Sunday, November 6, 2011

Park Bruges (Highland Park)

I met up with a couple of friends for dinner two weeks ago.  They hadn't been to Park Bruges, and while I had been there once, on their opening night, I had been meaning to return, so this was a great opportunity to do just that.

The main reason for my very first visit to Park Bruges was to try their Classic Montreal Poutine.  Being Canadian, poutine is one of those "tastes of home" that I crave once in a while.  For those unfamiliar, poutine means "a mess" in French and consists of fries drenched in brown gravy and topped with fresh cheese curds - hence, a mess.  I don't claim to have any authority over what the perfect poutine should be like, but being Canadian, I do have some idea.  My first experience with Park Bruges' version of the poutine was not bad; it was tasty, though it wasn't quite like what you'd find in Canada.  They have since changed their cheese provider, now using Cannonball Curds from Arsenal cheese, and I wanted to go back and try it again.

Classic Montreal Poutine at Park Bruges
Classic Montreal Poutine ($8)

Once again, the poutine was also not bad, though it's not really all that messy. :)  The fries alone were very good, though probably need to be a little thicker to hold the gravy.  I do like the flavor of the cheese very much, but using more cheese and melting it down more would certainly help enhance the messiness factor.  The gravy was less flavorful, however, than I remembered from my first visit, and I'm not sure if it was because the recipe has been modified or if it was just an anomaly.  Overall, the poutine is decent, but I'd have to say that it's really not exactly "classic Montreal" style as the name would imply.

I was also going to order the mussels until my friends said that they had heard great things about the Crab Beignets.  I was curious about them myself, so I changed my mind at the last minute and went for the crab beignets.  It is an appetizer item, but I figured the poutine would be pretty filling as it is, so an appetizer would be better than an entree as my second dish of choice.  The crab beignets were like mini crab cakes rolled and deep fried.  They turned out to be excellent, so I'm glad I decided to try them.

Crab Beignets at Park Bruges
Crab Beignets ($10)

Overall, it was a great visit to Park Bruges.  I have yet to try its big sister, Point Brugge, and now I'm even more motivated to go check it out soon!

Restaurant info:
Park Bruges
5801 Bryant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
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