Best thing we ate this week: Pelzer’s Pretzels

for The Brooklyn Paper
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If there is a snack that’s not hard to find in this city, it’s a pretzel. They are on virtually every street corner. But finding a quality pretzel — that’s another story.

Husband-and-wife team Barella Kirkland and Leon Pelzer Kirkland set out to solve the problem of the quality pretzel when they started selling their twisted treats at Pelzer’s Pretzels in January of 2012. The two started making pretzels that they first sold at DeKalb Market, and then at Smorgasburg. They followed up with selling the doughy delights for wholesale accounts, events, and through online food marketplaces like Good Eggs and But they saw a real demand for their quality pretzels and opened a small brick-and-mortar shop on Sterling Place in Crown Heights this month.

Instead of making the heart-shaped pretzels you might find from a street-corner cart, the Pelzer’s Philadelphia-style pretzels resemble a bowtie (Leon is a Philly native). And these pretzels are first-class baked goods, made daily in small batches with high-quality ingredients.

“They are chewier, breadier, and more moist than the typical New York pretzel,” says Barella, who noted that the base recipe is made from a simple combination of flour, brown sugar, yeast, and vegetable oil.

The basic Classic Pretzel ($3) stands up well on its own, just the right size for a quick snack or light breakfast. But from the basic pretzel comes many inspired variations. A favorite includes Everything Pretzel, a pretzel spin on an everything bagel baked with bits of onion and garlic and topped with sesame and poppy seeds ($3). A spicy pretzel comes prepared with a generous helping of jalapeno and cheddar ($3.50). And a sweeter variation comes in the form of the Cran-Mary Pretzel ($3), baked with tart cranberries, rosemary, and flecked with lemon zest.

The community has reacted “very positively,” says Barella, adding that the duo hopes to expand their offerings with the addition of new sweet flavors and a breakfast pretzel sandwich. They are also looking to sell wholesale to local bars and continue their online business. With any luck, Pelzer’s Pretzels will be as ubiquitous in Brooklyn as the less-than-fresh pretzels sold on street corners across the borough.

Pelzer’s Pretzels [724 Sterling Pl. between Bedford and Franklin avenues in Crown Heights, (718) 552–2998,; open Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–6 pm, Monday and Friday, 7 am–3 pm].

Updated 10:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

diehipster from Torturing Tristans says:
Finally, a couple of transplants that don't seem pretentious and are making a normal and affordable snack.
Oct. 22, 2013, 9:32 am
T-Bone from DoBro says:
We're glad that Jerome approves.

Maybe John Wasserman can make a polite interruption. And then, we can hear from Tal about how the pretzel zealots are ruining Crown Heights, even though he's never been there. Ty can come in and berate Tal. Swamp Mookie can tell us how our tax dollars pay for the free pretzels provided at his do nothing city job. Oh, and let's not forget how unemployed Pat I. will tell us stories from his Brooklyn childhood while hoping we don't pick up that he's a loser from the Philly suburbs. Throw in a random "me so horny" troll and a couple of nonsensical posts from Ethan and Dennis... that should about do it.

There, I just saved you about 36 posts.

Screech at you next week!
Oct. 22, 2013, 9:51 am
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
I'm sorry, but I really don't understand what it is that you mean. Perhaps you could explain. I hate to be the one to admit this, but I've switched to Sanka this week and find myself slightly behind the ball in some areas. Thanks for reading.
John Wasserman.
Oct. 22, 2013, 10:15 am
ty from pps says:
Hmm... $3 for a small pretzel is "normal and affordable." Interesting. Furthermore, the fact that they are a vendor at Smorgasburg doesn't taint them?
Oct. 22, 2013, 11:22 am
Bkdude64 says:
diehipster, the keyword being affordable!
Oct. 22, 2013, 5:14 pm
Bkdude64 says:
T-Bone, Would the Brooklyn paper be the same without the without the likes of, all the people you just mentioned above? come on..
Oct. 22, 2013, 5:15 pm
Bkdude64 says:
Oct. 22, 2013, 5:16 pm
absnew from Park Slope says:
Bangin' pretzels. Get the everything, and lots of mustard. Worth every penny.
Oct. 22, 2013, 8:22 pm
Joe Renna from The Bronx says:
Perhaps taste buds have changed over the last 2 decades since I've been gone, I ordered a dozen of Pelzers Pretzels and I was disappointed by the taste.

I was born and raised in New York and I remember buying pretzels from street vendors and they were the best. What was delivered to me by Pelzers was similar to pretzels you buy in the malls, tasteless dough.

Sorry for the shout out but if anyone else is looking for a taste of home Pelzers is the wrong address.
July 31, 2014, 2:47 pm

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