I first came across these handsome soft preztels at Lincoln Quality Meat Market, and followed them to their source at Lincolnwood’s Schlegl’s Bakery (say it out loud–it’s fun). I’ve fallen for less-than-noble knots before, but these I can feel good about; baked fresh, never frozen, and of a sturdier architecture than most. If they don’t look too salty in the shot, rest assured there’s plenty of residual sodium left behind after the visible crystals get brushed away. The only beef I have with these is their short shelf life. I’d even consider freezing them if I’m wasn’t going to get to them for more than half a day.

Schlegl’s also bakes pizza, cheese, and onion pretzels and pretzel rolls, though I’ve yet to try them.

Schlegl’s Bakery, 3915 W. Touhy, 847-568-1750