REVIEW: Tim Hortons Pretzel Bagel

Tim Hortons Pretzel Bagel 1

I think I’ve mentioned before that, despite being a Canadian and thus being obligated to love Tim Hortons, I’m just not a big fan. That’s not to say that I hate the place, but I don’t drink coffee, and there are only a handful of their doughnuts that I actually enjoy (including the tragically departed Walnut Crunch — good night sweet prince; you were too beautiful for this world).

I won’t even go into their savoury foods, which I will charitably describe as hit-and-miss.

So it was with some trepidation that I tried their pretzel bagel. It seems like an odd idea, though soft pretzels are already somewhat bagel-like, so it’s actually not such a weird amalgamation. Pretzels and bagels are even prepared in a similar way; in each case, the dough is boiled before baking.

I tried it a couple of ways. The signage for the bagel says to try it with their new mustard spread (described on the bill, oddly, as “Mustard Butter”). So I ate the first one in the store, toasted and spread with the mustard.

Tim Hortons Pretzel Bagel 2

I also took a couple home to try plain; this is where the bagel really shined. Fresh, with a lightly crisp exterior and a chewy interior, it is addictive. I tore off a piece of one in the car just to see what it tasted like plain, and it was so good that I wound up eating the entire thing right there and then. It basically tastes like a really good soft pretzel, but with a bit more heft.

The toasted bagel didn’t fare quite as well. The toasting turns the lightly crisp exterior full-out crunchy, and makes the bagel’s interior less chewy and more fluffy. It becomes a different beast altogether, and one I didn’t enjoy nearly as much. I also think all the rock salt fell off in the toaster; the untoasted ones had quite a bit on top (which added a welcome punch of flavour), but the toasted one was pretty much naked.

As for the mustard spread, it had a buttery, weakly mustardy flavour that was far too mild to make much of an impact. Maybe it would have worked if there had been about double the amount, but as it was it was pretty useless.

If you’re a fan of soft pretzels, this is a complete no-brainer. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll like it. Skip the mustard and skip the toasting; just order the bagel as-is and take a bite. You’ll thank me later. It’s basically like a pretzel and a bagel had a baby in the best way possible, and it’s quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever had from Tim Hortons.

(Nutrition Facts – Bagel – 310 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 780 milligrams of sodium, 61 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fibre, 4 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein. Mustard Spread (12 grams) – 60 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of sodium, and 0.2 grams of protein,.)

Item: Tim Hortons Pretzel Bagel
Purchased Price: $1.19 CAN
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Tim Hortons
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Lightly crisp exterior. Delightfully chewy, flavourful interior. Tastes like a really good soft pretzel.
Cons: Toasting kind of ruins it. Mustard spread has a weak flavour and is completely superfluous. The Walnut Crunch is gone (this has nothing to do with this bagel, it’s more of a general life con).

7 thoughts to “REVIEW: Tim Hortons Pretzel Bagel”

  1. Cool review Michael. I hope they keep this around long enough to when I get up to WNY in the summer, provided its offered in US stores. I think, as an American with ex-Buffalonian roots, I like the idea of Tim Hortons, although I guess their really nothing more than a northern version of Einstein Bagels. Speaking of Einstein’s, they offered (and still do, in some locations) a Pretzel bagel. It’s not that great–too soft, not enough malt flavor, no buttery richness factor–but it does have a kind of potato flour vibe that makes it good for sandwiches.

  2. Huh. I was going to comment and say that a Tim Hortons needed to open around here, because I’d really like to try that. Apparently there is one not too far away! Yay!

  3. Huh, I haven’t been to Timmie’s in a while but that actually looks pretty good. There hasn’t been much in the way of advertising around here in Canada.

  4. I Absolutely LOVE this bagel. I love the mustard spread on it as well. I always ask for extra spread otherwise, You are right. It’s not so great.

    In any case, I hope this bagel stays. Like you, I do not drink coffee and I do not care for their donuts or muffins either.

    1. I love them but my closest Tim’s is always out of them. It reached the point that I called them to see if they actually carried them after 6 times of someone trying to get them for me.

  5. I love these toasted with butter! I want to find these bagels to buy at some grocery store and haven’t been able to find!

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