Place: The Malted Barley
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
The Malted Barley is not perfect but its pretzels sure are. The first time we went to the Malted Barley I declared it my favorite restaurant. Returning, I can still say this is my favorite restaurant.
The service here is slow for two reasons, one good and one not so good reason. Let’s get the bad reason out of the way since this is the only negative we have to say about this place. This happened to us both times. We walk in and it’s seat your self. No big deal. We find a table and sit down. Someone quickly comes by to give us a menu, tells us our server will be right with us and then time begins to stand still.
Your reading the menu, getting more and more excited and you realize that it’s been a long time and your server still has not come. Maybe this doesn’t happen every time but we were two for two. But also if getting off to a slow start is the only negative I would say you’re looking good.
The good reason that service is slow is that every pretzel is made fresh to order. You will never get a warm or stale pretzel. Every pretzel comes to you hot and fresh.
We recommend starting off with a pretzel as an appetizer before your main meal which should be a sandwich. I can’t express just how amazing a hot and fresh pretzel is from here. We got a classic salted pretzel and a stuffed pretzel that’s stuffed with cheddar and jalapeno. We had intentions of sharing them with each other but we both couldn’t part ways with the ones we chose. I had the stuffed pretzel. This may be hard to believe but I am not a big cheese lover. So if I am the one telling you to eat a pretzel that is stuffed with cheese, you better eat it. It strikes the perfect balance between cheese and heat. There are just enough jalapenos so you get a subtle spice but its cooled by the smooth flavor of the cheese. The salted pretzel follows the same amazing qualities as the stuffed pretzel, hot, fresh, and amazing. The salted pretzel is not as thick as the stuffed making it a little crispier. They all come with your choice of dip. Choose between different kinds of mustard, cheese or flavored butter and you can make a match made in heaven.
Before we get to our main course, what goes great with pretzels? Beer. I want to take this time to mention that The Malted Barley has a terrific beer list. Huge list of both bottled and draft beer. If you can’t choose just one, samplers are available for all draft beers. Doing this sample helped me to find Daves coffee stout. A locally brewed beer that was right up my alley. I am no beer snob so I will not even try to describe it, but if that sounds like a brew you would like, I highly recommend it.
Options for your entree here are pretzel sandwiches. These are served on a pretzel, no not a pretzel bun, an actual pretzel. Like the other pretzels here, they are all made fresh to order and they are delicious. We have tried three sandwiches so far and we can not wait to try more. So far we have tried the grilled cheese, the bratwurst and the hummus and cucumber.
The grilled cheese is my wife’s favorite and my least favorite. Still great, but of the three it’s my number three. My wife got it both times we came, she is a cheese lover and says its extremely cheesy. There is also a cheese that is melted on top of the pretzel building even more of a flavor profile on the already perfect pretzel.
Between the hummus and the bratwurst, I can not choose a favorite. It goes without saying both of them are on a hot and perfectly fresh and delicious pretzel. The sandwiches are just total opposites, so pending on my mood it will determine which one I would get again.
The hummus is a fresh and light sandwich with a lot of texture. Crispy pretzel, crunchy cucumber, soft tomatoes and then a smooth hummus. Each bite was fresh and crisp. The bratwurst, on the other hand, had a different bite to it. The brats are served hot, the pretzel is of course hot and there is also spicey mustard on this sandwich making it a bite that can warm you right up. There is some sauerkraut on top of the brat that does cool it down just enough where it makes it easy to eat, so easy when you are almost done you think about ordering up a second one.
If you had enough control to not order a second sandwich, dessert is a great option. The Waffle Pretzel is a waffle in the shape of a pretzel with scoops of vanilla ice cream inside the waffle. All of this is on top of a healthy spread of Nutella. To top it all off its dusted with cinnamon sugar. I did not go here for dessert but I left knowing dessert will always happen when I go back to The Malted Barley.
Providence Rhode Island is a fun little city filled with everything a foodie needs. No trip would be complete without a meal at The Malted Barley.
For more pictures of food check out our Instagram and follow us for an update on where our food journey takes us by clicking right HERE.