The Pine Box

tl;dr: I don’t know jack about beer, but this place has a lot of them. My favorite item on the menu is the pretzel bread pudding, but the soft pretzels themselves are pretty fantastic if you don’t want dessert with your beer.

So, this is going to be the first of many posts wherein I tell you to go somewhere based simply on one single item, which most of the time won’t even be their specialty. I love going to restaurants and finding hidden gems, starting off by ordering what they’re known for and moving on to what I like. This is the case of what happened at The Pine Box. The Pine Box is known for their beer, and rightfully so, they’re owned by the same people that own Brouwer’s in Fremont. Problem is, I’m not so much of a beer drinker. I stumbled upon this place after trying to find a sweet happy hour to hang out at before seeing a show at the Paramount. Our first visit of the evening was good enough to warrant a return after the show. And though the first visit was good, the second visit is what I want to tell you about. Because the second visit is where I encountered pretzel bread pudding.

Let me make it clear what’s happening here. This is bread pudding, which is already one of the best desserts on earth. Made out of soft pretzels, which are already one of the best items on the menu at The Pine Box. The bread pudding is made different each time, but when I ordered it, it was german chocolate.

German chocolate pretzel bread pudding.

The bread pudding itself was chocolate strewn throughout the pretzel pieces, and the whole thing was topped with this ridiculous coconut-caramel sauce that could very possibly be made of only two ingredients: dreams and wishes. There are things in life that you stumble upon and you never knew that you needed them. That is how I feel about this dessert. Of COURSE soft pretzels should be used in bread pudding. This type of genius is what gets me really stoked on a restaurant or bar, and this sort of thing is what makes me think that there’s another hidden gem on the menu.