Posted On: 09/01/2017
Is there anything better equipped to satiate hunger and simultaneously increase thirst than the pub pretzel? I haven’t found it. A bready, delicious heft of hot, salty carbs served with mustard and cheese for slathering, washed down with a cold pint, it’s the perfect feast. While the pretzel is decidedly German, it has taken on a life of its own in St. Louis. Here are three of the best house-made pretzels this side of the Rhine.
Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern
2101 Chouteau Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.4677, charlevillebeer.com
The pretzel at Charleville is made with spent grain – that’s the grain left over from the beer-brewing process – and comes out with a glowing, blond hue. The top is salted and slathered in butter, which pools at the bottom of the plate and soaks the base of the crust that’s dredged in leftover grain. The dough is heady with a hint of nuttiness in the aftertaste, and when you pull it apart, it doesn’t tear – it shreds. The rosemary whole-grain mustard offers an initial hint of sweetness, but it is spicy enough to singe your nose hair. Order with a pint of house Half Wit Wheat for the perfect pairing.
4749 Gravois Ave, St. Louis, 314.396.6900, dasbevo.com
Recently opened in Bevo Mill, Das Bevo is already making headway with its pretzel game, relying on the skills of Anne Cronin (the pretzel maker who also sells her goods at the Arnold Farmers Market). These beauties come German-style, two by two, with a hot, crunchy crust that bounces back if you give it a pinch. The extra heap of salt on top means you’ll need nothing less than a pitcher of Griesedieck to accompany them. Enjoy with both house-made grain mustard and beer pub cheese sauce on the side.
Union Loafers Café & Bread Bakery
1629 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.6111, unionloafers.com
The pretzels at this first-rate bakery have a rustic personality. They are handmade daily in the classic knot shape (with a gentle twist at the top) and finished with a lovely scatter of big, square Maldon salt flakes. Less buttery than some, these Bavarian-style beauties take a generous lye bath for a dark color and a thick, chewy crust. The house-made grain mustard served with it is exceptional, but unnecessary since the flavor of the dough unravels in your mouth as soon as you take a bite.
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