Unfortunately, that’s not the case for Heart of Michigan. I visited on a Friday at prime dinnertime and they only had cold and frozen pasties, which was disappointing to say the least.
With that out of the way, Heart of Michigan is actually a pretty cool shop, as long as you are a Michigander. Found in downtown Howell, just west of Detroit off I-96, everything there – from jams to souvenirs to gift baskets – is from around the state, hence the name.
They bake them right in the shop and even have a seasonal Holiday Turkey Pasty, which is available in November. It includes turkey, stuffing and dried cranberries, which is… interesting.
As for the beef pasty, it knocks off all of my pasty check boxes: looks like a pasty, smells like a pasty and tastes like a pasty.
After not having a handle with my last few pasty experiences (sorry Mackinaw Pastie), it was good to be welcomed back to the pasty handle. Yet, the crust was not a strong suit. Whether that was because I had to heat it myself remains unclear. But hey, that’s their fault.
Overall, the crust was too chewy and didn’t have the flakiness that it appeared to have. No doubt, that also meant that lard wasn’t used in the making. But the handle felt like eating a piecrust without anything else.
Another minus was the root veggies (potato, rutabaga), which weren’t cooked enough and still a little hard. I bought a refrigerated one that was already cooked, so that shouldn’t have been a problem either way.
While that was the case, it tasted good. The meat was fine by itself with little flavor, but altogether it hit the right levels. And even with those few minuses, Heart of Michigan got a bonus for having insanely large slices of potatoes and rutabaga.
The potential is there for Heart of Michigan, but clearly, they still have some ways to go. The next time I’m in the area, I may try it out in hope of an actual fresh pasty and one with root vegetables that are cooked thoroughly. Until then, we can only hope…
Taste: 4 (out of 5)
Crust: 3 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 4 (out of 5)
The Shop: 2 (out of 3) No fresh pasties…
Would I come back for Pasties?: 1 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Ranking: 14 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Summer 2016)