Houghton is a bit of a tourist city, let’s get that out of the way. And when I say tourist, I mean that only for the Upper Peninsula.
Everything about Roy’s Pasties & Bakery can be attributed to that. I mean, the location is great, right along the canal and a canal walk next to the shop. It’s perfect.
Maybe I was disappointed because I was expecting a regular pasty shop in Houghton, where many claim the best pasties reside. I don’t know.
Roy’s was as close to a Starbucks as you can get for a pasty shop. Just look at the outside. They sell all kinds of things, coffee and goodies included. I’m okay with that, but personally I’d rather get pasties that don’t come from a shop that look mass-produced (even if they aren’t).
On Roy’s website, their About Us mentions how the bakery started in 2001 and then only talks about the brief history of moving and building new shops. There’s nothing about where the recipe came from.
I’m getting somewhere with this story because guess what? The pasties taste like something Starbucks would make.
Okay, that’s a low blow and I apologize to Roy because these aren’t bad pasties.
They look really good with that dark, baked-too-long look on the edge of the crust. But the extreme amount of salt in the crust is noticeable on the first bite and pretty much every other bite.
In addition to the crust, the inside clearly had too much salt and pepper, as well. To make sure it wasn’t just the crust, I tried the inside by itself.
The pasty looks great, though. It’s filled with good, hearty and deliciousness. But dangit, that salt and pepper killed me.
I was going to eat it in one sitting while watching the sunset on Lake Superior, but my mouth was getting over-salted.
Other than that, the crust was good, maybe a little too soft and the inside was what you’d expect from a U.P. pasty.
The Traditional includes beef, pork and the usual fillings with rutabaga and carrots included. Conveniently, Roy’s added “seasoned to perfection” on the menu, which is kind of upsetting because it’s the opposite.
Roy’s also has a few more pasty options such as Turkey Cranberry, Breakfast Danish and Bacon Cheeseburger, which I’m not sure I’ll ever try. Other than pasties, they have everything else you could want, gluten-free cakes not excluded.
And if it weren’t for the salt overload, who knows?
Taste: 3.5 (out of 5)
Crust: 3 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 4 (out of 5)
The Shop: 2.5 (out of 3) Starbucks?
Would I come back for Pasties?: 1 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Rating: 14 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Fall 2016)