Hunt’s Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co. gets a lot of love and part of that has to do with the heavy tourism of Mackinaw City. The location is extremely convenient, right off the last exit driving north before the Mackinac Bridge and just west of downtown.
Maybe more impressive, they will be adding a third restaurant (already two in Mack City) in St. Ignace, the exit right after the Bridge. Everything is in their favor at the moment, so that had me excited once entering the shop.
But what ensued after eating my pasty was even more questions than answers.
First off, the spelling is abnormal. Despite saying all over the restaurant that their roots are from Cornwall, they misspell the Cornish Pasty. Pastie with ‘ie’ is more often spelled for the similar round pie from Northern Ireland. And so, it appears they purposely misspelled it to stand out.
Going further, the Hunt’s website says that the recipe is directly from a former owner’s grandmother that used to live in Cornwall, but Cornish pasties are not folded the same way as these. Correct pasties have a crimped crust with a handle on the side that serve a purpose. But Mackinaw, it seems, has created its own crust, folding flaps over that come together in the middle.
As I said, a lot of questions.
But getting to the pasty, that poor crust was what took a hit in my overall ratings. Yes, they can make the crust however they want, but if it’s not as good, then it’s not as good.
The crust was thin and flimsy, which made it difficult to eat like a proper pasty (straight from my hand to my mouth). That thinness along with minimal flakiness led to a mediocre pasty.
And that’s unfortunate because the inside was just fine, good even. The ratio was spot on, although I questioned why even put five pieces of rutabaga in at all. Then, I took a look at the menu and noticed, “Lightly seasoned with rutabaga.”
Because those few pieces are going to affect our taste buds that much.
As a positive, no additives were needed. It tasted good with no added ketchup or gravy. For those that enjoy that stuff, they do have beef or chicken gravy…
Making things more interesting, Mackinaw Pastie also has Italiano and Mexican (Grande) versions of pasties, which are also questionable decisions. Maybe people like them, but, The Pasty Guy will pass.
As I say many times, I don’t like bashing on pasty shops, but if I want a pasty near the Bridge, there are plenty more options where I can get a legit pasty that won’t fall apart if I eat it by hand.
Update: I visited the St. Ignace location north of the Bridge toward the end of 2023 and it cost me $26 for two pasties. Nothing has changed. The crust is thin with no handle and kind of drags everything down for me.
Taste: 4 (out of 5)
Crust: 2 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 3.5 (out of 5) Good ratio
The Shop: 2 (out of 3) Pastie…?
Would I come back for Pasties?: 1 (out of 2) If I’m desperate, I’ll stop because it’s the best place within a few miles of the bridge (at least that I’ve tasted.)
Total Pasty Rating: 12.5 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Summer 2016, Revisited Winter 2023)