I’ve been thinking a lot about pretzels lately. A few weeks ago, Chris and I went to Oktoberfest at Penn Brewery. Lots of fun, but sub-par pretzels. Then we went to a Pitt game with his mom and little sister. Another fun day—but it got me thinking about pretzels. I got a soft pretzel there and was vexed by the lack of any kind of container with which to carry some mustard, and I just didn’t trust myself to put some mustard on the pretzel and not end of wearing it by the end of the game. So I found myself pondering the art of the pretzel and thinking back fondly on previous pretzel experiences.
Because clearly and without a doubt, the best pretzel I’ve ever eaten? Came from the Augustiner Brauhaus, München, Germany. Seriously. Their pretzels = <3.
But I must say, Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh is a second best. They may not have the best beer—not even the best German beer—in the area, but their pretzel is by far the best I’ve had around here. Maybe it’s because they use the recipe from the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich, and those Bavarians know their brez’n. Plus, the Hofbräuhaus’s beer cheese is awesome. It may not be German in any way, by spelling it bier cheese, but it’s darned tasty with those pretzels.
The pretzels at Penn Brewery were a sad excuse for pretzels. Maybe it isn’t entirely fair to judge them while Oktoberfest is going on and the place was crazy, but I still expect a pretzel that doesn’t taste like a microwaved frozen pretzel—especially from a place that prides itself on its German cuisine. Their beer cheese might have been better than Hofbrauhaus’s, with a bit more of a bite to it—they added horseradish—but I like my pretzel-cheese warm. Penn Brewery’s cheese did remind me a bit, though, of the obatzda cheese spread that’s served around Munich. (Ah, the memories. That obatzda was the last thing I had to eat in Munich. We visited Augustiner for lunch on the day we left for Brussels, and Chris had the most amazing sauerbraten and red cabbage sauerkraut ever—I think it’s the best he will even have, unless we go back. We liked Augustiner so much that it’s the only place we went to a second time on our trip—and that’s saying something!)
Sigh. And now I miss Germany. Can you miss a place where you only spent five days—five wonderful honeymoon days, but five days nonetheless?
Until we can get back there, we might be having to go to the Hofbräuhaus soon for a pretzel fix. 🙂