Waffles Are The New Buns
By Ashley Bennett
Bruxie reinvents the waffle and there’s no way you’ll be able to pick just one
You can eat a breakfast biscuit or dainty lemon tart in its regular form but there’s a world of difference when waffles replace the buns and biscuits of an otherwise normal meal. Bruxie has promoted the waffle from its previously limited career as a breakfast item soaked with maple syrup. While we hate to admit that the idea originated outside of the IE in Old Town Orange, the illuminated culinary greatness of gourmet waffle griddling goes to none other than Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney. Is the use of waffles in place of bread a sign of the apocalypse? If it is, who cares; these waffle sandwiches are addicting.
The Bruxie location that we can call our own is in Chino Hills, now operating in what used to be a Johnny Rockets. The only thing shared between the two franchises is the recreated memories to diners of old. While Johnny Rockets forced its employees to dress like ’50s busboys, Bruxie brings you back solely with the taste. Back before Coke and Pepsi were mainstream, a simple “cola” would successfully quench your thirst. Now you take gulp of a carbonated drink today and you’re rewarded only with a lingering and unpleasant aftertaste. To solve this problem, Bruxie hires local artisans to make Old Fashioned Pure Cane Sugar Sodas in the flavors of cola, diet cola, orange, lemon-lime, vanilla cream, root beer and a current new addition, grape. Each is sweet but not an overload of sugar, making for a drink that won’t alter the way your food tastes after taking a sip. Bruxie’s cola tastes how I imagine modern-day Coca-Cola should when I watch the company’s Christmas commercials. Too bad Coca-Cola, your drink has sucked probably since you took out the hidden cocaine which leaves Bruxie as number one in taste and longevity. Add a scoop of Bruxie’s exclusive Wisconsin Frozen Custard and you get an equally sweet float.
Bruxie’s food menu on the other hand mixes the old with the new. While drinks send you back in time, the main dishes will force you into a waffle-loving future. I was lucky enough to get to try a bit of Bruxie’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert inspirations prior to its grand opening last week. One the strongest of the group is the Green Eggs and Ham with a bright green arugula pesto sauce covering the top of a jumbo-sized egg and beneath that, a few thick slices of cooked ham (is a throwback to generations of Seuss-lovers). Don’t worry; the ham is still pink like it should be. The light, unsweetend waffle holds its crunch pretty well against the thin pesto sauce and sogginess won’t set in because everything will be eaten way before it gets the chance.
Even more exciting than re-imagined breakfast waffles are the desserts. Honestly, dessert will always blow everything else out of the water. The Lemon Cream & Berries is a tantalizingly tart waffle dish. I’d cave for a Nutella and Bananas or S’mores Bruxie any day but the Lemon Cream Bruxie is more than just a sideline dessert. Described as housing an “intense lemon cream,” from the first bite to the last you’ll taste a strong zing akin to the first sip of less-than-sweet lemonade (but in a much more pleasant way). Lightly gooey on the inside and littered with seasonal blackberries, strawberries and powdered sugar, this sweet waffle is worth every bite.
There are no online or over-the-phone orders which will force you to crave a waffle dish so much that you won’t be able to resist driving out to Chino Hills to get it yourself. Bruxie seems to be doing everything right; it’s got a good crew, knowledgeable owners, and the bonus of creative and delicious menu items that work so well with waffles. Start holiday shopping and grab a waffle from Bruxie while you’re in the area. The cola will certainly help bring you back to the days when Santa made sure that there was no bad aftertaste following a drink.
Bruxie, 13865 City Center Dr., Chino Hills, (909) 334-4162; www.bruxie.com. Open 8am-9pm. AE, D, MC, V.