Ben’s Hot Pretzels
Nearly as big as a steering wheel, with a soft and biscuity interior encased in shiny, salt-flecked skin, the massive twists from Elkhart-based Ben’s Soft Pretzels give fans plenty to praise. The brand recently launched its first Indianapolis store in Circle Centre mall, joining more than 40 other shops scattered around Indiana, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois (with two more Indianapolis outposts in the works). The slickly branded mall kiosk has come a long way since its early days, when its namesake, Amish baker Ben Miller, began selling soft pretzels at a South Bend farmers market in 2004.
The pretzels are made using Miller’s secret Amish/Dutch recipe, so closely guarded that the baking mix is shipped to each individual store, where employees make the dough fresh onsite each day. The result? An ethereal creation that’s preservative-free and sprinkled with imported German salt. Covering both the sweet and savory spectrums, Ben’s jumbo soft pretzels come with 10 dipping-sauce options, from nacho cheese and Amish sweet mustard to vanilla icing and hot fudge. Other offerings include pretzel-wrapped hotdogs and Italian pretzel pockets stuffed with pepperoni, provolone, ham, and marinara. Each serving is tucked inside a wax-paper sleeve emblazoned with this promise: “If Ben’s Pretzels does not serve you a perfect pretzel, please return the uneaten portion for a pretzel that is perfect.”