Gettin’ Siggy Wit’ It

Sigmund Pretzel Shop | 29 Avenue B (bet. 2nd & 3rd sts.) | 646.410.0333 | www.sigmundnyc.com | | | |


ONE OF THE MOST RECENT trends in NYC eateries is to specialize in one dish or menu item, and interpret as many different variations of that dish in as many ways as possible. Meatballs, roast beef sandwiches, dumplings, fries, macaroni & cheese, among other food stuffs, have been enjoying star treatment as of late. (I still have a full menu spec of a restaurant idea that involves various preparations of—and toppings for—hot dogs.

So, in 2011, it comes as no real surprise to find a quaint spot down on the Lower East Side called Sigmund Pretzel Shop that features, of course, (soft, hand-rolled, German-style) pretzels. Curious enough, I waited until more amenable weather to finally visit the joint, an innocuously small yet spacious, comfy almost shrine to the famed twisted bread treat.


Sigmund Pretzel Shop

Sigmund Pretzel Shop

Sigmund Pretzel Shop

Sigmund Pretzel Shop

Sigmund Pretzel Shop

Sigmund Pretzel Shop

Sigmund Pretzel Shop

Sigmund Pretzel Shop


Their display showcased a wide variety of fresh-made (mini) pretzels and dipping sauces (see menu, above); my lunch companion, Megan, and I set in to try a whole bunch of them, with me ordering a cranberry iced tea while our orders were prepared.


Cranberry Iced Tea

We started our first two pretzels: one “stuffed” with feta cheese and with chopped black olives in the pretzel itself, another studded with cheddar cheese and black truffle.


Feta & Black Olive Pretzel

Feta & Black Olive Pretzel

Feta & Black Olive Pretzel

Cheddar Truffle Pretzel

Cheddar Truffle Pretzel

Cheddar Truffle Pretzel

Cheddar Truffle Pretzel


The feta and black olive was mellow and earthy, balanced by the accompaniment honey-mustard. The cheddar-black truffle pretzel was, as expected, a bit punchier with its nicely aromatics and sharper flavors, kick up an extra notch by bright, palette- and nose-tickling grain mustard.

Aptly enough, one of my speculative hot dog interpretations was to have one served in a pretzel roll; Sigmund has just that, and two versions of it. We ordered the “classic” which was topped with braised saurkraut and more of the grain mustard.


Classic Hot Dog

Classic Hot Dog

Classic Hot Dog


The hot dog—which I had planned to call a “stadium dog”—was, I’ll say it, a home run, with the sturdy, springy pretzel bread nicely supporting a Schaller & Weber frankfurter, heightened by deep flavors of the braised saurkraut and, again, by forward notes of the grain mustard.

Megan and I were so impressed with what we had had, that we decided to dive further into the menu and get two more pretzels. I let her pick; she chose a garlic and parsley pretzel as well as, of all the “seeded” options, the sunflower-seeded pretzel.


Pretzels

Sunflower Seeded Pretzel

Sunflower Seeded Pretzel

Garlic Parsley Pretzel

Garlic Parsley Pretzel


The abundance of slightly toasted sunflower seeds made for great textural contrasts, as well as adding very pleasant nutty and floral points in taste and aromatics, complimented expertly with rich, layered, spicy, acidic notes of a beet-horseradish mayo dipping sauce. The garlic and parsley pretzel also a winner, with its sweet, savory, and herbaceous properties nuanced by a spreadable goat cheese.

But wait; there’s more! Being impressed with every item we had scarfed down so far—and still curious—Megan and I decided to gorge ourselves just a bit more with one of their pretzel sandwiches. We would end our lunch visit splitting a sandwich with thinly sliced sliced roast turkey, Granny Smith apples, brie cheese, and grain and honey mustards.


Turkey, Brie, Apple Pretzel Sandwich

Turkey, Brie, Apple Pretzel Sandwich

Turkey, Brie, Apple Pretzel Sandwich


This was easily an excellent way to end our meal, or should I say, end with a meal, since this is what our sandwich was. And how refreshing it was that they apply the same skill and respect to their non-baked ingredients, employing fresh apples, juicy turkey slices, and creamy brie in perfect proportions to create these almost devilishly enjoyable bites.

Ultimately, throughout our courses, the pretzel was the star, each one served perfectly warm, uniquely harder and almost crusty on its exterior while boasting a homey aromatic and airy heft throughout its interior. So happily sated from our several servings, Megan and I decided we would not visit Pommes Frites (showcasing nothing but, of course, fries) as originally planned, saving that option for a future PHUDE outing.

So I finished my Boylan’s Cane Cola (such a great soda that it distracted me from taking a photo of the bottle!) and robustly tart and sweet cranberry iced tea, and walked by their beirgarten-related über pretzels as Megan and I left, not just pleased with our visit, but already planning a speedy revisit.


Cranberry Iced Tea

Über Pretzels


Bun Apple Tea!

.kac.


Sigmund Pretzel Shop on Urbanspoon


Sigmund Pretzel Shop | 29 Avenue B (bet. 2nd & 3rd sts.) | 646.410.0333 | www.sigmundnyc.com | | | |



J&R Computer/Music World