The majority of people on the East Coast don’t know what a pasty is. There are a few shops scattered through the northeast, but they aren’t common and most of them aren’t fully British, like this one.
The Pie Store checks all the boxes. If for some reason you’re about 15 minutes northwest of Newark in Montclair, you need to stop by. Then again, it’s not easily accessible if you’re just driving by, so really, the only reason to visit is if you’re in the area. Luckily for me, some Pasty Friends live in the area and frequent the location after being introduced to The Pasty Trail.
The difference between The Pie Store and pasty shops in Michigan is that these are Cornish pasties (technically, they can’t be called Cornish pasties if made outside of Cornwall). They are made differently and these ones specifically are massive. Somehow, I ate an entire one for lunch and still managed to eat a regular dinner and have a few drinks that night.
The store has different English offerings like sausage rolls, hearty pies and scones, as well as random candies. On my visit, the store was full of Cadbury eggs and upon further research, U.K. Cadbury chocolates have a different recipe than the ones found in the states.
As for the pasties, they have a decent variety with BBQ Pork and Chana Masala standing out, though Steak & Cheddar and Lamb & Feta are also options. As usual, I had the Cornish Pasty. Of note, they don’t sell pasties hot and you have to heat them up yourself.
The Cornish pasties are at least a pound, but with a lighter puff pastry crust, they don’t knock you out. If you heat them too long or too short, the crust will probably taste the same no matter what. It’s sturdy, holds the insides well and has plenty of crisp. The Pasty Girl said it didn’t have much flavor, but I think it tasted great on its own.
The insides could be eaten on their own, as well. For some reason, they don’t include rutabaga (swede), as it’s simply ground beef and onion with chunks of carrots and potatoes, as well as a sprinkle of thyme to add flavor.
The overall flavor was really the standout aspect to these pasties. One of the downsides was that the carrots and potatoes were massive chunks and could’ve been diced a little more. While there was a lot of meat, a lot of bites were just the veggies.
The crust was good. The insides were moist and had great flavor. Maybe the Cornish were onto something…
Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Crust: 4.5 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 4 (out of 5)
The Shop: 2.5 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 2 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Rating: 18 (of 20 points)
Reviewed Spring 2023