Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Bier Stein Pretzel is Mighty Fine

My first trip to Eugene, OR was spent at The Bier Stein, a local beer shop that has over a thousand bottles of beer with at least ten unique brews on tap! It has only been around since 2005 but has expanded over the years given its popularity, especially with U of O students. 

Their food is amazing, but of course I  am partial to their pretzels. They are soft, salty, and complement their beer selections to a T. The cheese fondue and mustard give the pretzel an added kick too. I think I could have had several more helpings of their beer cheese fondue sauce by itself! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hand Made Hammond's Pretzels: A Tasty Tradtion

While not kin to Portland, if you haven't had a Hammond's pretzel you're missing out. Hammond's pretzels might be crispy but somehow they look and taste like a soft pretzel. Music to my taste-buds.

My boyfriend's co-worker recently introduced us to this little family-owned and operated bakery based out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and naturally I needed to try their pretzels to see what all they hype was about.They have been producing hand-made sourdough pretzels since 1931 and are regarded as the "oldest continuously family operated hand-made pretzel bakery in America." Their little Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch Hard pretzel is definitely something to brag about.

Their pretzel products range from no salt to extra salty to dark pretzels (which have a more burnt consistency but are surprisingly still pretty tasty). I had the regular pretzel and dark pretzel and would have to say I am a bigger fan of the regular one, although it's pretty tempting to order some of the "extra salty" pretzels... for comparison purposes.

It turns out Pretzels were first introduced to the Americas by "Palatine Germans" or "Pennsylvanian Dutch" and the birthplace of the American Pretzel as we know it today began in Lititz, a city right outside of Lancaster in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Philadelphia in particular is one of the well known cities, in addition to New York and Chicago for their scrumptious soft pretzels - I wonder what it will take to get Portland on that list? I guess if Portlandinans start consuming twelve times more pretzels than the national average like Philly then we might also be recognized as a place for pretzels!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bretzels and Brewfests

Summer in Portland means many things, but one thing that always catches my eye are brewfests. Portland International Beerfest and Oregon Brewers Festival are two of my favorites.

Held right in the heart of the Pearl district, the Portland International Beerfest offers 150 world class beers from 60 different countries. These beers are strong, but luckily Fressen pretzels were available on-site to remedy me from getting too out of hand.

The Oregon Brewers Festival, located alongside the waterfront, offers beer selections that are more my style. In addition to 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon, this year I also took a liking to Oakshire OBF 26 an Imperial Oregon Ale.

In terms of pretzels, however, I would say the Oregon Brewers Festival has a doughy leg up on the International beerfest. While Fressen is delicious and if you can't tell by now, abundant in Portland restaurants, it's pretty hard to compete with Gustav's pretzel. Along with a sumptuous texture and abundant flavor the cheese fondue that accompanies this salty treat pushes this tasting experience into realms normally reserved for the original pretzel masters in Bavaria. In fact, Gustav's pretzel was what kicked off this blog and I must say it still stacks up pretty high in my book.