An Entire Column About A Pretzel?
By Carol O'Biso
If you think that’s crazy, you haven’t met the Bavarian pretzel at the Mountain Brauhaus. It’s fat, it’s hot, it’s rich with the delicious flavor of caraway seeds, served with two kinds of mustard (a sweet and a savory) for dipping, and there’s almost nothing I’d prefer to tear to shreds and wolf down with a beer. On a busy day the Brauhaus sells about 80 pretzels.
Visually and texturally these are a sort of bagel-pretzel cross, and are actually boiled and then baked, much like a bagel. Just before salting and serving they are brushed with clarified butter, but if you request a vegan version they will use grape seed oil (or no oil at all). I recently had the pleasure of eating at the Capital Ale House in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and while they don’t bill themselves as a German restaurant, Jaeger Schnitzel, Pork Shank and a Bavarian pretzel on the menu give them away. I love that place, but the Bavarian pretzel there is simply a slightly better, bigger version of every soft pretzel you’ve ever eaten, and a pale shadow of what you’ll be served at the Brauhaus.
It can get very crowded up at the Brauhaus, and not just because of the pretzel, so go early, or late, or mid-week (intersection of Route 299 and 44/55, Gardiner. 845 255-9766. They’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays), but go get yourself a pretzel and a beer. Be sure to order a second one for me.