14376 Culver Dr.
Irvine, CA 92604
Bruxie is a real feel good story. I'd like to say that I have been with them since the beginning, but that would be a lie. I was a little late jumping on the Bruxie bandwagon. My first visit was not until January 2012, a full two years after they had opened their first location in Old Towne Orange, across from Chapman University. I wrote in that review that I had considered myself a sham of a food blogger because I had not made it to Bruxie before that time. I am now happy to say that I not only have gone to Bruxie, but I have made numerous return trips, and have been to three of their six locations. Well you can now add another location to that list, because Bruxie just opened another spot, this time anchoring in Irvine.
For the two people out there that are not familiar with Bruxie, it is a sandwich restaurant, but they use a version of an authentic Belgian waffle instead of using boring old bread. The waffle is light and crisp, but not sweet. They offer about eighteen different sandwiches, some savory and some sweet. They also have a few specials that are rotated routinely throughout the week. This Irvine outpost is now their sixth location, and of course the next question is where will number seven be? Of course I asked Dean Simon, Managing Partner of Bruxie, but he was very tight lipped about it, only saying that, "I don't want to announce anything until it is final". That is probably for the best. Why get peoples hopes up when plans can suddenly change. If I had to guess, and this is just a guess, based on where they are spread out now, I would think they open in either Long Beach/Seal Beach or down in South OC, maybe Laguna Beach/Dana Point. Time will tell if I am right or totally wrong.
For now we have Bruxie number six that just opened. They are located in quite the busy shopping center. I had never been to this shopping center at the corner of Walnut and Culver, which features a Mitsuwa Marketplace, an Elephant Bar, and a Habit Burger. Bruxie is smack dab in the middle of the center, right next to the First Bank. We were invited to their friends and family event, the day before they opened to the public. Every employee we encountered was looking forward to the next day when they could start sharing their great food with the people of Irvine. As always, I was very excited to have this opportunity to get my hands on their great sandwiches. So after walking through the door, we made a beeline for the registers, placed our orders, and waited for our food to be brought out to our table.
While we waited for our food, I took a few shots of the interior of Bruxie. As with all Bruxie locations, they offer inside and outside seating. The roll up doors, so popular in the RSM location, are present in Irvine as well, and lend to a real open and airy atmosphere here. The high ceiling also contributes to this as well. The colors of the Belgian flag, red, yellow, and black are well represented on the walls of the restaurant, just as they are in their logo. Speaking of their logo, if you want to wear their name around town, Bruxie has plenty of shirts, hats, and other apparel for you to purchase.
The best part about eating with a group of food bloggers is that they always take plenty of pictures of their food before digging in, and they are always very gracious about others taking pictures of their food. These plates were brought out to the tables surrounding us. The Irish Nachos and Hot Pastrami Bruxie belonged to Tom from Tom's Foodie Blog, while the always charming Shelby from OC Mom Blog had the Smoked Salmon Lox and Dill Cream Cheese Bruxie. One of my favorite food bloggers, Suki, from Eat Suki Eat went for one of the specials that was being offered at this event, the Country Sausage and Egg Bruxie. This one puts the Egg McMuffin to shame.
On this visit to Bruxie, I took this opportunity to try something I had never had here before, the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffle Bruxie. This large, thinly pounded chicken was joined on the waffle with a chili honey and cider slaw. For an additional charge of a dollar, you can also get their 100 percent pure maple syrup to accompany your sandwich. I took full advantage of this. The chicken was well cooked, tender, and and spiced very well. The chili honey had a good flavor, while the slaw provided some nice texture. The waffle was light, with a slight crunch to it. It did an admirable job keeping the large chicken and the rest of the sandwich contents all together. Predictably at Bruxie, they do not serve french fries, but they offer Waffle Cut Fries. These were pretty good, and lacked the greasiness I was expecting. A good solid fry.
It has almost become automatic every time we come to Bruxie that Katie will get the same thing, the Albacore Tuna Melt. This one comes with cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Katie's always over the moon after eating this. She might have even more reason to get excited over this Bruxie in the future. Dean let us in on a secret that they are going to be changing their tuna very soon, and seemed very excited about the new tuna they are going to be carrying here. He did not want to give too much away, but we could tell that this sandwich will be even better than it is now. Katie will definitely be first in line to try the new tuna. We will keep you posted when it is set to debut.
I really like ice cream, but I rarely get shakes when we go out. They seem to fill me up too much, and take valuable space away from my eating. I might have to make an exception when we go to Bruxie though. Bruxie does not use ice cream to make their shakes, they use fresh frozen custard from Wisconsin. The result is a softer, but richer version of this dairy treat. We tried their limited time shake special, the Blueberry Shake. Drinking this shake really took me back to when I was a kid eating those frozen blueberry Eggo waffles. The blueberries here were fresh and vibrant, and really packed a flavorful punch. This shake really had all of us at Bruxie buzzing.
My food and hockey friend, Rich, wanted to split the Bruxie Burger with me, and who was I to say no this great burger. At Bruxie they use an Angus beef patty, top it with cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and mayo. I have had this burger a number of times, and every time it is cooked to a perfect medium. The beef is so tender, they don't overdress the burger, and I really do not miss the absence of bacon on this burger. Not often I can say that. I'm glad we split this burger, so I could save just enough room for some of the sweet Bruxie's that were on their way.
Some might argue that the sweet Bruxie's are the best, and who am I to argue such a valid point. I have been on a real peanut butter kick lately, almost all of my life now, so we started with the PB and J. Bruxie uses all natural peanut butter and then you can choose between grape or strawberry preserves. Everyone knows strawberry is the best, so that is what we went with. This was not like any peanut butter and jelly sandwich I had back in grade school. The PB and J went very well with the waffle. This one is a classic, but my favorite sweet Bruxie of all time is the Nutella and Bananas with Sweet Cream. There are not too many words to describe this great dessert. The bananas were very fresh, Nutella is always good, and the addition of the sweet cream kind of binds everything together. Lightly dusted with powdered sugar, this is the sweet Bruxie to get here.
With my final bites of the Nutella and Banana Bruxie leaving my plate, it was pretty much time for us to end this visit to Bruxie. Another great experience at Bruxie, and I am sure this location will be very successful as well. When the doors opened the next day, they had a line around the building, but the line kept moving and the wait was only fifteen minutes. I'm real glad Bruxie has expanded to another part of OC, and look forward to seeing what's in store for them in the future.
We would like to thank everyone at Bruxie for this great opportunity to come to their friends and family event. It was awesome seeing the passion that everyone connected with Bruxie has for their food and customer service. Everyone was so upbeat, that you can not come to Bruxie, and leave in a bad mood. We would also like to thank one of the best PR people in the business for the invite to experience Bruxie Irvine, the great Mona Shah-Anderson. Thanks for thinking of us Mona, and we look forward to seeing you again real soon.
For more information about Bruxie, and to find the location closest to you, go to their website here: http://bruxie.com/