What do you get when you mix cultural tradition, food and innovation?

Magic, that's what.

A decade after Pierre Vandamme, who was born and bred in Brugge, Belgium, immigrated to Salt Lake City, he lost his job and became a stay-at-home dad. Two years later, he got back in the work force by adapting an old family recipe for the Liège waffle and sold it from a food cart in downtown, SLC. He later added Belgian frites to the menu and eventually opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant, Bruges Waffles and Frites.

Now the restaurant serves customers at two locations with one on the way: Salt Lake City, Sugar House and soon to open in Provo.

The menu includes Liège and Brussels waffles, Belgian frites, Flemish stew and homemade mayos.

"I always recommend my Flemish stew," Vandamme says. "It's my great grandfather's recipe. [We're] all about the traditional cuisine. We are 100 percent pure, traditional Belgian food. We make it like the old days, the way I remember food being when I was young." 

Vandamme has not forgetten the good old days and recently opened a waffle bus in homage to the food cart he used to run. "The best way of advertising and creating outreach is to have a person-to-person connection with the client," he says. Check the bus schedule on Bruges' website

With traditional Belgian food, a Cinderella backstory and passion for authentic cultural experience, Bruges Waffles and Frites is as much a culinary journey as a restaurant—and it's not one you'll want to miss. More info at brugeswaffles.com