Usually, I would tell you to get a hot chocolate at City Bakery. Their hot chocolate is one of the best that I have ever tasted. And I have sampled many hot chocolates. In February, they make a different hot chocolate every day for their Hot Chocolate Festival (cinnamon hot chocolate, ginger hot chocolate, Happy Hot Chocolate – made with milk chocolate and vanilla…). They make their own marshmallows in house, and they have a Chocolate Room. When it comes to hot chocolate, they don’t mess around at City Bakery.
But it is early October. It is not quite hot chocolate weather yet. So I’m not going to tell you to get a hot chocolate at City Bakery. Instead, I am going to tell you to try a pretzel croissant.
The pretzel croissant is everything one might hope for in the outcome of a merger between the pretzel and the croissant. It has the integrity of a croissant – layers of buttery dough that unwind in a perfect spiral, should one tear off an end and lightly tug. What remains, the crisp outer shell, is heightened by the flavor of the pretzel. Salty and buttery, yes. But also more complex, because the bakers at City Bakery have sprinkled the pretzel croissant with sesame seeds. The result is a rounder, warmer flavor. And the texture gains an added bite, a crunch. Taken together, the heft of the dough, the crisp exterior, and the crunch of the sesame seeds, melding together the toasted sesame seed flavor, butter, and salt…
the pretzel croissant is genius. It makes one wonder how it is possible that someone did not take the flavor of the softest, warmest, freshest pretzel you can imagine and marry it with the air, light, and gravity of a perfectly executed croissant before the folks at City Bakery. My mouth is watering as I type.
So go – nestle into a cozy, well-lit corner above the hustle of West 18th St., and tuck into a pretzel croissant. And, ok, fine. Maybe pick up a hot chocolate to go with it.