Day 289: Gnarly Knots Pretzel Company

You can keep your funnel cakes. Nachos are ok. Given the choice, I'm opting for the soft pretzel...every time. I even contemplated driving back to Michigan for the delicious pretzels from The Baker's Wife. But I knew there was a spot closer to home I needed to try: Gnarly Knots Pretzel Company.

Embarrassingly, they've actually been on my "must try" list since mid-2013. I don't have a good reason why it took me so long. I told myself it seemed like a far drive & out of the way, I think subconsciously I knew how much I was going to love them.

gnarly knotHoly hell.

These are no ordinary hot pretzels...these are a meal!

Sure you can get a regular pretzel (which are also fantastic), but the real rock stars are the daily specials. Each day features a stuffed specialty: turkey & cheese, philly steak, or taco are just the beginning.

Yes, you read that correctly. Stuffed inside the slightly crisp edge and pillowy dough center is a meal. Tomorrow's taco pretzel, for example, is filled with taco meat, cheddar jack cheese, and crushed tortilla chips. Of course it comes with a side of sour cream and tomato.

Seriously. Why aren't you at their door waiting for them to open?

Even though these are by all definition a meal, Gnarly Knots is a get & go place. There is one (maybe two) picnic tables in back, or you can have a picnic in your trunk like the kids & I did!

gnarly knotsWe couldn't wait to dig in, so I'm using a few of their pictures too since mine just doesn't do it justice.

What did we try? Pretzel of the day: turkey, bacon, & cheddar... why wouldn't you?! A plain salted with their cinnamon creme dipping sauce, a cinnamon-sugar pretzel, and a giant chocolate chip cookie.

Which would I get again? ALL OF THEM!

But, there's plenty more I'm going back to try including their soups and pizza pretzels. You can also pick up pretzel rolls, pretzel chips, and mini-pretzels.

Feeding a crowd? They have a giant pretzel that comes in a pizza box with three different dipping sauces.

Owner Funi was there baking up a storm, but was incredibly friendly despite being crazy busy. Though crowds are nothing new to them. After drawing attention to themselves at farmer's markets, they decided to set up shop. To say they've been well-received would be an understatement. There were even CDH nurses who had walked over for lunch while we were there.

Gnarly Knots does have a website, but it's a good idea to follow their Facebook page. You'll stay up-to-date on daily specials, and when they run out today!

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Gnarly Knots Pretzel Company
107 Washington Ave
Winfield, IL

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