Kaleva Cafe has been around a long time. According to the website, it was established in 1918 and while they sold pasties back then, the recipe has likely changed. It could even be different since The Pasty Dad visited when he was at Michigan Tech in the 1980s.
While they have a large menu and a lot of other things, I assume pasties are their most popular item at just $6, especially for students. Even all of their lunch sandwiches are more expensive than a pasty. I got a pasty to go and according to the online menu, it also comes with coleslaw, though I wasn’t offered any (the girls working at the counter were somewhat oblivious). They also sell a CUP of gravy for another $2.25, which is slightly ridiculous. Why not sell less than a cup for a dollar extra?
I guess it doesn’t matter in the end and you can tell on first bite. The crust was pretty plain and thin. It looked like a real, Cornish pasty outside of the rolled handle, but lard definitely wasn’t used. There wasn’t much to it and it was extremely thin on top.
The insides were good, but it was kind of the same sentiment as the crust in that it lacked flavor. There just needed to be a little more to it. The ratio was fine and the meat was minced. Everything else was diced and it also came with carrots (it’s a Finnish cafe). As a bonus, it was big, full and it had all of the pasty requirements, but the taste won’t have me back.
Having been around forever, I thought Kaleva would be a hot pasty spot, but it’s unfortunately not high on the pasty rankings. I guess you should get other things from Kaleva unless you want to tell them their crust is subpar and they need to use a little more salt. Then again, the Michigan Tech cafe may not serve pasties, so you have to get them somewhere.
Taste: 2.5 (out of 5)
Crust: 2.5 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 4 (out of 5)
The Shop: 3 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 1 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Rating: 13 (of 20 points)
Reviewed Fall 2019