Do the Twist
Craving something salty? Here’s a look at the city’s best pretzels
Slightly salty on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside, and best served with a chilled beer, a prime pretzel holds up to a plunge in a variety of dipping sauces. We sought out the trendy appetizer at five local hot spots to see how they stacked up.
Simply Irresistible: At Leroy Fox in Cotswold, the pretzels ($7) are served hot, buttery, and generously coated with pretzel salt. These twists are bite-sized and easy to share, with the same melt-in-your-mouth quality as a hot Krispy Kreme donut (and they’re equally addictive). One order gets you about eighteen pretzel nuggets, accompanied by what one bartender dubbed a “drinkable cheese sauce,” ranch, and mustard dips.
705 S. Sharon Amity Rd., 704-366-3232
Not Your Average Pretzel: Zink called on the service of Johnson & Wales master bread maker Peter Reinhart to create the recipe for their housemade pretzel ($6). The result is more refined breadstick than classic pretzel, with sea salt baked into the bread instead of sprinkled on top. Order them at the bar with homemade pimento cheese dip and salted caramel dip, or if you’re dining in, enjoy the complimentary pretzels with mustard. 4310 Sharon Rd., Ste. W01, 704-909-5500
The Pretzel for the 99 Percent: At $3 for two large pretzels, NoDa’s Growlers Pourhouse won’t take a bite out of your beer money. That said, these pretzels don’t put on airs—they’re simple and doughy, with an abundant amount of granulated salt. But you’ll want an extra helping of the coarse-grain, spicy Dijon served alongside. 3120 N. Davidson St., 704-910-6566
Finely Crafted: The chefs at The Liberty serve up the quintessential soft and chewy homemade pretzel in South End. The popular appetizer includes three chestnut-hued pretzels in a single order ($6) or a bucket of pretzels to share ($12). Sea salted and paired with a housemade cheese fondue and spicy mustard for dipping, this dish would make any German baker proud. 1812 South Blvd., 704-332-8830
Classic Twist: At the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in the University area, two large pretzels ($7.29) are served fresh out of the oven with three sauces to choose from: cream cheese and chive, spicy mustard, and queso. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Saucer Bratzel ($6.49), a toasted pretzel topped with melted Swiss cheese, sliced beer bratwurst, green onions, and mustard. 9605 N. Tryon St., Ste. A, 704-717-8179