I’m certainly not the biggest fan of pretzels. They’re ok to snack on if I’m at a gathering or what not, but it’s not something I will pick up at the grocery store. I know it’s healthy for you, but they just seem so bland and plain and I generally like to snack on something with more flavor and substance. But, give me one of those big soft pretzels, the kind you see at a baseball game that people slather mustard on, and I’ll take one any day (minus the mustard). The big soft pretzels are so soft and chewy and buttery and delicious all around. I’ve even gotten my husband hooked on these pretzels!
When my husband and I head to Downtown Disney for a fun evening out, one of the things my husband must have is a pretzel from Wetzel’s Pretzels. I discovered Wetzel’s Pretzels over 10 years ago when I was in college. At our student union, in the section where they had all of the outside food vendors, they opened up a small Wetzel’s Pretzels shop. When I was in the mood, I’d head down to the student union and pick up a pretzel with some pizza sauce. I loved it. It was a cheap and quick meal. When my husband moved to California, he’d never been to a Wetzel’s Pretzel’s shop before until I introduced him tot he one at Downtown Disney. I think he was, at first, skeptical about how good a place that sold pretzels could be. But now, of course, he’s hooked. We like pretzels so much that in a pinch at a couple of airports while we’ve waited to catch a connecting flight, we’ve snacked on pretzels at pretzel shops inside the airport.
When you walk into a Wetzel’s Pretzels shop, part of the experience of ordering a pretzel from them is to actually be able to see the pretzels being made before your very eyes. Inside each Wetzel’s shop is a glass-encased area that encloses the workstation used to pump out all of the fabulous pretzel offerings the store has. Wetzel’s doesn’t just make pretzels, they make gourmet pretzels, taking pretzel-making to a whole new level. In this picture, you can see one of the workers making their ever popular pizza pretzel. This pretzel starts off like any of their other soft-baked pretzels, but then is topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and finally pepperoni slices. It’s like having a pizza and a pretzel all in one!
It’s kind of fun to watch the workers make pretzels. From a long rope of pretzel dough, they twist and turn out these pretzels in an instant. Next thing you know, the rope of dough is transformed into the pretzel shape we’re all familiar with. But then Wetzel’s takes it further than that. The flavor combinations that they’ve come up with as a “topping” for your soft-baked pretzel are amazing. You can get a Jalaroni, which is a soft baked pretzel topped with cheese, pepperoni and jalapeno slices. There is Grateful Garlic which is a soft baked pretzel topped with hot melted cheese and light garlic flavor. Or you can just try the cheese and jalapenos without the pepperoni and order a Jalapeno Cheese Melt. Like the idea of a pretzel and a hot dog combined into one? You can order a pretzel dog which is a hot dog that has a fresh-baked pretzel wrapped around it, you can also top this one with cheese.
My husband and I are always enticed by Wetzel’s Pretzels. Whenever we go to Downtown Disney, we can’t resist getting something from there, no matter how long the line may be, and sometimes it’s a rather long line. Wetzel’s stores are meant to be a quick, walk in, order, and take your order to-go type of place. There’s no eating area inside the store. But sometimes the employees inside can’t make the pretzels fast enough for the people who are ordering them, so there ends up being a long line of people waiting for their pretzels to come fresh out of the oven. Unfortunately, my husband and I are creatures of habit and always end up ordering the same thing.
We love Wetzel’s frozen strawberry lemonade. It’s tangy, tart and sweet. Being frozen lemonade, because it has all the ice crystals, I think it keeps it from being too sweet. It’s cold and refreshing and a great drink for a warm summer evening. Also the tartness of it goes well with the buttery and sweet soft pretzels.
Although Wetzel’s sells all sorts of fancy gourmet pretzels, we are traditionalists and stick to the regular soft-baked pretzels that are brushed with butter and hot out of the oven. You can get these pretzels with salt on them, but who needs salt? Along with the pretzels, we’ll also get an order of pizza sauce (for me) and cheddar cheese sauce (for my husband) and we use the sauces as a dipping sauce for our buttered soft pretzels. It’s a great combination; hot soft pretzel, dipped into a savory dipping sauce. Put that all together with a tangy and tart frozen strawberry lemonade, you’ve got a perfect snack!