Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Free cheesesteak pretzels, for those who dare

The one and only N.C. location of the Philly Pretzel Factory, in Mooresville, will be giving away its newest product from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday - a cheesesteak pretzel. The pocket sandwich (alas, not pictured at left) combines two iconic foodstuffs from the City of Brotherly Love, with thinly sliced steak and American cheese wrapped in a warm soft pretzel.

Will it be two great tastes that taste great together? The Mooresville shop's co-owner, George Heck, sure thinks so. Eager to expand his lunch menu, the native of Riverton, N.J. - just across the river from Philadelphia - began experimenting with pocket sandwiches using pretzel dough about eight months ago and was pleased with the result. The Philly-based company is now selling such items in all its stores, and is aiming to launch them with the help of the Monday giveaway. The cheesesteak pretzels - admittedly, perhaps not for the faint of stomach - normally sell for $3.50 apiece, $6 for two or $5 as part of a combo that includes a drink and (naturally) a regular pretzel. (If you're looking for the famous cheesesteak with Cheez Wiz, though, look elsewhere: "The best cheesesteak is with white American cheese," Heck said.)

The Mooresville store, at Mooresville Crossing (the Best Buy plaza) on South River Highway (N.C. 150), opened in March 2007 and sells an array of authentic pretzels, baked and hand-twisted fresh daily, starting with flour. It's part of a 130-store chain that has most of its locations clustered in the Philadelphia area. Heck, who grew up enjoying soft pretzels, co-owns the business with his wife, his brother and sister, and their spouses. He's lived in Charlotte since 1992 and has also worked in the construction equipment finance business. In addition to selling pretzels at the store, he also visits schools and businesses to promote them as a fundraising vehicle or snack to sell at sporting events, to give just a couple examples.

"Every day in my store there is some kind of Philadelphia reunion," Heck said. "It's been great, because we've got a lot of regular customers that we know by name."

If even eating a cheesesteak inside of a pretzel isn't sufficiently Philadelphian for your taste buds, however, you don't have to look far to add to it: I'm pretty sure there's a Rita's Water Ice in the same plaza.


kickazzz2000 said...

I do like their regular pretzels, although I've never been to the Mooresville store.

Cheesesteak pretzel might be ok, if its thinly sliced like Pats and not that thick nasty crap that Geno's sells.

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear them mention American Cheese and Cheez Wiz. I am tired of all these southern restaurants claiming "Real Philly Cheese steaks" w/ Provalone, that is not authentic.

Anonymous said...

They have the best pretzels anywhere and the cheesesteak is amazing!!