During a raucous double birthday party at Laschet’s Inn the other night someone noticed they were offering a giant soft pretzel on the specials board. It arrived hot, and glistening with butter, a crispy, thin, lightly salted exterior armoring dense, pillowy dough. We passed it around, tearing off chunks and smearing them in mustard. 

It was on the way out when our server introduced me to the woman responsible for it, also on on her way to another saloon. Imagining I just met some great local pretzel artisan, I pumped her for information out on the sidewalk. The truth, I learned, was far less romantic. She was a rep for a giant food distributor, and the pretzels come frozen from Germany.

Still, that’s one big happy-looking pretzel.