Irontown Pasties isn’t your regular Upper Peninsula pasty shop. For starters, it may be the only one that has gluten-friendly options and they usually have four or five different varieties. The owners, John and Lori Cizek, who bought Grandma T’s Pasties in 2010, decided to create a gluten-friendly version because otherwise, Lori wouldn’t be able to eat them.
Of course, they wouldn’t be in business without regular ones. Located right on US-41, it’s an easy shop to find if you’re traveling west of Marquette. If you get gluten friendly, make sure to call about an hour ahead in case you want one hot and ready to go.
While I had to go with the Traditional Beef, their Spicy Jalapeno option looks intriguing and they also have Spicy Vegan for the… vegans. If you want some sweets after a pasty, Irontown also has fruit turnovers and ice cream, which is kind of hidden in the online menu.
The crust had a full handle, but without egg wash it kind of looked uncooked. If you can get past that, the crust was surprisingly good, greasy and dairy free. I prefer lard crusts, but this may be one of the better crusts I’ve had that doesn’t use lard.
Unfortunately, the insides were heavy on potatoes (and rutabagas) and I’m not sure I could even taste the meat through most of the pasty. It was on the edge of passing the official ratio test, though it didn’t pass my personal test. You can see the meat in the pictures, but I just couldn’t taste it. The amount of potatoes limited how good it could taste even with a decent crust.
Oddly (surprisingly?), the gluten-friendly pasty (pictured below) may have tasted better overall than the regular. The Pasty Girl was all about the crust and had to get a couple frozen ones on our way back through.
Taste: 3 (out of 5)
Crust: 4 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 3 (out of 5)
The Shop: 2.5 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 2 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Rating: 14.5 (of 20 points)
Reviewed Fall 2019