Over the past couple of years, Brezel made a name for itself by serving up delicious artisan pretzels at farmers markets and food festivals.
I got hooked on their distinctive fat Bavarian pretzels after sampling them at Wild Goose Creative's Beer Camp and quickly found myself going on wild goose chases all over the city trying to track down the inventive offerings advertised on Twitter and Facebook.
Brezel's S'Mores Stuffies, described as a soft pretzel filled with melty chocolate, marshmallow and graham-cracker crumbs, launched a particularly frantic search. I finally tracked those bad boys down at an indoor farmers market up in Clintonville. Oh man, was it worth the hunt.
So you can imagine how happy I am that Brezel is finally anchored to one spot. At their new North Market space, the Brezel gals are running the super-creative version of a mall pretzel stand.
Take their new Mango Habanero pretzel. Made with actual mango bits and boasting just enough chili heat, it's remarkably better than your standard soft pretzel.
It's fresh-tasting, throat-tingling and hearty enough to serve as a lunch - there's probably a whole serving of fruit if you order it with the made-in-house Mango Habanero cream cheese dip. (And habaneros are a vegetable, right?)
Intimidated by the spicy factor? Try it with the equally great Cinnamon Sugar cream cheese dip. That super-sweet sauce negates almost all of the heat, leaving just the slightest hint of spice.
Actually, Brezel's cream cheeses are all scratch-made, and they're fantastic across the board. Another stellar new option is the Fresh Salsa, laced with diced tomatoes, onions and peppers. It pairs perfectly with the original salty pretzel sticks.
Other regular hand-rolled pretzel varieties include the Jalapeno and the Apple Cinnamon.
Brezel's owners, Maria Gentile and Brittany Baum, are two of the most passionate, hard-working entrepreneurs in the city. Even before they opened the North Market location, they managed to get their products (pretzel buns, pretzel pizza dough, etc.) into kitchens across the city, including Latitude 41, Hal & Al's and the Rad Dog food cart.
So psyched to see where they go from here.