From Our Editors
It sounds strange, but Dan DiZio found the perfect pretzel machine hiding in a nondescript Florida garage. Once he saw it, he knew what he had to do. With help from his friend Len Lehman, DiZio hauled the equipment back to his native Philadelphia—where as a child he once sold homemade pretzels to his neighbors. He soon opened the original Philly Pretzel Factory. Today, nearly 15 years since first opening, Philly Pretzel Factory whips up fresh batches of secret-ingredient dough across 100 locations in eight states. The pretzels are twisted by hand into salted or cinnamon-sugar pretzels and pair with the shop's signature brand of mustard, or sweet blends of chocolate and butter-cream. The menu also tucks hot dogs and spicy sausages into pretzel rolls, and dusts salt on "rivets," or soft pretzel bites, which can top party trays or bind the masts of gravy boats.