“If you had to pick just one food to eat the rest of your life and nothing else, what would it be?”
When I was first asked that question, my easy answer was either lechon—or chicharon bulaklak—but I realized eating only that would make it a very short life…So I changed my answer to chicken barbecue—but that was until I met the food love of my life.
One of my elementary teachers actually called me “pretzel” because she said it sounded better than “Richelle.”
But back then the only pretzel I knew was the one that was covered in chocolate which had a drawing of an indian boy and girl on its box (sorry native American.)
It was my partner, who actually introduced me to the real pretzel. The one made by that famous Aunt, and it was love at first bite. It has become my comfort food and my favorite all- day snack, I once ate four boxes in one sitting.
So imagine my excitement when I got invited to the opening of the first Pretzelmaker store not only in the Philippines—but in ASIA.
I live in the Novaliches, and the only reason I would ever go south of Metro Manila and past the tollways was an out of town trip. But since it the first PretzelMaker branch was in Festival Mall Alabang—I had to make an exception.
Was Pretzelmaker going to be worth the 6-hour trip?
First a bit of a background.
Pretzelmaker was “made” in 1991, and specializes in serving fresh baked, hand-rolled soft pretzel products, dipping sauces and beverages. Long recognized as an innovator in their industry, they are the inventor of the popular Pretzel Dog, Mini Pretzel Dogs, and the portable Pretzel Bites.
Pretzelmaker is currently the second largest soft pretzel concept in the United States and is also rapidly expanding worldwide with locations in Canada, Guam, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
The franchisor of Pretzelmaker, Global Franchise Group has partnered with Vavel Foods, Inc., for its first branch in Asia which as I mentioned is located in Festival Mall Alabang. Vavel Foods said they plan to open 14 additional Pretzelmaker locations throughout the Philippines—initially mentioning Clark and SM Fairview as their next store locations.
“Pretzelmaker’s first location in Asia is symbolic of the popularity of pretzels and the rise of snacking internationally,” said Chris Dull, President and CEO of GFG. “We are proud of the expansion of the Pretzelmaker brand and our global reputation. We look forward to working with Vavel to open more stores across the Philippines.”
“We decided to open Pretzelmaker in the Philippines because the delicious hand-rolled pretzel products far surpass the competition and we knew customers would love them,” said Migo Ochoa, General Manager of Pretzelmaker Philippines. “As demonstrated by the success of our Grand Opening, the community is very excited to have a Pretzelmaker at the mall and we are very happy to be providing a new twist on snacking options for busy shoppers.”
Pretzelmaker at Festival Mall in Alabang is located in a bustling retail area and offers the brand’s signature line-up of hand-rolled pretzels, Pretzel Bites, Pretzel Dogs, dipping sauces and beverages including all-natural lemonades.
Exclusive to the Philippines, Pretzelmaker Philippines is also launching Cream Cheese Stuffed Bites in three varieties: Almond Crunch, Cinnamon Sugar and Garlic Seasoning.
So was it worth the trip?
Yes because as promised they did deliver on their promise of fresh and delicious pretzels—even though the serving was quite long. But I do think it was only because it was their first day and there were a lot of guests.
The first one we tried was the Pretzelmaker’s Salted Bites (Php 75 for 16oz / Php 90 for 22oz) they also gave us three kinds of dips–Chocolate, Caramel, and Cheese! I liked the caramel and cheese dip more.
Next up was the Cinnamon Sugar Bites (Php 75 for 16oz / Php 90 for 22oz)! I love cinnamon (cinnamon buns is my other weakness) It was chewy but a little bit airy so I was bitin because I had to share it with our blogger group. I prefer this one solo.
Then came the the Cream Cheese Stuffed Bites, and a few other options like Cinnamon Sugar, Almond Crunch, Garlic Seasoning, (prices range from Php 95 to Php 140) they were the size of meatballs and had a lot more filling and so far they were my favorites—
—but only until they served us the Mini Pretzel Dogs!
Priced at Php 120 for 8 pieces it is the most filling and I love the sausages they used which were so flavorful.
Yes it was worth the trip, the pretzels were delicious and best paired with their lemonade (the other option was dalandan) My only concern was that we weren’t able to try their regular pretzels. I did get to take home a cinnamon sugar and a pretzel dog, but because it was opening day they were so busy when they opened the store to the public. There was a long line and we had to leave to avoid the rush hour traffic.
But is it better than the other brand? hmmm..
Check out the highlights of the store opening below in our photo album:
The pretzel dogs were really good, and you can’t go wrong with the stuffed bites either, but the pretzels are a bit to airy for me, and I prefer it a bit more chewy. But again it was opening day so they might have rushed preparations a bit because there were a lot of guests and waiting time was already long.
As for the ones I took home, I ate them the next morning, and it made me regret not eating it sooner, it was still good but it would already be unfair to judge it.
Hopefully they’d open a branch here in the north soon, praying it to be SM North Edsa, Trinoma or Megamall—or at least in Makati because I honestly want to try them again—
Visit Pretzelmaker at the Upper Ground Floor, Expansion Wing in Festival Mall, Alabang
For more information on Pretzelmaker Philippines, please follow the location’s official social media accounts:@pretzelmakerph on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and use the official hashtag #pretzelmakerph to learn more about other promotions and announcements.
Pretzelmaker has 70 international locations in Canada, Guam, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and now the Philippines. To find a location near you, visit www.pretzelmaker.com or join us on social media: follow @pretzelmaker on Twitter; add @pretzelmakerpics on Instagram; follow “Pretzelmaker” on Snapchat; or become a fan of the brand on Facebook www.facebook.com/pretzelmaker