Usually if I’m on Bryant Street, in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh, I’m headed to one of my favorite brunch locations, e2. However, on this particular Saturday, my special one wanted to try something new, so we drove a little farther down the street to Park Brugge. For a small commercial zone, Bryant Street really does have quite the brunch offerings!
Park Brugge is the kid frère, so to speak, of Point Brugge, which I visited on a very grey fall morning in November. Both places aim to channel the atmosphere of “a vibrant little [European] bistro tucked away in a quiet, residential neighborhood…with an assortment of people of all ages eating, drinking, catching up with friends.” For a Belgian-inspired, neighborhood cafe, Park Brugge has surely missed its mark design wise. The overall look and feel teeters between college dormitory and generic diner (with minor exceptions in a few of the details such as the bar). However, the food hits the mark.
Bloody Mary for Him
Mimosa pour moi
Charred tomato remoulade
Fresh crab in a fluffy, savory donut. I recommend them!
Peach Cobbler Liege Waffles
This was one of those specials I ordered before the waitress had finished her sentence explaining them. The brown sugar streusel bits added a sweet crunch to the sweet peaches. The waffle texture was light on the inside with a crisp, sweet exterior, which made a great base for juicy peaches. Though you may not encounter this particular waffle pairing, waffles are a regular menu item at this Belgium-inspired bistro. They do channel their inspiration well when it comes to the waffle iron.
The moral of this brunch tale is do not judge an omelette by its grey, messy covering because that mess of grey was a sausage gravy overtop a fluffy omelette filled with french fries, more gravy and cheese curd.
Potatoes Au Gratin
I’ve never seen potatoes au gratin served so compactly. It was as if a section cut of the earth had been delivered to the table. My special one has also started looking into being a hand model.
All in All
Behavioral assessments have confirmed, I am driven by aesthetics, so despite wanting to trade interior design plans for food, I would recommend Park Brugge for weekend brunching. The staff was enthusiastic and helpful, and the food makes it worth straying from other, well-loved favorites every now and then.
Food For Thought
When I make and serve brunch myself, I’m often in and out of the kitchen. It’s one of those moments in which I feel more like my mom, who hardly ever sat through an entire meal. However, when dining out, I naturally stay put, which enables the conversation to delve deeper than it might otherwise. On this occasion, my special one and I were trying out something new: brunch time debates! Both of us really enjoy challenging our beliefs while biting into sweet, crispy waffles, so if you’re interested in the same, here’s your food for thought:
Am I morally obligated to be charitable?
It may seem obvious at first, but if you say yes, your devil’s advocate, brunching partner should very quickly ask you how to quantify such an obligation? Should you be eating that brunch when you could nourish yourself with something far less extravagant. Should you be taking pictures of that brunch with an expensive camera? I’m not looking for any heated arguments in the comment section (because it’s not a platform conducive to a proper debate), but if you’re looking to spice up your morning meal, give this conversation a whirl and let me know how it goes.