As a native New Yorker, I have a crazy thing for pretzels. That thing, or rather things, are love and strong opinions. Being that they're sold from carts on nearly every corner when you're anywhere near a park or touristy area plus the shops, both artisan and chains, making amazing high end ones, pretzels are all encompassing here—it's where to get the right ones that matters.
Wetzel’s Pretzels has migrated storefront by storefront from the West Coast and has finally set up shop in the midst of the hustle and bustle under the Sky Reflector-Net of Manhattan’s Fulton Center. Of course, I had to head down before opening day to make sure they were bringing something special to my city.
After chatting with co-founder and CEO Bill Phelps, I have seen a hint of what makes this place so magical. It’s the attention to detail. With descriptions on their menu like like “the dogs that make people beg” I knew that somewhere not so far below the surface, there was that fun and joy meant to wow children while making adults chuckle under their breath—you know, much like watching a Disney movie. Coincidence? Nope! While you’re gazing over the video monitors figuring out which snack to treat yourself to today, all of a sudden, the little blue Wetzel’s men begin coming to life. Pushing aside the curtain that once was the menu, they bring you into their world, aka a pretzel factory. There are several of these animations, one for each of the pretzel kinds—pretzel, baked cheese pretzel, Wetzel dogs (a hotdog wrapped in a pretzel) and those bite sized heavenly Wetzel bitz. Wait for it, these animated shorts, my friends, were created by none other than Disney! Drop the mic. I know!
Beyond the magic, is the attention paid to simplicity and freshness. If you rewind time from that moment when you find yourself taking that first bite of your pretzel by one hour, you will watch that pretzel untwist and turn back into flour, water, salt. Rewind back further to 1994, when the company was first formed, and you will see that the foundation for the recipes remains exactly the same. I absolutely love that!
There’s so much more that can be said, but honestly, I think we’d both rather be spending our time eating Wetzel’s Pretzels. I’m all about the Cin-A-Bitz—I call dibs on every single one of them!