It took me a few visits to Muskegon to try the pasties at Cherokee Restaurant, but I finally made it. In addition to the pandemic of 2020 (and beyond), they also had a fire which forced them into a temporary closing. Fortunately, by 2021, it was open.
The restaurant has been around since 1969, but the pasties are probably a little more recent. According to the site, Patty was making pasties for her friends and family and finally brought them to the restaurant. From there, the “recipe evolved throughout the years, producing a pasty that has just the right amount of ingredients, seasoning and size.”
As for Cherokee, it’s an older building that you may see on your way to Lake Michigan. It’s on the pretty rundown street of Sherman Boulevard on the south side of Muskegon.
For the pasty, I’m not sure I can agree with anything that’s said about it on the site. They are called “Upper Peninsula-style pasties,” but I’m not sure what that means based off what I ate. Maybe Patty is from the U.P.
The crust had leftover flour on the outside, so I got flour on my hands while eating it. There was a… slight handle, but the downgrade is that there was a lot of crust and a lot of dough. There wasn’t a ton done to the it, as it simply tasted like dough. If you’re familiar with a dough-y pizza crust, this was similar.
The insides were okay, but they were hard to decipher because the crust kind of took any goodness away. The meat tasted a bit like breakfast meat and sure enough after looking at the menu, they use a mixture of ground beef and pork sausage.
I like the idea of it, but that meat probably makes more sense in a breakfast pasty, which is probably what they do. After looking through the photos again, I wonder if they actually gave me a breakfast pasty instead. I ate after noon, so I’m not sure why that’d be the case.
The thickness of the crust isn’t overly evident in the pictures, but the overall light coloring of the insides is. It tasted fine but nothing stood out. If the crust was a tad thinner, that’d be a start, though I think adding some flavor to the crust is needed no matter what.
Taste: 2.5 (out of 5)
Crust: 2 (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 Rating: 9.5 (of 20 points)
Reviewed Summer 2021