Can we just start by saying, we know we use the word delicious a lot. And we mean it, each and every time. But the goodies coming out of Parade's kitchen in Ponsonby are really, REALLY delicious, if you know what we mean.
Parade specialise in Chicago-style pretzels—a stuffed and baked variant that's little-known here in New Zealand but big news in America and gaining traction across the ditch in Aussie—as well as some seriously tasty burgers, served on pretzel-style buns.
In fact, so 'delicious' are these two items that what was originally intended as a pop-up is now here to stay. Located at 250 Ponsonby Road, Parade is the baby of Bryan Anderson, Nick Fury and Sean Bones—the trio behind another insanely good eatery, Mutual Friends in Newmarket.
If you're wondering how Parade make their pretzels so damn addictive (because addicted is exactly what you'll become once you try one), we'll tell you. The boys spent a whopping eight months perfecting the dough (thank you, lockdowns of 2020), finally settling on a sort of classic dough/American pretzel dough hybrid that is lovingly made from scratch, every single day.
This is then hand-rolled, filled with all kinds of heart-stopping fillings, dunked in a water bath laced with brown sugar, brushed with butter and finally, sprinkled with salt before being sent to the oven. Less than 10 minutes later and an oozing golden pretzel the size of your face is yours for the eating.
Parade's menu changes every couple of weeks, with as much emphasis on sweet, as on savoury. The banoffee is a best-seller and while it contains just three ingredients (caramel, banana and chocolate) it's quite possibly one of the best things we've ever tasted. The only reason you'd want to give this one the bump is if they also happened to be slinging their peanut butter cup pretzel (the thought alone is giving us heart palpitations).
The three cheese is seriously lush, a sort of glorified garlic bread stuffed full of tasty, mozarella and gouda cheeses laced with truffle oil, follwed by a healthy whack of caramelised onions and garlic. Life, dear Urban Listers, doesn't get much better than this.
And if for some reason stuffed pretzels just ain't your thing (in which case, we're trying our very best not to judge), you can of course opt for one of their sacked-out burgers or sides (hellooo, loaded fries with jalapeños, cheese and Cheeto dust).
The fit-out here is on point, styled much like an American diner with large tables, bench seating and a classic black-and-white floor. There are also rotating artworks and a countertop decked out with some seriously badass decoupage, while plans for booth seating to further cement that diner feel, along with a liquor licence and other exciting additions are also afoot.
But don't just take our word for it, drop by Parade and pop a pretzel or two for yourself. However if you do (take our word), know that when we say their food is delicious, we mean it's really, REALLY delicious.
Image credit: Kathryn Steane, Parade