There isn’t much to do in Wakefield, at least in the midst of a pandemic. Even in normal times, there probably isn’t much to do in Wakefield, as seen in their lack of… everything. They have a nice lake in the middle of town, but otherwise, the city’s main use is ease of access on US-2. You can reach the Porcupine Mountains in 30 minutes and there are numerous ski resorts in the area.
That being the case, Randall Bakery has managed to survive the turbulent times, having opened in 1944. In the middle of summer, Randall’s may have been one of the only places with patrons in the morning, mainly because it also serves as a diner. They offer all kinds of the usual bakery goods, but according to them, “pasties are the specialty.” Then again, every place in the Upper Peninsula could probably say that.
I came through in the morning, so my first pasty adventure was their breakfast option and it passed the test. It was a tad smaller than the regular one, but I didn’t need more for breakfast.
I grabbed a frozen one to go, though I didn’t realize at the time I ordered a ‘Cornish Pasty’ and not a ‘Traditional’ one. The difference according to them is that the Cornish one has rutabaga and carrots. While I always need rutabaga in my pasties, the carrot part is incorrect. Most Cornish pasties don’t have carrots. It’s somewhat disappointing their Traditional variety doesn’t have rutabaga in it.
Nevertheless, I popped it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, per the included directions. My first take was that it was smaller than most pasties and didn’t have a handle. I figured the pasty chef was overworked because of the pandemic, but looking at the pictures on their website, none of their pasties have handles.
Fortunately, everything else was spot on for what may have been the best bakery pasty I’ve ever had. Despite having no handle and being made of shortening, the crust had a good flavor that only enhanced the pasty experience. Maybe my biggest qualm is that the crust wasn’t thick enough because it wasn’t exactly staying together as I ate it with my hands.
The insides were similarly pleasing even if there was an overload of carrots. The meat is a mix of 60% beef and 40% pork which may have been key in getting the correct flavor. Unfortunately, I could’ve used more meat because there seemed to be a carrot in every bite. I wonder if the Traditional pasty has more meat in it because it also doesn’t have carrots. While I love my rutabagas, I’d rather take more meat than more carrots in a pasty.
You may not be staying in Wakefield, but Randall Bakery is open every day and always has pasties. Conveniently off US-2, stop in, grab a pasty and go.
Taste: 4 (out of 5)
Crust: 3.5 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 3 (out of 5)
The Shop: 3 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 2 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Rating: 15.5 (of 20 points)
Reviewed Fall 2020