The frozen custard
5157 College Avenue, San Diego
SoCal waffle sandwich chain, Bruxie, has carved out its niche by stuffing lunch meats and fried chicken between slender waffles, marketing the result as, “a new take on The Sandwich.” The most popular item, fried chicken and coleslaw in imitation of Roscoe’s mighty formula, actually turns out pretty ho-hum, mostly because the chunk of breast meat wants a solid brining or something to give it juicy flavor.
Other sandwiches, like ham and cheese with pesto and an egg, or pastrami and mustard, are as good as if they were on bread, except they’re on waffles. That sounds facile, but keep in mind that concepts like this are often one trick ponies. It’s easy to like a waffle sandwich one time, but making it a regular thing? Much more difficult. Bruxie’s sandwiches aren’t hugely caloric starch-bombs that necessitate an insulin nap. They’re respectable riffs on tasty lunch and brunch snacks.
Chicken and waffle sandwich
Ham, cheese, egg, mayo, pesto
All in all, the basic formula works. The SDSU-adjacent location has a nice little parking lot. The scene isn’t strictly hungover college kids. The coffee tastes much better than expected. The atmosphere feels strangely fast food-ish, despite the fact that the staff runs food to the tables, but it’s almost comforting.
Then there’s the frozen custard.
The internet waxes scientific about what differentiates frozen custard from ice cream and soft serve. Basically, it’s eggier than either, and with lower overrun (incorporated air). The milkfat percentage is closer to hard ice cream, but the serving temperature is like soft serve.
That all leads to frozen custard having a taste like frozen creme anglaise, and a texture like silkier gelato. Poetically speaking, it’s the flavor of temperate summer nights, but that’s only partway helpful.
Bruxie’s custard hits the note, spot on, and would be particularly good floating in a cup of the restaurant’s artisan root beer. Spooned right from the cup, it’s more than worthy of a visit for even halfway-serious ice cream fans.