Something to snack on while waiting for a green light.
  • Something to snack on while waiting for a green light.
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Driving down El Cajon Boulevard, going about my business, I had no intention to get a snack. But passing by the Boulevard Wine and Spirits, I spotted a new sign: “Boulevard Pretzels — Now Open.”

Boulevard Wine and Spirits/Boulevard Pretzels

4245 El Cajon Boulevard, City Heights

The liquor store is still there, still renowned for its deep bench of San Diego beer brands, plus a few lovely imports. Its owner simply installed a small pretzel counter at the front of the shop. I anticipated the usual, rock salt pretzels, a natural fit for all that beer. I got more than that.

Stop for beer, stop for pretzels, or stop for both.

Stop for beer, stop for pretzels, or stop for both.

Cinnamon sugar, jalapeño, and turkey cheddar pretzel, for example. Each one goes for $2.95, but they’ll sell you two for $5. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a turkey pretzel before, but it felt like I should have, so it was my obvious first choice. The turkey and cheddar (or ham and swiss) are draped over the hand-rolled pretzel dough, and cooked in a boxy little oven behind the counter. The result is a cheesy treat in the order of a pizza-bagel.

There are pizza and bagel pretzels too. The pepperoni pretzel looked pretty right on, but I had to choose the everything pretzel, which is modeled after the everything bagel, and served with cream cheese. I really wanted it for the sesame seeds, but the fennel and poppyseeds were a welcome add.

Served the two pretzels in a paper sleeve to go, I got back to my car and headed west. It was a sure bet I’d get caught at the long red light to turn onto 805 south. I did, and it gave me plenty of time to dig into that turkey and cheddar. The seeded everything bagel tasted just as fresh at home a short while later.

Both pretzels were soft, chewy, and just a touch sweet, and in both cases the added toppings made the snack feel more substantial than a standard pretzel.

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