Tied in Knots by Gus' Pretzels

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It only looks like these pretzels from Gus' are giving the camera the finger. - IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
  • It only looks like these pretzels from Gus' are giving the camera the finger.
I feel like I need to put a question mark after the "Good Restaurants" part of the category title. Is a visit to Gus' Pretzels always this disappointing?

I love soft pretzels. Always have. I even included some, the pretzel bites at Joey B's on the Hill, in my list of 100 Favorite St. Louis Dishes.

In St. Louis, of course, soft pretzels and Gus' are synonymous. Even if you haven't been to the Benton Park bakery, you've certainly seen -- and likely sampled -- the pretzels from an outside vendor, whether a grocery store or one of those fellows at busy intersections.

I can't remember the last time that I ate a Gus' pretzel before this week -- it's been years -- but yesterday was the first time that I've been to the source, and I was underwhelmed. The pretzels were room temperature, chewy and, aside from the patches of salt, flavorless.

My question for Gus' aficionados: Was this a one-off experience? If I return tomorrow, will I experience a warm (if not hot), softer (if not soft) specimen? Or do I just not get the Gus' Pretzels experience?

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