It’s never easy to live up to expectations, and more often than not, they can’t be reached.
So when I went to review my favorite pasty shop before The Pasty Guy became a thing, I expected Lehto’s Pasties to get full points. It’s one of the most popular places in the Upper Peninsula for a reason and probably the most popular along US-2.
In prime season, Lehto’s, on the west side of St. Ignace, always has a few cars in the parking lot. Every day, the pasties are made fresh by the same family and the menu is everything you need: beef pasty.
Sure, they also throw gravy on the menu, but that’s really just for show and for anyone that wants to gain a few extra pounds.
New ownership took over in 2012 when the Walker’s purchased it, but it wasn’t that big of a change since Lehto runs in their family. And so, the same recipe remains.
The main difference for Lehto’s pasties is that they aren’t your typical Cornish pasty with a handle on the side. Some shops can succeed without it, others not so much. Lehto’s succeeds.
Unfortunately, without the handle, you don’t get much more. The two ends have that extra taste, but throughout the pasty – especially the Lehto’s pasty – I often wanted more crust to taste.
Most of that desire comes from what was inside. Unlike most shops, Lehto’s slices everything: potatoes, veggies, meat, everything. And partly because of that, the middle is a bit mushy, which is one of the downsides to this pasty.
Because of the mush, it was hard to tell exactly how much meat there was. Most bites contained an overload of potatoes. Along with the potatoes was an overload of salt, which was the main reason the inside stuffing overpowered the crust most of the way.
Either give me more crust, or make the inside less overpowering. You can taste the crust in every bite, sure, but often, you want more of it.
As for those that want gravy or ketchup, have a different pasty. Lehto’s pasties want no part of those additives and can easily be eaten by themselves.
Lehto’s had a big expectation to live up to and maybe they didn’t fully reach it, but they still remain one of the better shops to visit for a pasty.
Taste: 4 (out of 5)
Crust: 4.5 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 2.5 (out of 5) Maybe the most disappointing thing
The Shop: 3 (out of 3) I think only three people work there. Make friends with them.
Would I come back for Pasties?: 2 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Ranking: 16 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Summer 2016)