“ Address: Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham / B5 4BU / West Midlands „
Mr Pretzels is a snack kiosk located inside Birmingham's iconic Bull Ring Shopping Centre, specialising in soft flavoured pretzels which are made actually inside the kiosk in full view. I probably wouldn't have noticed it, but several staff members were milling around with silver platters full of samples - after trying my third sample I decided to buy some!
The range encompasses both sweet and savoury flavours, so theoretically there's something for everyone. I sampled a small piece of Cheese Pretzel and quickly decided that I preferred the sweeter versions; there was nothing particularly *wrong* with the cheesy one, I just felt the sweet donut-like texture of the pretzel was best suited to the more sugary flavours. The Sesame Seed one looked very tasty though, with a light sheen that looked less cakey than some of the other varieties I had spotted.
I bought five; a pretzel for me, one for each of my girls' and the fifth to share on the walk back to the car. Being a cinnamon lover I opted for the Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzel, which is apparently one of their flagship flavours. It was absolutely delicious. The dough had been cooked perfectly to make it chewy and substantial; the flavour of the pretzel itself was that of an unseasoned donut, but the generous sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar really brought the 'cake' to life. There's not a hint of grease on these tasty soft pretzels, your fingers may get into a bit of a sticky powdery mess but that's because of the nature and quantity of coating used rather than the oiliness I'd been expecting when thinking of take-out donuts.
Two of my daughters chose the Nutella Pretzels, which is the same soft pretzel topped with a huge amount (relatively) of Nutella. My one daughter wasn't convinced that it was bona fide Nutella, commenting that the chocolate spread used on the pretzel was great but she suspected a cheaper brand had been used - not being a Nutella expert I can't comment on that, but it tasted deliciously chocolatey whatever brand they used! My youngest daughter picked a Vanilla Pretzel, and this turned out to be an excellent choice - the pretzel being covered in a sweet vanilla sugar, so much sugar in fact that I wouldn't like to eat this one in the summer as I'd worry about wasps going for the bits of sugar that landed up in my hair and on my clothes! My daughter said that she felt 'grown up' eating her pretzel - which, at four years old, isn't bad going!
The one we ate walking to the car was also Cinnamon-Sugar, so I ended up eating this one both warm straight from the oven and cold when I got home - both are perfect, but a warm cinnamon pretzel is like being in heaven! The cinnamon is very strong so definitely one for spice lovers, but the sugar adds a delicious sweetness that had me sucking it off my fingers as I didn't want to waste even a tiny amount.
The staff I encountered at Mr Pretzels were a little grumpy, it's hardly service with a smile here but as it's such a 'take your food and run' place this doesn't matter too much. There are a few small tables and chairs near to the service counter, these were all taken at the time of our visit but it wasn't a problem as I'm not sure how comfortable I'd feel sitting with a gigantic pretzel in the middle of the Bull Ring anyway! It was nice to watch the staff in the background twisting the long strips of dough into a pretzel shape, their fingers worked so fast that I couldn't believe how tidy and well shaped the finished articles were!
The cost was a bit of a shock, being charged £15 for five flavoured pretzels seemed a little exorbitant to me - I suppose for novelty value it's worth the money, but really they should have been half the price in my opinion as they're only a cake at the end of the day! Mr Pretzels also sells a range of cold drinks and something called a Pretzel Dog, which is pretzel dough wrapped around a sausage and cooked. To be honest even the thought made me feel a bit queasy so I wasn't tempted to try one of those, but my 13 year old daughter commented about how nice they looked so I think she'll end up buying one to sample at some point.