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Soft Pretzels


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Most street food is for the breakfast and lunch business. My pal George at 23rd and Chestnut leaves between 2 and 3 each afternoon. Every afternoon but Friday, he has to prep for an early tomorrow morning. His pretzels, and some other items, are delivered to his cart.

Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

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Bernie's Soft Pretzel Bakery isn't far from Philly. Take Lansdowne Ave to Providence Rd and make a left. They're in a shopping center at Springfield & Providence across from the Sunoco Station and Lukoil station. That is, if you have room after eating a delicious eggs, scrapple, homefries, toast & coffee for less than three bucks at Penn Pines Diner.

Keep going on Providence past Oak Ave and you can eat at Hidalgo, run by the owners of the old Xochimilco on Market St in Upper Darby.

Edit to add address: Bernie's Soft Pretzel Bakery 500 E. Providence Rd Aldan, PA 19018 610-259-9193

Edited by bob tenaglio (log)
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What time were you looking? There are pretzels at all of the sandwich tiny metal carts (not the Chinese food or fresh fruit ones) that I've ever seen in Center City, but they do all close up shop at about 3.

I live near Federal Bakery. I vouch for the wonderfulness of their hot-from-the-oven pretzels. It turned me from a what's-with-these-pretzels person into a pretzel-lover.

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The only soft pretzels worth a damn IMHO are the ones from Fisher's Pretzels in Reading Terminal. Now THAT'S a pretzel. The rest are just doughey white bread twisted up.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Don't feel so bad, they've pretty much disappeared from Manhattan as well. At least the good ones in the carts with that yummy gasoline smell and rock salt -- they are a rare breed indeed.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Don't feel so bad, they've pretty much disappeared from Manhattan as well. At least the good ones in the carts with that yummy gasoline smell and rock salt -- they are a rare breed indeed.

Try the parking lot or area around an arena or stadium after a sporting event here in NY area.

The guys with the soft pretzels seem to be out in force--around the garden after the knicks or rangers games, the meadowlands parking lot etc.

also--I have been battling an addiction to "Auntie Annies" pretzels for some time.

I got hooked at the Pittsburgh airport (the US Air terminal) and have--to my dismay--discovered em from Chicago to NY.--this is IMOP--one of the most insidious operations anywhere--their goal seems to be getting innocent people hooked on their utterly vile product!

Imagine providing a soft pretzel answer to what's for dinner? (or any other time of day or night) via appetizer--main course and desert!--a desert pretzel--are we that close to the first circle of hell?

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And just as a general tip, if you've got any amish markets around where you are, they often have a pretzel bakery.

We have a large amish market here in the Annapolis area open Thursday - Saturday and they make really good yeasty warm pretzels painted with melted butter. They're addictive.

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The only soft pretzels worth a damn IMHO are the ones from Fisher's Pretzels in Reading Terminal.  Now THAT'S a pretzel.  The rest are just doughey white bread twisted up.

...and in second place the world famous Pennsauken Mart pretzels.

John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

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The only soft pretzels worth a damn IMHO are the ones from Fisher's Pretzels in Reading Terminal.  Now THAT'S a pretzel.  The rest are just doughey white bread twisted up.

...and in second place the world famous Pennsauken Mart pretzels.

Except the Pennsauken Mart is no more...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I'd never seen a soft pretzel until I visited Philadelphia when I was 18.

They're still not common around here, (Northern MN), and I've always wanted to try making them myself. I even ordered Pretzel Salt from King Arthur, and they have a recipe in their cook book, but I still haven't done it.

Has anyone made them?

SB :huh:

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While we're on the subject of soft pretzels, being a recent emigrant to Philly, can someone please explain the pretzels and mustard thing for breakfast? I can understand the pretzel part, since it's like toast, but mustard?

ETA: I meant bagel instead of toast. I wrote this close to my bedtime, so I couldn't think of a similar carb.

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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While we're on the subject of soft pretzels, being a recent emigrant to Philly, can someone please explain the pretzels and mustard thing for breakfast?  I can understand the pretzel part, since it's like toast, but mustard?

No, No, No! Not pretzels and mustard for breakfast. You take yesterday's stale pretzel, break it up into bite-sized pieces into a bowl, then pour some milk over it. To hell with shredded wheat!

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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While we're on the subject of soft pretzels, being a recent emigrant to Philly, can someone please explain the pretzels and mustard thing for breakfast?  I can understand the pretzel part, since it's like toast, but mustard?

a soft pretzel isn't like toast, it's really more like a bagel--just a dense piece of dough. so it's kinda salty and works well with mustard; what's the difference? an old coworker of mine used to put cream cheese on his soft pretzels. is that so different from a salt bagel?

anyhow, yeah, so anyway, pretzel/mustard/coffee = BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS.

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The only soft pretzels worth a damn IMHO are the ones from Fisher's Pretzels in Reading Terminal.  Now THAT'S a pretzel.  The rest are just doughey white bread twisted up.

...and in second place the world famous Pennsauken Mart pretzels.

Except the Pennsauken Mart is no more...

Yet the pretzels live on! They're in a new location, on Rt 130 in Cinnaminson (near that sushi place :biggrin: ).

John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

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While we're on the subject of soft pretzels, being a recent emigrant to Philly, can someone please explain the pretzels and mustard thing for breakfast?  I can understand the pretzel part, since it's like toast, but mustard?

a soft pretzel isn't like toast, it's really more like a bagel--just a dense piece of dough. so it's kinda salty and works well with mustard; what's the difference? an old coworker of mine used to put cream cheese on his soft pretzels. is that so different from a salt bagel?

anyhow, yeah, so anyway, pretzel/mustard/coffee = BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS.

I meant bagel. It was nearing my bedtime when I posted that, and I couldn't think of a similar carb. What's so different than a salt bagel? It just is.

But it's the mustard thing. I have no problem having a pretzel for breakfast, but mustard? It has to be one of those Philly things I may never understand. Like scrapple (ducks).

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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While we're on the subject of soft pretzels, being a recent emigrant to Philly, can someone please explain the pretzels and mustard thing for breakfast?  I can understand the pretzel part, since it's like toast, but mustard?

ETA: I meant bagel.  I wrote this close to my bedtime, so I couldn't think of a similar carb.

Pretzels and mustard, yes, but I've never seen or heard of a bagel and mustard. Is this commonplace in some hidden corner of Philly?

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While we're on the subject of soft pretzels, being a recent emigrant to Philly, can someone please explain the pretzels and mustard thing for breakfast?  I can understand the pretzel part, since it's like toast, but mustard?

ETA: I meant bagel.  I wrote this close to my bedtime, so I couldn't think of a similar carb.

Pretzels and mustard, yes, but I've never seen or heard of a bagel and mustard. Is this commonplace in some hidden corner of Philly?

Not that I know of. I meant bagel instead of toast. Though I wouldn't be surprised if someone tried the bagel-mustard thing. Then again, putting mustard on a bagel sandwich isn't unheard of.

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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[i noticed that Pretzel for breakfast thing when I moved here too, since there is an honor system "put 60 cents in and take a pretzel out" box in my break room at work . I noticed many folks eating them at breakfast. I asked about it and a lot of folks gave me a look like, "well of course pretzels for breakfast, what, they don't do that everywhere?''

I don't mind a bit as I have always been a soft pretzel fan- doesn't hurt that I come from a family of saltaholics. I remember getting small soft pretzels at the Sears Candy Counter at the Natick Mall in Natick Ma when I was a kid, 3 for a dollar, not only tasty but economical!

I also remember making soft pretzels in home ec, and would make them at home too. Not exactly like the real ones, but warm with kosher salt on top, and a bit more porous-- all the better to slather butter on.....num num...well, lets just say they hit the carb lovers spot!

<a href='http://retroroadmap.com' target='_blank'>Retro Roadmap - All the Retro, Vintage and Cool Old places worth visiting!</a>

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I recall back in the mid 60's when I can remember seeing the street vendors and every cornor news stand had pretzels and while on the way to work you'd grab some to eat (also they were easy to eat on a train or el while standing. Trying to find a bakery for the regular donut or pastery thing was not an option back then (unless uou stoped into a Horn & Hardart and almost nobody except a jewish deli had begals so pretzels it was. The real good classics never die they just get re-invented and re-discovered.

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It depends what you are looking for. If you want a soft, light, chewy, buttery, somewhat sweet baked dough go for one of the newer PA Dutch style (Auntie Anne's, etc.) But if you want a Philadelphia soft pretzel --

Drive to Federal Pretzel, get a case of 63 right out of the oven (for what -- 11 bucks?). Eat one or two hot while putting them in the trunk and finding a parking spot at the Italian Market. It will taste how the vendor pretzels were supposed to taste when fresh. (This is one of the places the vendors buy them, so they open *really early* and close by 2PM)

If you don't eat all 63, wrap them and freeze them. Five minutes in a 400 degree oven and they are wonderfully crispy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside.

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