When you find your way to Viki’s Bridge Street Pasty Shop, you’ll realize why it’s exactly the type of place that doesn’t have a digital footprint.
Driving off I-96 into seemingly the middle of nowhere, I wondered if the place even existed anymore. Their Facebook page (they actually have two Facebook pages and neither gets updated) has a grand total of 61 likes and just two reviews on Yelp. But their tagline on Facebook forced me to push forward:
“We serve the Best Darn Pasty you will ever eat.”
If that’s not a bold statement, I don’t know what is.
Soon after getting off the highway, the smell of cow manure filled my car and I knew I was getting myself into something real. What kind of pasty place was this? But just a few minutes later I was turning into a forest that wouldn’t have been out of place in Saranac, N.Y. (look it up on a map).
But Saranac, Michigan was all I needed on this trip and a quaint downtown that was home to a city of just over 1,000 people. So why does this place have pasties? Whatever, it doesn’t matter.
The shop’s times listed online a 10am opening on Saturdays and I rolled up only a half hour after that. Unfortunately, the times in their window are different and the shop opens at 11am every day. Yet, I tried the door and the guy behind the counter seemed like he was waiting for me.
He just walked in the door and wouldn’t have a warm pasty ready for another 45 minutes or so, but I could take a frozen one. And that I did.
(According to their sign, they do make pasties daily. Just don’t come before the shop even opens.)
I don’t know who Viki is, but she (he?) knows how to make a pasty. A lot of places in the Lower Peninsula try to do different things with pasties and mess with recipes. More or less, they try too hard to get the right taste.
Viki just lays it straight. Give me butter, shortening and lard, and I’ll make you something delicious. Pasties aren’t meant to be healthy, why try to make them?
Because of those above ingredients, there wasn’t much more that needed to be done with the crust. It was close to perfect. The handle was everything you could want: crunchy, crispy and flaky goodness. The only thing was that the main crust may have been a little too thin. Just a little. That led to my desire of the outer edge, which is not a common occurrence.
Throw in well-seasoned meat, a solid beef-to-everything else ratio, an abundance of rutabaga, and this pasty snuck up on me.
Viki is onto something and most other places in the LP need to take notice. This shop may not get a ton of traffic due to it being off the beaten path, but it definitely deserves to be noticed as one of the better pasty shops in lower Michigan.
Should I also mention they have a rack of movies that they sell/rent there as well? I’m talking VHS.
Taste: 3.5 (out of 5)
Crust: 4 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 3.5 (out of 5)
The Shop: 3 (out of 3)
Would I come back for Pasties?: 2 (out of 2)
Total Pasty Ranking: 16 (of 20 points)
(Reviewed Summer 2016)