So far as we can ascertain, Pretzels is the first and only outlet in Hangzhou to specialize in hand-made German-style pretzels, and possibly the first and only establishment to have dedicated operations to hot dogs. We stumbled upon them one day after having left the Foreign Language Bookstore, and discovered that they'd been baking for little more than a week. We're been back several times since. They sell a dozen varieties of pretzels, each either 6 or 7RMB. The flavors run from a traditional salted pretzel (7RMB) to chocolate, mocha, sesame and coconut flavoured (6RMB). Hand-wrought, twisted, and popped into the oven before your very eyes, they are excellent. The hotdogs/sausages are the real deal, and the owner says that any tubesteak he couldn't source he imports himself directly from Europe. These are served on home-made buns which would be delicious on their own, and are indeed available for purchase frankfurter should you so desire. The wieners cost anywhere from 7RMB to 10RMB, and a compliment of condiments is available at the counter for self-service use. How do they taste? This reviewer was very satisfied with the Nuremberg veal sausage, but didn't find it well-paired with the slightly-sweet poppy/sesame encrusted bun. What's more, the sausage was handed over the tiny counter already dressed in fresh iceberg lettuce and halved cherry tomatoes -- both of which we could have done without. Consumer response may or may not lead to an eventual rethinking of the bun, or to an (welcomed) increase in bun options, but next time we'll be sure to tell them in advance that we prefer our hot dogs come without the garden salad, and even if we have to pick the greens out ourselves that won't stop us from indulging in one every now and then. As for the pretzels themselves, we've developed a two-pretzel-a-day habit.
ADDRESS: South side of 381 Fengqi Road, nearly equidistant between Yan'an Road and Zhongshanzhong Road, but possibly teeny bit closer to Yan'an -- and indeed they are at the Yan'an Lukou bus stop on Fengqi. They're on your right if you're walking up Fengqi from Yan'an Road, which puts them 100 meters or so up the road (and on the opposite side of) the Foreign Language Bookstore.
HOURS: 07.00 a.m. to 9.00p.m., seven days.
Pretzels serves some warm drinks and a couple of fruit smoothies, all along the lines of the little milk tea shops scattered throughout the city (6-15RMB). Wholesale/bulk sales available (telephone: 0571-8592-1583). Semi-bilingual service is an option when the owner is on-hand, but point-and-pay will work too. Pretzel in Mandarin is pu lei jie. There is a counter at which you may stand, and possibly one stool on which you may sit; but Pretzels is a tiny storefront, and gnawing on your puleijie inside might not always be comfortable, depending on the how many patrons are placing orders at the till.
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