If you appreciate older women with a knack for sarcasm, Hermann’s Bakery might be a must-visit spot. However, going there for pasties may not be your ultimate goal.
In what is considered to be one of the oldest buildings in downtown Royal Oak, Mich., it’s what one would expect from such. A lot of breads and glutens with a variety of options from lunch specials that included Chicken Florentine to pasties and Canadian meat pies.
There isn’t an exact date of when Hermann’s was founded, but there’s no doubt it was George Hermann that got things started. George took up baking at a young age back in 1922, working at Dondero’s Bakery in the same spot. Eventually George took over the shop and changed names, with his son Richard now owner of the business.
Neither had proper schooling to become a baker, but learning through experience, Richard had the confidence to say, “I make the best pie dough in the world.”
That may be the case, but unfortunately that didn’t make the pasties a must-buy.
Because of the amount of grub available, I wasn’t expecting the pasty to be anything special. And I was correct.
While the pasties are homemade, they also come cold and wrapped in saran. There’s nothing wrong with that (but maybe there is?), but if you’re expecting to grab a pasty to go and eat it immediately, this isn’t the place to go.
And while it is a bakery, it’s evident the pasties are only made once a week, and apparently that day is Tuesday. I enjoyed mine on a Thursday.
As a bonus, they only had two options: a large beef and a small beef. Nothing else. I hate too many options.
Having to heat the pasty myself added some unpredictability as I used a toaster oven. Most will use a microwave when heating these up, but I’d be hard-pressed to suggest a microwaved pasty is better than one that was ovened.
The first thing to notice about Hermann’s pasties is the crust, which is to be expected coming from a bakery. The crust was… delicious to say the least, and had the right amount of chewy and flakiness.
Unfortunately, it was too good and there was too much of it. The crust overpowered everything else in the pasty and getting so much crust in every bite immediately made the entire pasty a bit too dry.
It’s too bad because the fillings were great, considering they weren’t fresh. The ratio between meat and rutabaga was spot on and the insides itself weren’t too dry. The crust created the dryness on its own and in turn hampered the overall pasty.
The bakery had a great crust, but maybe was too confident in its abilities to make a good crust and that in turn led to over-abundant breading.
Yet for a place just outside of Detroit, there’s not too much to complain about from Hermann’s Bakery. Granted, I won’t be returning for the pasties. Maybe some other breaded food or maybe just to chat with the mood-boosting old ladies.
Taste: 2.5 (out of 5)
Crust: 4 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 3 (out of 5)
The Shop: 3 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 0 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Ranking: 12.5 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Spring 2016)