As the years went on, I became more interested in the variety of pasties available. I’d always drive through the Upper Peninsula at least twice a year so it only made sense to try as many options as possible.
Of course, one would assume doing a Google search is the best way to find places to go. But it’s not that easy. The reviews for pasty places in the U.P. are minimal and there’s probably some shops that aren’t even listed.
Dobber’s gets a lot of love because it’s the closest thing to a pasty chain there is (two locations). Yes, they are convenient and have a full website, but if you want the best pasties, look elsewhere.
You don’t get the same kind of homemade feel from a place like Dobber’s and that’s one of the main things to look for.
The website that ended up having the best pasty reviews wasn’t Yelp, but a local Michigander site called Awesome Mitten. Unfortunately, their reviews were spotty through the years and they still lacked a good amount of variety and hadn’t covered very much.
I took their idea and expanded it to become The Pasty Guy. My rating system is similar to what Awesome Mitten created, but I modified a few things, making it more appropriate not only to me, but also a more scientific (hah) scale that I’ve been developing since the early 90s.
And here it is…
Taste (5 points): This is fairly obvious. Does the pasty taste good? If it’s really good, it gets 5. If it’s good, it gets 3. If I don’t like it (not sure if that’s possible), a 0 or 1.
Crust (5 points): The crust may be the most important part of the pasty, and is somewhat incorporated into the Taste category. A crust can be dry, wet, soft, hard, flaky or there’s simply too much of it. How many times have you had a crust that took over the entire taste of the pasty? We don’t want that.
Pasty Presentation (5 points): Does it look good? What is the meat-potato-veggie ratio? Let’s face it, some pasties just aren’t as appealing as others. Some of the meat looks weird or even a section of a pasty will have all of the potatoes in it.
The Shop (3 points): I’m all about how a pasty shop presents itself. If I don’t feel welcome somewhere, why would I come back to get pasties, no matter how good they are? This also includes the price as some places charge an overwhelming amount.
Would I come back? (2 points): This almost combines the above categories and is kind of like bonus points. If I’m definitely coming back, it’s 2. If I’m undecided, it’s 1. And if I never want to see that place again, you know what it gets.