It took me longer than I wanted to visit Prime Pasty King because it’s a little off the beaten path as most of my U.P. travels are along US-2. They also don’t have much of a social footprint on Facebook or Yelp.
To make things more interesting, the PPK location on Google Maps is incorrect. According to the man behind the counter, the actual location (1160 S. Carpenter Ave., Kingsford) has been the same for about four years. Through some research, I also found that it was up for sale in 2018, as a remodeled building set up for federal wholesale.
Prime Pasty King has surprisingly been around since the early ’90s and even won an award in 1993 in the Commercial Division of the U.P. Pasty Contest, sponsored by the “Michigan Potatoe Industry Commission” (yes, the award is spelled wrong).
They have a trailer near the road, which didn’t appear to be working (though it’s listed as a 22-foot mobile food unit on the sale site). The actual shop is an odd building with little inside. There’s a counter upon entering and a large open space of nothing. Outside of the bathroom, freezer and kitchen, there’s nothing else. It’s an incredible set up in a small town.
The pasty (with rutabaga) looked like a burrito with a small, yet visible handle. The crust was a bit soft and greasy, but was still fine to eat with one hand (I also made a frozen one and that crust held up a little better). By itself, the crust didn’t have a ton of flavor, though the insides made up for that.
The insides were comparable to Lehto’s, which should give people a reason to check out PPK (and it also puts a rock in your stomach). My fresh pasty was somewhat buttery, which was probably why the crust was softer. The potatoes and meat were sliced and they also used a different kind of spice, which gave it a different flavor other than salt and pepper.
These pasties may look like burritos, but they’re still close to a pound, extremely filling and should fulfill your pasty desires. If you want one hot, make sure to call ahead.
Taste: 4 (out of 5)
Crust: 3 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 3 (out of 5)
The Shop: 2.5 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 1.5 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Rating: 14 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Summer 2019)