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Wednesday
Apr252012

La Pretzelleria

When I think pretzels, I definitely don’t think of Montreal. There just aren’t enough of them to start trending. Before La Pretzelleria, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any – the ones at the movie theaters and the Bell Center don’t count. But with the recent addition of our very own pretzel shop, I wonder, do they have what it takes to launch pretzel mania?

Brought to us by a lovely Romanian couple, this humble bakery on the Plateau is dedicated to all things pretzel. A decent selection of savory and sweet pretzels, $2.00 apiece, are baked fresh every morning, and in small batches throughout the day. Come and get ‘em as early as 11:00am. The set up is a basic as they come: kitchen, counter, a few stools against the wall and a shelf topped with communal bottles of condiments to liven things up, French’s yellow mustard included.

On a recent trip, I picked up Salt, Sesame, Poppy Seeds, Multigrain, CuminCinnamon and Nescafé Espresso. Unfortunately, Olive wasn’t available. Besides the minor embellishments, they all tasted the same, the dough plain and a little bland. Not surprisingly, Salt was my favorite because the speckling of course salt gave it the seasoning it needed. Also, it went straight from the oven into my hands, giving it a leaping lead over the rest with its golden brown crust, and soft, dense and steamy middle. But somehow, it still was missing the it factor, and that was after the addition of mustard. By the time I got around to the others, they turned hard and tough to chew. Womp womp. I wasn’t impressed.  They weren’t bad. They just weren’t what I hoped for. 

The Cheese Pretzel ($2.50), pillowy dough wrapped around cheese and rolled in sesame seeds, was a small step up from the regular pretzels. It could have done with more cheese because I’m fat like that, but in my mind, there’s nothing oozy cheese can’t make better. Be sure to get it hot. There’s no other way to eat it.

The Hot Dog Pretzel ($2.50), the perfect subject for French’s yellow mustard, was pretty straightforward – baked bread, a salty hot dog and cracking poppy seed.  

I won’t make the mistake of buying pretzels by the bagful again unless I have to feed a crowd right then and there. With absolutely no exceptions, pretzels should be eaten as soon as they come off the heat, blistered and hot, soft underneath a gentle crunch exterior. They harden and toughen the longer they sit around, so if you get a whole set only to eat it later, you might as well be feeding on rubber and rocks. I learnt that the hard way. My advice? If the queue of customers doesn’t overwhelm the workers, kindly ask them to prepare (not re-heat) one on the spot. It’ll take a few minutes, but the knotted beauty that comes out fresh is as good as La Pretzelleria products are going to get. Attack this portable snack street side or grab a bottle of mustard and pull up a stool at the counter. Rip, dip and repeat. As for me, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a while before I return. But when I do, Salt or Cinnamon all the way. 

 

La Pretzelleria

25 avenue du Mont-Royal Est | map

(514) 419-4039

La Pretzelleria on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments (3)

There are quite a few places now in Montreal where you can get different kinds of Pretzels - my favorite ones are the ones from Oestreich soft pretzels in St. Leonard on Jarry, close to Lacordaire. For me as a Bavarian they are the real deal.
I tried the ones from Fairmount Bagels as well, but they are more like a bagel.
Other options are Salamico, Atlantique or Wavel.

May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFV

I got 12 pretzels as well when I went there! I got to agree with you, it is best to buy one at a time to truly benefit from the freshness of homemade pretzels! The owner is super sweet and I ordered one of each. He made them on the spot and steaming hot is the way to eat it! I've froze the rest of it and re-heat it in the oven every time i am craving for one! There was a pretzel shop in the Complexe des Ailes a few years ago that I loved. They were so soft and tender and offered a lot of flavors! I miss it!!!

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina

I completely agree with the statements made in that article. I would also add that I think they should open later at night. I don't know who buys pretzels at 11am but if there is a slight chance to see a pretzel mania happen in Montreal it will be if it can compete with the after-bar poutine craze. Open around noon or 3 pm and follow us through the night!

October 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandre

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