Swissmaker Pretzel Shop Replaces Teriyaki Boy on 7th
While Terakawa Ramen is gobbling up multiple former Teriyaki Boy locations, another restaurant has moved into the old 7th Ave. location next to Pearls. It’s Swissmaker (7th ave. btw 48+49th) and it’s a very Times Square-y (aka touristy) place that advertises pretzels, sandwiches and a variety of sweets. It would be easy to mourn the loss of Teriyaki Boy, condemn this gussied-up Auntie Anne’s and move on, but we’re not ones to judge a restaurant by its exterior here at Midtown Lunch, so I went in for a closer look.
After some quick internet searching and a chat with the very friendly woman behind the counter, I learned that Swissmaker is the first NYC (and only current US) venture of Stephan and Birgit Bosshard, who have decades of experience in the food business over in Europe. This new location opened last week, and their signature item definitely seems to be their pretzels, which are available in pizza, cinnamon-sugar and sunflower flavors.
They also had some premade sandwiches on pretzel rolls (and some just on straight up pretzels, which is rather odd looking), with toppings like salmon, pastrami, prosciutto and the like.
And then there are these pretty ridiculous looking desserts. Chocolate covered pretzels (gummy bears!), and skewers of chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows.
I decided to try a pastrami sandwich on their pretzel baguette ($4.95) and a pizza pretzel (3.75), and settled down in their upstairs seating area. The sandwich was premade, but the counter lady happily added some mustard for me. Before digging into the sandwich, I noticed there was a significant smearing of soft butter on the bottom roll. It was completely unnecessary, but not entirely unwelcome. The pretzel baguette was actually really good. A nice crust and a soft inside, all with a very pretzel-y taste. The pastrami was fatty and tasty. I was a little disappointed that they just used plain yellow mustard, but I still love yellow mustard. And I was very happy at the inclusion of a sandwich slice pickle. Sandwich slice pickles are easily one of mankind’s most important advances during my lifetime. What did people do before them? Other than the pretzel roll (which I really liked), this isn’t much different from what anyone could make with pretty basic ingredients from the store.
The pizza pretzel doesn’t have the greasy, crack-like addictive quality that Auntie Anne’s does, but it also tastes like a pretzel. A pretzel topped with parmesan, oregano and probably some sort of tomato dust. It actually tasted a little bit like Combos (which mind you is not a criticism as far as this combos-lover is concerned.) The pretzel was fine, but it was a little dry, and just a touch bland. I think it would be much better paired with some mustard or maybe some marinara sauce. I didn’t see any sauces offered anywhere, but I’m sure they’d be happy to give you some mustard or whatever else they have if you asked (they were very eager to please).
Finally, my friend at the counter gave me some of their muesli to sample, and I’m very happy she did. It’s a Swiss oat-based cereal, and here they make it with yogurt, chunks of apple, almonds and whole grapes (it’s basically yogurt with all the other stuff thrown in). I’ve never had muesli before, but this was delicious. The tang of the yogurt, the crisp texture of the apples, the nutty flavor of the almonds. It all adds up to a cool, creamy, sweet treat that would be a suitable way to start your day or finish a meal. I’m not sure how much you get in their $4.95 serving, so I can’t really comment on the value, but I bet it would make a good breakfast or a dessert split between people.
Swissmaker also has candied nuts, hot dogs in pretzels and all kinds of other stuff on their menu. They really didn’t look like they were running at full speed yet, so they might not have everything advertised on their website, but the choices were still plentiful.
So… now you probably know more than you ever wanted to know about Swissmaker. Obviously it’s designed more to attract tourists than Midtown Lunch’ers, but their prices are relatively reasonable considering the location. Fans of Teriyaki Boy aren’t likely to greet this place with open arms, but with all the premade sandwich places in this area, it’s kind of nice to have something slightly different- even if it is just because they have pretzel rolls and crazy desserts. Oh yeah, and their muesli is awesome.
The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Their pretzel roll sandwiches are a little bit different, and not terribly priced
- They have a lot of sweets, including some pretty unique stuff
- Their muesli is delicious
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- The food is premade and not really anything to write home about
- It’s really not much different from all the other places that sell premade sandwiches, or Auntie Anne’s
- Their specialty is pretzels and they’re not even that great
- They replaced Teriyaki Boy with some touristy pretzel shop?!?
Swissmaker, 732 7th Ave (btw. 48+49th), 212-265-2706, website