After seeing some of the reviews on Yelp, I really thought Calumet would contend for one of the best pasty shops in the Detroit area. Instead, I realized those reviews were by people not known as The Pasty Guy, and more than half only reviewed the Polish food on the menu.
Calumet Pasty Company advertises as having ‘Authentic U.P. Pasties and a Polish Kitchen’. But why are they combining the two? Polish food is great, but why add on pasties and say they are authentic?
I like the idea, but not so much if you can’t pull it off.
To my knowledge, Calumet is the furthest east pasty shop in Michigan. As a bonus, it was convenient to find, right off I-94 on 10 Mile, just outside of St. Clair Shores.
Calumet has two choices: meat and chicken. You don’t often see ‘Meat’ as an option, since… well… chicken is also meat. Anyway.
The main thing these pasties have going for them is that they look like legit, old school pasties. It’s oblong with a handle and rolled up crust. If you search Cornish pasties online, these are basically what they look like.
They also have a gravy option for an extra dollar, and when I was pointed toward that and the ketchup, I should’ve known what was ahead.
And what it was may have been the driest pasty I’ve ever tasted, maybe even more so than the infamous Zodiac’s.
But to Calumet’s credit, they probably have the recipe used over 100 years ago in Cornwall. The crust was dry and smelled like play dough, or something of the sort. The inside followed that with just meat, potatoes and carrots. I don’t believe I found an onion either, which probably added to the dryness.
There were no additives, but gravy and ketchup are almost must-haves to finish one of these pasties. I wish this was better, I really do, but people continue to buy them so there’s no need for the shop to change the recipe.
The owner is likely from the U.P. in the Calumet area, and it’s a wonder just when he started making pasties.
As a note, the pasty was actually a little better cold, out of the fridge. Maybe because it took away some of the dryness. However, who wants a cold pasty?
Taste: 2 (out of 5)
Crust: 1.5 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 2 (out of 5)
The Shop: 3 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 0 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Ranking: 8.5 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Spring 2016)