Although Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels have been around for 15 years, for the first time, owners Kim and Scott Holstein have opened a stand-alone café. Located in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, Kim & Scott's Cafe Twist offers a new twist on sandwiches, salads and soups.
The café replaces sandwich bread with large, soft pretzels. Try tuna salad on a whole grain Bavarian pretzel. Or how about turkey on a warm sourdough asiago pretzel? Kid-friendly twists include Pretzel Dogs and Pepperoni Pizza Pretzel sandwiches. Since sandwiches (all under $6) are made to order, you can mix and match your favorite ingredients with the pretzel of your choice. You can also choose a combo meal, pairing pretzels with chips or soup. My 9-year-old highly recommends the chicken chili.
Smaller appetites should try a signature stuffed pretzel ($3.25), which come in sweet and savory options. My 5-year-old devoured his pizza pretzel while I was busy drooling over the warm apple cinnamon one. Little dippers might like a flight of pretzel knots ($3.65), five bite-size pretzels with your choice of dip. Whether you're into cheese, mustard or sweet glazes, these make a fun treat.
Kids can even twist their own creations. For $5.95, choose Savory Pizza, Sweet S'mores or Rainbow. In addition to an apron and paper hat, each child receives instructions, pizza dough and toppings. It's gooey fun achieving the perfect pretzel shape, but the real creativity comes when kids paint and position toppings. We chose to have the café bake our creations (15-20 minutes). They wisely include an activity book and crayons to keep little fingers busy while waiting. Pretzels also come with home-baking instructions.
With its coffee shop feel and cozy atmosphere, the café is already a popular meeting spot. You may have to dodge strollers to get to your table. The family-friendly vibe and great prices only add to the charm.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.