22205 El Passeo, Suite A
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
When we heard Bruxie was coming to town we could hardly believe it. Both Katie and I felt that we had hit the food lottery. She moved to this inland city early this year, and to say that the dining scene was a little thin would be an understatement. Of course it is not all dour in RSM when it is time to eat. Pizza E Vino, Tutto Fresco, and Cinnamon Productions lead the way when it comes to some above average eats in this master planned city. Now you can add Bruxie to that list.
We have made two trips to this third location of Bruxie. Both times there have been lines, but the lines do move pretty fast. It is a good sign that people in South OC have found out about this restaurant, and have kept supporting it. For those of you that do not know what all the buzz is about Bruxie, they basically offer hand held waffle sandwiches, that are either sweet or savory. Just like their web site says, imagine a panini, but instead of bread you have a light, crisp waffle.
This idea started way back in 1999, when owner Dean was in Belgium, and noticed all the street vendors selling made to order waffles. He came back to the US, and started working on his own waffle recipe. By 2006 he had mastered his waffle recipe and was selling them to hotels and cruise lines. In 2009, Executive Chef Kelly Mullarney came on board to help broaden the waffle into something that was not just for breakfast, but for other meals as well. The hopes were that these lunch and dinner items would help launch a multi-unit full service restaurant. I am sure it is no surprise to you, since they now have three locations, that yes, they were successful in opening a multi-unit restaurant. Let's check out the food at this newest RSM location to see if it is on par with the other Bruxie locations.
On our first trip to Bruxie, Katie ordered the Albacore Tuna Melt ($7.95). This tuna melt came with cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato. I am not much of a tuna fan, but Katie thought this tuna melt was great. She really has a hard time getting anything else here. She really enjoys the fresh tuna, and also appreciates the produce being fresh.
So when I have come to Bruxie, it is hard for me to pass up on their daily specials. They rotate them pretty frequently, so if one is not available on the day you are here, it will most likely come around again soon enough. I could not resist their Patty Melt ($7.95). This one-third Angus patty was served with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, toasted caraway seeds, and a secret sauce. Delicious was one way to describe this burger. As good as it looks in these pictures, it tasted even better in person. The meat was cooked to a perfect medium, the caramelized onions and secret sauce added some sweetness, and the Gruyere was a very nice subtle choice here. The waffle really held together well, and had a nice crunch to it. I did not detect the caraway seeds, but it did not matter. This burger was finished too quick. I even contemplated getting another one, but dessert was next on trip number one to Bruxie.
Desserts are not to be missed at Bruxie. This visit we had one of my favorite sweet items on the menu, the Nutella and Bananas ($5.95). This not only had bananas and Nutella, but it also had a sweet cream that kind of held it all together. Very solid dessert, and this, like my patty melt, disappeared quickly. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this dessert.
Trip number two to the RSM Bruxie location was with my friend, and food nemesis, Richard, and his much better half, Lindsay. We started this time with Bruxie's version of Irish Nachos ($6.95). Fittingly, they serve waffle fries at Bruxie, and this nacho version comes with a homemade cheese sauce, crumbled bacon, sour cream and chives. I am not usually a big fan of cheese sauces, but this one is nice and mellow. The fries were crisp, and the bacon added some nice saltiness. More than enough for two people to share.
Okay, this could be the worst picture of a pretty good sandwich. Richard selected the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffle ($6.95). Bruxie's version of the chicken and waffle comes with a chili honey and cole slaw. Richard had no complaints about this sandwich, and ate in record time. This is the kind of sandwich that proves that some items that do not seem like they belong together, actually can work out quite nicely. Kind of like jerk face Richard and the lovely Lindsay.
The Turkey Club ($8.95) was Lindsay's choice for dinner. At Bruxie they use Boar's Head turkey, along with bacon, Gruyere cheese, tomato, lettuce, avocado, and pesto aioli to make up their version of a club sandwich. Lindsay liked the fresh produce used here, and was happy that the pesto aioli was light, and did not detract from the other elements of the sandwich.
Again I was too distracted by Bruxie's daily specials to order anything off of their regular menu. This visits culprit was the Carolina Pulled Pork Bruxie ($8.95). This was made up of shredded pork, cider slaw, cheddar cheese, and their own BBQ sauce. This was another winner. The pork was pretty tender, and really had a nice meaty flavor. The cider slaw worked well to balance out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce, while adding a little texture to the sandwich. The only drawback I see with this sandwich was that there could have been more meat, but other than that I really enjoyed it.
Since we were two couples, that meant that we could get two desserts. The first was ours, the S'Mores ($5.95). They use Belgian chocolate, graham cracker and toasted marshmallow to create their version of the campfire treat. I have had this dessert numerous times and have never been able to detect the graham cracker in this. Regardless though, it is still a very tasty treat. The marshmallow is house made here, and the chocolate is very rich. I also enjoy the crispness of the waffle.
Richard and Lindsay opted to go for the Lemon Cream and Berries ($6.50) for dessert. This straightforward sounding Bruxie had a very tart lemon cream to go along with the strawberries and boysenberries. I am not too big a fan of fresh fruit, nor lemon, so this one was not for me. Everyone else seemed to like this one though.
I am happy to report that the new Bruxie is just the same as the other two locations. I have really enjoyed everything that I have ordered here. The ingredients are fresh, and the waffles are an interesting vessel to carry them. The waffles are good, but still allow the contents of the sandwich to be the star of the show. My one minor complaint would be that the sandwiches could be stuffed more. Not that you are going to get cheated or anything, but I am a big eater, so I could easily eat more than one of these sandwiches. Ordering is done at a counter, and brought to your table. The operation runs very smoothly, and the employees here are all very nice. After leaving here we are still very happy that Bruxie moved into the neighborhood.
Out of five paintbrushes, (because the country of Belgium has produced a great many painters, and Bruxie was inspired by this Low Country), five being best to zero being worst, Bruxie gets 3.5 paintbrushes.
For more information about Bruxie, click here: http://bruxie.com/