|Photography by Fitz|
Located in historic downtown Carlisle, Cafe Bruges is to my knowledge the only authentic Belgian restaurant in central Pennsylvania. We have visited the place three times, and not once have we failed to receive perfect food. Perhaps it helps that we order the same thing every time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Here's what we always get: frites with house made dipping sauce (Tami gets mustard mayo, I get Dijon mustard), fried cheese croquettes, the Bruges Burger, and a dessert waffle. And, of course, I always get one or two of their Belgian beers on draught (they also have hundreds in bottles). There are certainly other interesting items on the menu (soups, mussels, pork loin, stew). But as Tami likes to say, it's a bad idea to stray. The Bruges Burger is not just the burger of the year but also perhaps the burger of the decade. They use locally farmed beef, and the flavor/seasoning is just unbelievable. When I taste a restaurant burger this good, it pisses me off that other places can't even come close to delivering a similar burger. The frites come out in a big old cone, and they've been crispy and piping hot every time we've gotten them. Best fries of the year? Probably! The fried cheese croquettes, made with Gruyere and Parmesan, are crazy-good. And, really, is there any better way to end a meal than with a freshly-made Belgian waffle? Any of these components, individually, would be worth the 45-minute drive. But put them all together, and you've got the best meal a person could ever ask for. And if you can't find a beer to like in a Belgian restaurant, you might as well be drinking Coor's Light! I just had the Troubadour imperial stout, which was divine.
Alright! On to the FABS scale!
Food- No further elaboration necessary! 25/25
Atmosphere- A really cute, cozy set-up inside a historic building. Inviting place full of happy customers. 25/25
Beer- Ten taps. Palm, Bavik, Troubadour, Monk's Cafe, Wittekerke, and more! 23/25
Service- Three trips so far, and every time every aspect of the service has been outstanding. Great staff! 25/25
Total- 98 (out of 100)
We apologize sincerely for the lack of a waffle picture. We were so excited to eat it that we neglected to photograph it!