Ok, Bagels versus Pretzels. In my world, pretzels trump bagels any day of the week but sadly consumers don't seem to think so.
Here's the history of getting those big pretzels in Calgary. When Costco first opened in Calgary they carried a frozen variety. It came with a rock salt packet that you added before heating them. These were great. Costco doesn't carry them anymore so the search was on for another source of one of my favourite foods.
Coop in Shawnessy & South Trail came to the rescue for a little while but again succumbed to the bagel pressure. I managed to get the bakery manager to tell me the source of their pretzels. Coop was buying them from the City Bakery in Bridgeland (update 2015 the City Bakery is gone - Edelweiss still sells pretzels) which does offer them through their retail bakery to the public.
I think part of the problem with pretzel popularity is that people don't really know how to eat them! I have seen people slather mustard on top. NO NO NO.
What you need to do is find a suitably sharp knife and slice them horizontally in half (just like the bagel). Now, generously add butter, swiss cheese and black forest ham. Ok, a little mustard on the black forest ham is ok, but make sure it is dijon. Nuke it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds so that the cheese just starts to melt. The result is a sandwich like no other and once you try it, I am sure you will be hooked and give up those bland hard to chew bagels.
Walmart & Save on both sell pretzel buns - almost as good.