Cornish Pasties

July 28, 2006

This blog is not very old, so I’m not quite sure where it’s heading. But looking back over the entries, I sound like a pleasureless curmudgeon of the worst kind. The truth is more that I’m a curmudgeon who enjoys pleasure.

Today, Alex and I ate lunch at the Cornish Pasty Company of Tempe. We had a great meal in a neat place. First, the food: a pasty is a Cornish meat turnover, sort of like a big empanada. According to the menu, Cornish tin miners ate them in the mines. They sell about twenty different varieties, some traditional, some not. Alex ordered a shepherd’s pie pasty, and it was delicious. The ground beef was not too salty and very flavorful. The potatotes didn’t overpower the flaky pastry, and there was a little bit of cheese as well. Her pasty was served with a little tub of red wine gravy that had a strong flavor of beef and rosemary. I ordered something more local, a pasty with carne adovada. The pork was moist and had tang. There were large chunks of what seemed like New Mexico chiles–very yummy. Mine was served with sour cream to take an edge of the spice. We drank beer, which is fun to do when you go to a restaurant at 11 in the morning and everyone else is on their lunch break drinking Coke and iced tea. There’s a large beer list with lots of British options.

The space is cool. Like all of Phoenix, it’s in a crummy strip mall, but this place has character. It’s in a very narrow unit, chair and little tables against one wall, a bar with bar steels right next to them, and the kitchen a step beyond that. The four staff were the owner, a pasty Cornish guy who makes Cornish pasties; a slightly pregnant and friendly blonde waitress; and two Hispanic cooks with wicked hairnets. They’re all in plain site the whole time–no backroom in this little place.

The clientele was typical Tempe. There were two punks (one in full mohawk) talking loudly about video games, several middle-aged white guys who seemed to be regulars, and a few office workers on their lunch break. And two young and suave Presbyterian ministers.

Some Presbyterians get all gooey-eyed about their Scottish heritage, and by extension, all things British. They would like this place. We’re not really like that, and we’ll be back, too

2 Responses to “Cornish Pasties”

  1. pinknest Says:

    empanadas are one of my favorite foods!! that looks great.

  2. Conrad Says:

    Yes, and the pasties there are quite authentic; naturally, I speak from experience. What I have yet to find, either in the US or even in Cornwall, is a real pasty, with separate sections for dinner and dessert.

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