Here it is, Mother's Day and Libby has insisted we go to Brugge! This is definitely not our first visit, nor our last. How this little Broadripple joint with only about 15 tables doesn't have a line around the block, we'll never know. News is, expansion is planned for upstairs! Hallelujah!
For an eclectic Belgian delight somehow transplanted in the mid west, the Brugge Brasserie is a shining star on the Indy foodie scene. Talk about beer. Talk about frittes (dipping sauces, anyone?!?)!! Talk about mussels! Crepes! NUTELLA FOR GOD'S SAKE!!! Ok. We like this place.
Charlie Brugge has definitely found his niche. He has created a place that FLO would never have believed could succeed here in Indianapolis. For more information on his brewing establishment in Terre Haute, visit http://www.bruggebrasserie.com/ or just ask at your local beer shop as they have started bottling!
Setting the stage, this is a BELGIAN establishment. There are no burgers, chicken strips or pizzas here. That is not to say that it is not kid-friendly! As a matter of fact, families do not shy away from this small brewpub in Broadripple. FLO was shocked to see a family with small kids all noshing on pickled herring! (??) Ok, so maybe they were European. But still. It will be our appetizer next time. Not to expect all children to eat herring, some amends have been made in the form of pb&j and grilled cheese crepes.
For those who have not been to the Brugge, the frittes (that's fries to us 'mericans) are not just a side dish, they are a must. They offer 11 different and truly unique dipping sauces. Everything from a homemade ketchup (with lovely hints of clove) to garlic aioli to a sweet chili taste bud shocker.
We cannot even express how well paired the frittes are with the amazing Belgian ales. While the ale selection changes with season, they currently offer a Black, White, Pale Ale and the Triple de Ripple (limit 2). All are strong, robust brews that are not for the Bud Light crowd. Only true beer drinkers need apply.
Now lets talk about mussels. Variety? How about a whole range of flavors! FLO's favorite being the red curry. Be prepared for a dutch oven filled to the brim with 2 lbs of fresh mussels, steamed in the sauce of your choice. We find ourselves giddy to lap up the remaining goodness. Thankfully, lest we become uncouth, a french baguette is provided to sop up. Libby had never tried mussels before the Brugge. Never had any desire. But all it took was one bite of Fred's red curry mussels and she was hooked.
If shellfish isn't your forte, Brugge offers multiple savory crepe and sandwich choices. May we suggest the pork tenderloin with goat cheese and spicy mustard crepe? (hold the leeks for FLO --we don't do the onion thing, even if they're only a relative)
After all that savory deliciousness, how about dessert? Here again, the Brugge shines. Keeping it simple with flavorful crepes you cannot find anywhere else in the city. Libby being the choc-oholic, always insists on the Nutella crepe drizzled in raspberry sauce. Ozzy, naturally as a carb-oholic does well between the frittes, baguette and crepe. Somehow we don't see him sampling the herring, but hey, we shall still try.
Price-$$-$$$, depending on your alcohol tolerance
Atmosphere-***, holes in the copper-topped tables for cones of frittes? GENIUS!
Service-****, the servers have always been deadpan hard workers. No frills with a "yeah, and what else ya want" attitude that somehow just adds to the ambiance. Your beer glass is never empty yet you feel as if you're lucky to get one (and you are!!). We wouldn't change a thing.
Fred - A, Best fries in town. And sauces? Fred loves his condiments more than life itself!
Libby - A+, This place is my top. Simple food. Excellent beer. And an eclectic atmosphere that beckons me back to life in Europe.
Ozzy -B, he loves the fries. But unless the crepe has chocolate in it, he's shown little interest.