Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Update: The City Bakery's "Cretzel"

TL;DR:

The famous pretzel croissant from The City Bakery will leave you dehydrated for weeks. Would not recommend unless you enjoy the thrill of dehydration for some reason.


Pretzel croissant
5th Ave. & 18th St.

Click here for my first post on The City Bakery.

If Dominique Ansel has his ever-popular cronut, The City Bakery has their pretzel croissant, another food hybrid (also involving a croissant, coincidentally) that many people recommend. I believe the pretzel croissant, which I will refer to as the "cretzel" henceforth (yes, I just made that up), has been around for quite some time, and I've been meaning to try it ever since I first came across the rave reviews.

And I finally did during my lunch break today when my head was just about to explode from editing too many articles on topics in which I have no interest. With a good book in hand ("Incognito" by David Eagleman — love it so far!), I thought it'd be good for me to clear my head a bit and take a break with the cretzel that all the yelpers were talking about.

So I headed over, got in line and ordered a cretzel — $3.75. This much for a croissant? Better be worth it... was my initial thought. After paying the (still-cold) employee, I sat down and fished the cretzel out from my paper bag and was pleasantly surprised by how big it was — for some reason, it looked a lot bigger than when I saw it displayed on the counter.

I ripped off one of the edges and had a taste — Jesus Christ, this is salty. As soon as the cretzel hit my tongue, I was so surprised by how incredibly salty it was, so bad that I almost spit it out. After a few seconds of being flabbergasted, I tore into the body, thinking, maybe it's just the corners; maybe the main part will be better.

I was right. The inside was indeed much better (and more edible), but the cretzel as a whole was still drenched in salt, so much that I peeled off most of the outer crust, making a mess like my crust-loathing third-grade self used to. The soft inside, where it had no crust, was great, though — the tender, buttery and flaky dough just melted in my mouth. But once I got some of the crust attached to it, it was just BLECH.

Look at this mess. I'm mildly embarrassed.

One more note, the pastry was very greasy. After finishing my cretzel and making a mess, I unpleasantly found my nails glistening with grease (and no, it wasn't nail polish; I didn't even have any on) and my napkins soaking wet. Of course, you wouldn't expect a cretzel to be completely dry and healthy for you (that would taste awful), but you also wouldn't expect a pool of leftover grease.

In the end, I left the bakery not understanding why the cretzel got so much attention and good reviews. I'd much rather stick with their peanut butter cookies (awesome — as I said before) or go for a mixed berry scone or monkey bread next time.

Sorry, cretzel, but it's not me, it's you.

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