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Waffling at Bru’s Wiffle

Chicken and wiffles?

While “the bun” has undergone many iterations (pretzel, brioche, etc…) and sandwich bread is known for its varieties, there is one bread-like breakfast conduit that still hasn’t really seen much glory as far as being put to alternate uses. It is the waffle, but Bru’s Wiffle in Santa Monica is out to change that. You see, Bru’s thinks that waffles need more of the limelight and they are willing to give it. At Bru’s, you can get a pizza waffle, taco waffles and even “sliders” with waffle buns. Of course, Bru’s offers waffles in their sweet breakfast form, but the savory offerings were really what drew me to Bru’s.

Yet, as I gazed at the savory section of the menu, I found myself wishing for more. Sure, the revolution begins with a single act, but there is an entire area of their menu dedicated to burgers, paninis (yes I know panini itself is plural) and sandwiches. Wouldn’t it be amazing if these were all available with waffles instead of bread or buns? That’s what I was hoping for, and I was sad to see that wasn’t the case, so I made my way back to the savory section and picked out a meal. Despite the interesting choices, Dwight’s Special Chicken & Waffle really stood out to me. I know I can get chicken and waffles at other places, but I felt this was a good way to gauge Bru’s.

The waitress told me that “Dwight’s Special” didn’t mean there were any frilly wasteful vegetables and I was safe (in not so many words). I was given the option of white or dark meat, and chose the white, thinking I didn’t want to deal with bones. She also asked if I was cool with all the condiments (ranch, gravy, Louisiana hot sauce and syrup). They all sounded great to me, then to top it all off I ordered their chili cheese waffle fries to make it an even bigger waffle experience. The waitress was surprised such fries still existed on the menu and was under the impression they no longer made them, but would find out for us. It turned out they would sometimes make them specially, and I happened to be special that day.

But before getting to the meal, there was a bit of a wait. I blamed the custom fries on this, but was happy when everything arrived. On top of a large Belgian waffle sat two huge, fried chicken breasts waiting to be motorboated between my teeth. I started with a bite of the chicken and waffle without condiments and found them both to my liking, then proceeded to drop ranch, hot sauce and syrup upon my meal. At that point I realized I was lacking in gravy and asked the waitress for some. She happily obliged and I dug even further into my meal. First off, the fried chicken recipe was awesome. While the breading was good, it was not too heavy in taste or stomach-feel. I also loved that Bru’s did not shy away from making a sweet, flavorful waffle (supposedly with Madagascar vanilla). As such, the waffle wasn’t just some waffle-shaped bread but a truly essential part of the meal.

Waffle chips just can’t handle chili.

As for the waffle fries, they were sliced thin and at times were more like chips than actual fries. This made for an interesting, if not totally delicious experience. You see, these fries kind of buckled and sogged under the chili and cheese pressure, where typical waffle fries probably would have stood stronger. The chili and cheese were good, and I certainly applaud the effort to bring a different type of waffle into the fold, but sticking with old-fashioned waffle fries probably would have been better for the cause.

Nonetheless, I am ready to go back to Bru’s Wiffle. Many things on the menu made my mouth water, especially not that Bru’s passed the chicken and waffles test. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll even be able to convince the place to sub out a bun or bread for waffles on one of those burgers or sandwiches. A guy can dream, right?