In short, the original shop opened in 1975, then it was sold because the owner was doing so well he could retire early. But the latest is that the original owner bought it back so the Jean Kay’s name would use the real recipe, the one their grandma used to make.
It’s a nice story, but unfortunately most of their customers probably aren’t too familiar with it, considering the Marquette shop is right next to the Northern Michigan campus. College kids just don’t care about that kind of thing.
Either way, the shop is worth a stop. On one side, you can see the dough rollers through the window and the other side is the front-of-house.
I didn’t know they sold sandwiches and was kind of disappointed because of that, but after reading the story, I can forgive them. Sometimes you need to sell more things than pasties to make a profit.
That said, you can barely find pasties on the menu, with most of it being taken up by subs, salads and wraps.
I grabbed my pasty and headed to the nearby Presque Isle Park, which I believe is a must if you’re in the area. If you like hiking, take the loop around the coast, or if you’re short for time, driving is fine too.
I took the ‘Steak with Rutabaga’ pasty out of the bag for my usual picture, and my hands were filled with grease. It was also soft and I already knew why I was asked if I wanted a fork.
This may be the most flimsy pasty I’ve had. Maybe it was the batch that day or maybe it was humid outside because even in my picture it doesn’t look like a flimsy pasty.
The crust was still good and acceptable, but the greasiness kind of took away from my overall reaction. There was enough flakiness, but obviously, no crisp.
This is mostly visible in the picture. I needed a good hold of it or it probably would have landed in my lap.
But as seen from the picture, the insides look delicious. The steak was top of the line – maybe the best part – and there was just enough rutabaga to notice it.
The goodness of the steak was enough to overcome some of the faults of a greasy crust.
It wasn’t the most pleasing pasty, but I’m not going to pass on it.
And oh yeah, no ketchup was needed.
Taste: 4 (out of 5)
Crust: 3 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 3 (out of 5)
The Shop: 3 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 2 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Ranking: 15 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Fall 2016)