LEJ Pretzel Company
I love LEJ Pretzel Company. I’ve loved them ever since I wandered into First Magnitude Brewing Company one day and saw them set up out front. Their beautiful pretzels, glistening in a coat of butter, hanging from their display enticed me. Then I tried one and I was hooked. There was even one night where they were set up at Whiskey House, where I purchased five of them and then sat in a corner munching on them like a weirdo. So you can imagine my joy and excitement when they finally opened up a brick and mortar location at 620 South Main Street.
For those unfamiliar, LEJ has been making their rounds at local farmers’ markets and bars for some time now. What began as homemade pretzels after a night of hosting a 7-course pasta dinner for friends, turned into a business idea after owners Lori, Evan, and Jason (LEJ) realized they actually made some frickin’ tasty twisty yummies. I agree, they’re some of the best pretzels I’ve ever had. And after a successful run as a food stand, they’ve taken the next step.
Smack dab in the middle of the fast developing “SoMa District” (South Main), is a small building with a pretzel silhouette adorning its window. Inside, the team is giving life to magical gluten-filled bread, because gluten is delicious. Sweet, sweet, beautiful chewy and dense gluten. I love gluten.
Anyways, warm and chewy Bavarian-style pretzels are made fresh daily in a multitude of varieties. There’s the buttery goodness sprinkled with coarse salt in traditional form ($3) or in stick form ($2). If you’re feeling extra hungry, get a pretzel wrapped hot dog for $5 and top it with some stone ground mustard. But my favorite are the mini pretzel bites, filled with warm gooey cheese. Make sure not to miss the Horchata-glazed pretzel dusted with cinnamon and sugar ($3). Though I would not suggest eating the latter in your car, as it can get very messy.
If you plan on entertaining or just looking to make some burgers at home, LEJ also sells fresh-made pretzel hamburger buns ($8 for a 4 pack) and pretzel hotdog buns as well. All can be purchased from their order window on the north side of the building. These are well worth it!
Speaking of the building, there are plans to open up a retail section inside where customers can purchase their pretzel goods. But for now, customers can order from a window and enjoy their pretzel at one of three small outside tables or take it to go. Parking is a pain in the buttocks with very limited street parking and a small lot that is a converted loading dock. If you can walk or bike here, most definitely do so. Otherwise, be prepared to run into potential headaches.
While LEJ ramps up, their current hours are Fridays from 12 PM to 6 PM and Saturdays from 8 AM to 6 PM. If you’re still scoffing at me for writing an entire piece devoted to pretzels, just go try them. Maybe now those girls that gave me those dirty looks for having five pretzels in front of me will finally understand. The struggle is real.