where: Philly Pretzel Factory, 2800 Rosewood Dr., 803-403-1133, phillypretzelfactory.com
cost: $3 for five
It’s carb ‘o clock on a recent Saturday at Rosewood Drive’s new Philly Pretzel Factory location.
A crowd of curious shoppers who’ve caught word are ogling the doughy display case filled with pretzel permutations, while others are clearly enthralled with the pretzel making theater on display. When it’s busy like this and the conveyor belt is rolling to keep up with incoming demand, it almost looks like the employees are fighting a losing game as they deftly twist fresh dough into figure eights.
Each customer in line seems to order as if they’re feeding a pack of Hungry Hungry Hippos. But the more you get, the bigger the value proposition: 25 pretzels is only $12, and that includes a bottle of mustard; it’s hard to resist going big when you come in here.
Soft and salty on the outside with a hint of sweetness lurking beneath the crust, it’s easy to understand why these soft pretzels are the impulse snack of choice for Philadelphia Eagles faithful.
If you want to mix it up at this growing chain, play with the form factor and go for some nugget-sized rivets (they’ve got cinnamon ones, too), and for something meatier to bite into, there’s the pretzel dog or spicy pretzel sausage, both garnished with gooey cheese. In the mood for pizza instead? The pepperoni pretzel melt has your name on it.