I recently moved to the west side of Michigan and to put it mildly, the pasty options are lacking. Gone are the days of hitting up the Detroit Pasty Trail every week. Now, my nights are spent perusing menus of bakeries to mostly come up disappointed. Why are there so few pasty places on the west side of the state?
Even when searching ‘pasties’ in the general area on Google Maps, Simply Celia’s doesn’t always pop up. Fortunately, I found my way.
Simply Celia’s is in the quaint town of Wayland. It’s about 20 minutes south of Grand Rapids, 30 minutes north of Kalamazoo and 40 minutes east of Saugatuck. Its residents live the small-town life but also have easy access to bigger cities.
According to their website, Simply Celia’s is ranked the No. 4 bakery in the Grand Rapids area and in 2018 was ranked a finalist for a top bakery in Michigan (I think there were 44 finalists). It’s a bakery but also a restaurant with a full menu for breakfast and lunch with plenty of spots to sit.
I’ll probably get a breakfast pasty at some point in my travels, but I could only do the beef on my maiden visit (they also have a pasty of the week). I ordered my pasty on the phone because I got it to go and without request, I was asked if I wanted gravy. While the menu has it, there was no mention of ketchup.
Simply Celia’s pasty was a bit different than most I’ve had. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just different. Either me carrying the pasty to the nearby park made it look disheveled or that’s how it was made (see picture). That’s fine, but the crust was unfortunately too thin. I had to eat it with a fork because it would’ve fallen apart if I picked it up.
Still, the crust was the best part of this pasty. Maybe unlike every other place I’ve visited, Celia’s doesn’t lie. On their menu, it states, “Potatoes, rutabaga, carrots, onions and beef in a melt in your mouth crust.”
There’s never been a truer statement.Yes, there are things inside a melt in your mouth crust. If the crust wasn’t rolled out as thin, it probably would’ve looked a bit better. However, while the crust was great, the insides were lacking flavor. I didn’t taste a ton of salt or pepper, if any. I like that the beef was shredded, but the lack of overall flavor from the insides took this down a notch for me.
There aren’t a ton of pasty options in the area, but if you’re driving south of Grand Rapids earlier in the day, I think Simply Celia’s is a good choice. Plus, I’m sure their breakfast pasty is awesome with that crust.
Taste: 3 (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: 14.5 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Summer 2021)