There aren’t many places to get pasties in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula, but there’s a couple on the route to Traverse City and that starts in Farwell with Kathy’s Pasties. Found just west of Clare in the middle of the state, it’s not a convenient location unless taking M-115 or M-10.
Luckily, I stopped on my way to the north. The shop has gotten an upgrade over the years, once just a snack and ice cream stop, it’s become a homemade pasty shop. There are other things on the menu like fries and Koegel’s, but you go for the pasties.
Kathy’s pasty isn’t normal no matter what some online reviews say. It’s basically a ball, which means there’s no handle. As of note, I’ve seen pictures that Kathy has posted and some of them have handles so I’m not sure what the true method is, but I review the one I eat.
It appears to be set up like a regular pasty, but Kathy makes hers by simply pulling up the edges. The crust I had was a bit soft and kind of tasted like a pizza crust, which was a tad weird. It at least tasted like something so I can’t fault it too much.
The same can’t be said for the insides, which include the basic ingredients (plus celery?) for a beef and rutabaga pasty. The problem with my pasty was the sparse amounts of salt and pepper, which led to beef tasting like beef and veggies tasting like veggies. There was nothing to them. Pasties are meant to be a simple food, but they aren’t eaten in mines anymore and flavor is needed. Of course, I eat my pasties plain and with some gravy, it may taste a little better. Kathy says that more flavor comes after pre-cooking the veggies so maybe they were too busy when I visited and didn’t do that step?
It’s great that there’s a pasty shop in central Michigan, but visitors may not be getting a true representation of a pasty at Kathy’s.
If you’re stopping through on your travels, the pasties take about five minutes unless you call ahead. Kathy also ships pasties “free,” but they come out to nine or 10 bucks per pasty, which is a couple dollars more than the in-store price. Some people claim that Kathy’s Pasties are better than a few in the Upper Peninsula, but…
Taste: 3 (out of 5)
Crust: 2.5 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 3 (out of 5)
The Shop: 2.5 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 0 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Ranking: 11 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Summer 2018)