq. feet, with 6 stools along a counter. Patio seating available.), ordering from the simple menu is easy and your food is served within minutes. Just listen for the cheerful “ding!” and your waffle is ready.
When I caught sight of my very own Machine Gun, I had to still my beating heart. One bite and I was lost. The merguez sausage, made in Utah by Morgan Valley Lamb, is dense and juicy with Moroccan flavors of cumin and harissa. The frites on top are firm but a little wiggly. That’s how I like ‘em. The sauce, I now know, is Andalouse, a blend of bell pepper, basil, mustard and cayenne and one of the ten house-made mayos that are perfect for dipping your frites, Belgian style.
The indulgence didn’t stop there. The Torpedo is basically a sandwich of traditional Belgian Liege (pronounced lee-ezh) waffles, stuffed with two dark chocolate bars and topped with crème fraiche. The chocolate melts as you go and melds into the bites of waffle, distinct for its crispy, chewy texture and sweet bits of polished sugar. Raspberries only gild the lily, but when in Bruges…
Bruges Waffles & Frites
Downtown: 336 W 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-4444.
Sugar House: 2314 South Highland Dr. 801-486-9999
Canyons Resort: Winter only