Claussen Cafehaus is a new addition to that take-out and lunchtime lineup, and its focus on artisan pretzels and sandwiches is a welcome one.
The new storefront offers four different types of artisan pretzels — including a gluten-free option — and four different types of pre-made sandwiches. Everything is labeled if it’s vegan or gluten-free. Claussen also serves espresso, coffee, matcha drinks, and other beverages. It fits perfectly into that Liberty Avenue vibe: a place to stop in to grab a snack or lunch on the go.
I tried the Axel’s Original Soft Pretzel, which is made of vegan-friendly ingredients and Pennsylvania-grown whole wheat flour. The pretzel has a good chew and the right amount of salt, as well as a crust you have to tear through with your teeth, which is something I look for in a good pretzel. It’s still soft, but solid in the middle. It’s a perfect snack pretzel, and priced moderately at $3.
The Black Pepper & Garlic Twist pretzel has a subtle, but noticeable pepper flavor, and just a small kick of garlic. It’s not overpowering, which is nice considering there is plenty of flavor in Claussen’s homemade dips, which they call hausmade. I sampled the cheese dip and herbed plant butter. The cheese dip is flavorful with a gooey, dippable texture. It’s not overly reliant on that Velveeta-esque fake cheese flavor. There is some genuine cheddar or something more nuanced in there.
The Jambon Liberty sandwich was pre-made and wrapped, but very fresh. Black forest ham, swiss cheese, fresh arugula, herbed plant butter, and black truffle mustard were stuffed in between two artisan slides of bread that tastes like sourdough.
The sandwich was fresh and light with quality ingredients. The herbed butter can be a bit overwhelming at times, but its richness and moisture is also welcomed. The fresh arugula added necessary bitterness and a bit of crunch to the sandwich.
Claussen Cafehaus 4615 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Tue.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. claussencafehaus.com