Last week the newest Ben's Soft Pretzels location opened inside the Meijer store on Indianapolis Blvd. in Highland, Indiana. I happen to be passing by that afternoon and decided to stop in and see how the line looked for the free pretzel offer. It wasn't too long, so I braved it for about 20 minutes. Once I walked in the store and smelled the pretzels, I knew there was no turning back.
I'd been hearing how good these pretzels were and was looking forward to trying them. And then I realized I already had. I learned that they are the popular to-die-for pretzels served at the Chesterton European Market. On my last visit to the market last summer, I tried one and it was the most amazing pretzel ever. Really. Truly. The line for the pretzels was winding through the market, but they cranked them out so quickly. I was so happy when I learned that these were the pretzels I'd be able to get right in Highland. I love the market, but it's a Saturday only thing and Chesterton is a bit of a trek for me.
Anyway, that twenty minute wait was well worth it. My pretzel was as amazing as I remember from my visit at the market. These are really better than pretzels, if that makes sense. When you think of a soft pretzel, you might think of one of those rubbery ones that comes frozen and get microwaved with salt chunks on it. This is not even anywhere near that category. These pretzels are more like a gourmet bakery item. They're brushed with butter as they take them out of the oven and you can see them being prepared.
There are some toppings available to sprinkle on them and then you can purchase one of several dips. Your pretzel can totally change personalities depending on what you have with it. I saw someone dust hers with a cinnamon sugar and then get icing for dipping. Fudge sauce and caramel sauce are also available. Another lady sprinkled parmesan on hers and got marinara sauce for dipping, turning it into a pizza-crust flavored pretzel. I opted to get some cheddar cheese dip to go with mine. I took it home and could only eat a little more than half. They are HUGE. My son was more than happy to help me finish it.
Ben's Soft Pretzels was founded by Scott Jones of Middlebury, Brian Krider of Goshen and Ben Miller of Shipshewana in Indiana. The recipe is an Amish/Dutch inspired pretzel and other pretzel products are served, as well.
Ben's Soft Pretzels is growing quickly to become one of the hottest quick-serve franchises in the country. There are currently over 40 locations throughout Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida with 50 more slated to open this year. For more info, visit benspretzels.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.