I love sandwiches. I’ve long felt that they’re perfect in many ways, especially as a lunch food: They’re hand-held, often incorporate all the food groups and can contain damn near any combination of ingredients you can think up.
The only thing that limits the possibilities of a sandwich is the chef’s imagination. We learned this from the guys at the World Food Bar in a recent review, and we’re shown yet another sandwich possibility by Twisted Sisters Café (411 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, 859-781-6569) this week.
Twisted Sisters is a pretzel shop — oh, I get it, twisted — run out of a quaint and charming storefront by sisters Carolyn Bardo and Luci Cecil. The gourmet soft pretzels are freshbaked, soft and a little sweet. A few other items are available to take out or eat in, but the “Built to Suit” pretzel sandwiches ($7) definitely deserve a try.
If you’re having a hard time picturing it, allow me to explain how a pretzel sandwich works.
The pretzel dough rises enough during baking to close up the would-be spaces in the finished pretzel. Sliced like a bagel, it creates a perfect sandwich bread with plenty of character. Choose The Original, a bun or the Jalepeno Cheddar pretzel as your bread and build your own sandwich from the meat, veggies, cheese and condiments they offer.
Or choose one of the special sandwiches like the Spicy Italian or Reuben and add what vegetables you’d like to those. I ordered a half Reuben ($4) and took it to go since I was alone and most of the five tables were taken. The half sandwich is made on a smaller pretzel rather than a pretzel that’s been cut in half.
The warm sandwich included the usual Reuben ingredients: corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing. All of the ingredients were high quality and tasty, and the occasional taste of the salt on the pretzel added an interesting touch to an already unique sandwich.
I also took home a Jalapeno Cheddar pretzel ($2.85) that was covered with, as you can imagine, cheddar cheese and jalapeno pieces as well as a poppy seed topping. It was flavorful and not very spicy, so fear not. The other gourmet pretzel options vary in price and include The Original (with butter and salt or cinnamon and sugar), Cinnamon Sugar with special glaze or Bacon Cheddar. Chips, fruit, salad, soft drinks and coffee are also on the menu, as are Dessert Pretzel Knots with cinnamon sugar and glaze.
Twisted Sisters is kid-friendly and overall friendly, but be prepared to take your order to go since the small eat-in space fills up quickly. The busy sisters will make large baked orders of Knots or Bites if you call ahead, or you can take home frozen pretzels, Bites or Knots to enjoy whenever the craving hits.
CONTACT BRIAN CROSS: firstname.lastname@example.org