Thursday, February 25, 2010

Radegast Hall & Garden

I am here to tell you about a single piece of food. Never before have I centered an entire post around one item. But, never before had I imagined that something found on nearly every other street corner in New York City could stand out with such gusto in my mind. And believe it or not, I am actually not referring to a pork product - but rather, a vegetarian option - the hot pretzel.

I have always had a weakness for soft pretzels. As a child, when visiting the streets of New York, attending a sporting event, or even passing through an airport or train station, I felt it was my duty to indulge in a hot pretzel. In all honesty, there was really no difference among the vendors (well, besides Auntie Annie's, and those are too thin and greasy to even fall into the soft pretzel category that I am referring to) - and I was just fine with that. A hot pretzel was a hot pretzel. I crave(d) them and was able to get my fix at least every other month. Well, that was the case until last weekend when I discovered Radegast Hall & Garden, Williamsburg's very own German beer garden.

I don't mean to detract from the excellent setting and festive vibe that you will encounter in this German transplant - or even the impressive selection of beer, sausages, brats, and kielbasa. Those are all wonderful, in fact. However, it is the Bavarian pretzel that will truly blow your mind - and actually take over your mind for even days after you have headed home. At least, that has been the case for me. Our table ordered one. Although these are larger than a traditional street pretzel, that was certainly not enough. We ordered a second - again, not enough. And while the third was finally proclaimed as enough - I will be completely frank now and admit that we could have gone for one or even a few more.

So what is it about Radegast's hot pretzel that places it in such a league of its own? I'm not sure how accurately and professionally I can really break apart and analyze a pretzel. But, for starters, it's the flavor - the right balance between salt and butter. It's the texture - not too hard or overcooked. And, it's the sides - homemade spicy mustard for dipping (although it is equally as delicious on its own), sea salt, and pickles. Even so, none of what I have just described can even begin to do this pretzel justice. Hopefully, this one track post has plead my case.

And, if not, just hop on the L train and see for yourself. It doesn't get much easier as it's the first stop in Brooklyn - and after one bite of the Radegast pretzel, those convenient street vendors will start to feel miles away. And, in the meantime, here's one more look at pretzel heaven. I'll see you there.

Radegast Hall & Garden
113 North Third St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 963-3973


Erik said...


GAR said...

These pretzels definitely deserve 2 photos! Bravo for giving them their due.

Anonymous said...

I have never really had a hankering for a soft pretzel (especially on the streets of NYC), but after reading your post, I am definitely "game" to try one of these! The picture says it all!

BF said...

oh man i love radegast -- but have never had the pretzel. next time i'm in town, let's fix that, shall we?

オテモヤン said...