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Salt Lake City, A Vegetarian, and Waffles: A Love Story

Waffles are so good with everything... syrup, jam, peanut butter, Nutella, vegetables? Yes, vegetables. Getting a fantastic veggie/waffle combo is something I have to do every time I'm in Salt Lake City. I have weird travel priorities...

There are a ton of yummy restaurants in Salt Lake City, but if you prefer vegetable carnage to animal carnage, one of the best places to eat is Bruges Waffles and Frites. The business was started by Belgians living in the area, and it has spread to several locations. In fact, it was even featured on Man v. Food. Adam Richman's show was obviously not about eating a bunch of vegetables, but I could go toe-to-toe with him on pigging out if it meant eating their vegetable waffle sandwich. Look out, Adam. I have an appetite for plants, and I'm not afraid to use it! There are also plenty of meat options for our omnivorous friends.

If they don't have the waffles from Bruges Waffles and Frites in heaven, the angels need to reevaluate their menu.

The veggie sandwich has goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, caramelized onions, mushrooms, cucumbers, grilled pepper, lettuce, avocado and tomatoes on crisp toasted waffles. I've tried to replicate it at home, but nothing compares. If I actually lived in Salt Lake, the workers would probably know me by name and ask me to scale back my visits before they ran out of vegetables. Fortunately for other vegetable hoarders, I only visit occasionally.

They also have really tasty fries, which can be covered with cheese or eaten with a wide range of dipping sauces. It is Utah, so worry not, fry sauce is an option. If you have a sweet tooth so intense that it's surprising you don't have teeth made entirely of fillings, they have some wonderful dessert waffle options, too. I like to build my own with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

I doubt they will ever read this, but I hope since I've promoted them so much, I hope I've earned at least one free sandwich... or all the frites I can eat...

The cheesy fries are great, but for once I can say... the cheese isn't really needed. (gasp) The fries are good alone or with dipping sauce!

I've tried a few other places when I could resist the magnetic urge to scarf down waffles. Settebello Pizzeria is wonderful. It's got a handful of locations in California, Nevada, and Utah. They aim to make the most authentic Neapolitan pizza they can, importing some of their ingredients from Italy. I did a semester in Italy in college, but I didn't end up heading down to Naples. It was hard enough to afford getting to Torino as it was. That being said, the pizza they serve does remind me of some of the pies I had in northern Italy.

Settebello's focaccia appetizer is beyond tasty, and they have pizzas for vegetarians and vegans. I like their margherita and quattro formaggi options. Cheese, tomatoes, basil? Yes, please. Usually when I go, I somehow manage to share a pizza and the focaccia with a companion. (The amount of self-sacrifice is astounding.) If you split them with someone else, you won't be overflowing with Italian goodness. You'll be content without being rolled out of the place. (Although, let's be honest. I'm very happy to be rolled out of restaurants myself.)

We ate the pizza and focaccia way too fast to take a picture of the food. #sorrynotsorry

No eating guide is complete without a Mexican option, is it? Red Iguana always seems to top the list of must eat places in Salt Lake. According to their website, it was begun decades ago by a couple from Mexico, and the business has been passed on to their children. They have a huge menu with loads of options for we vegetable fiends. The last time I went, I had the tacos de hongos. That's sauteed mushrooms and jack cheese on three grilled tortillas, served with guacamole and beans. Stop drooling on your phone screen. It's not sanitary.

There are also several enchiladas with no meat. Among them are the Red Iguana traditional enchiladas, which you can order with cheese, enchiladas poblanas, and enchiladas rancheras. I mean, they're all tortillas with cheese... what isn't to love?! I hardly need to push this on you. The sauces that they serve with them are so tasty, too. I can understand why people are drawn to their food like cats to empty boxes.

The tacos de hongos. This dish does magical things with mushrooms, cheese, guacamole, tortillas, etc. Even a picture looks magical.

Between Bruges Waffles and Frites, Settebello, and Red Iguana, there is plenty to delight the tastebuds and expand the waistline of a vegetarian. Check them out!

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