I grew up like most kids, only able to eat a specific list of food that included Mac ‘n Cheese and PB&Js and scoffed at the likes of anything out of the ordinary (most namely Brussels sprouts, and I still feel the same way).
But one thing that I absolutely despised was pasties. Yes, I hated a bunch of meat, potatoes and vegetables wrapped up and thrown into a delicious crust. A pot pie… yet so much more.
Twice a year my family would drive through the Upper Peninsula en route to Wisconsin — where my parents were from and where their parents still lived.
It was a tradition to stop at the same pasty shop right after the Mackinac Bridge. A place we liked to call Zodiac’s (because that was the name of the general store right next door), but was really named ‘Taste of the Upper Peninsula.’
It was The Pasty Dad’s choice of course, as he was the driver. Not to mention he had lived in the U.P. a few years while going to school in Houghton. He must’ve known what he was talking about with pasties.
My earliest memories are of me throwing tantrums about the “disgusting” pasties and refusing to eat them because I hated them.
At times I was spoiled and we’d get something else or The Pasty Mom would make sandwiches. Most times, I was forced into eating pasties or nothing at all.
Yes, it sounds like torture.
But soon enough, pasties eventually became my favorite food. I don’t know when, it kind of happened overnight when my taste buds matured and I suddenly liked every food ever.
With that, brought the exact opposite situation. I would start requesting that we stop for pasties or I would throw a tantrum. Well, maybe not a tantrum since I was in high school at that point, but I was pissed. I needed PASTIES!
Luckily, that didn’t happen often and we almost always hit up Zodiac’s. One time our schedule was a little different and we were forced to eat lunch after the bridge. That lead to my introduction to Dobber’s.
I didn’t even know more pasty places existed through my childhood as I slept most of the car ride through the U.P. But now, there was a place that was better than Zodiac’s. All of the kids (me, The Pasty Bro and The Pasty Sis) assumed Zodiac’s was the best place because we always went there and figured The Pasty Dad knew best. However, we couldn’t have been further from the truth.
It’s not that Dobber’s was amazing, it was that it was something else. And instead of having to cake ketchup onto the extremely dry pasties from Zodiac’s, these ones had some moistness to them. Maybe my original feelings about Zodiac’s were right all along (although The Pasty Dad’s excuse is that Zodiac’s changed owners multiple times throughout the years).
And with my introduction to Dobber’s came my curiosity for other pasty shops. Unfortunately, driving through the U.P. once or twice a year doesn’t allow for many opportunities. But with time, I slowly added to my list of pasty experiences.
And so… The Pasty Guy was created.