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Pastie Truck in TC

February 22, 2012
Yellow Pastie Truck      

The Pastie Truck of Traverse City (Record Eagle photo)

     Have you ever eaten a pastie (or pasty) from the U.P. (Michigan’s upper peninsula) before? Do ya even know what a pastie is? They are savory pies, in the shape of the letter “D,” completely self contained and usually filled with meat, onions,  potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, carrots and simply seasoned with salt and black pepper. I’ve had them with gravy, sour cream and even ketchup, at different places in the U.P. and from Albie’s, a pastie restaurant that has several locations in Michigan and also provides frozen pasties to the local grocery stores. They are pure comfort food and my family loves them. Around here, it is common knowledge that they were introduced up in the U.P. by Cornish miners and later adopted by the Finnish miners who followed them. There is even a Pasty Festival in Calumet, a charming town in the U.P. on the Keweenaw peninsula. But I digress…
     We are so lucky to have a Pastie food truck right here in TC, since food trucks are usually the gems of much larger cities, like Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and Austin, TX. Bill Walker is the owner of the bright yellow pastie truck and also makes all the pasties he sells everyday. And he sells a lot of pasties, dozens! Big enough for two adults to share and only $5 each, his truck is pretty popular. I love to drive by in the morning, before he opens, and see the steam covered windows, imaging how cozy and warm it must be inside the truck on especially cold winter mornings. I end up stopping there a few times each year, so they stay a “special” treat, since my hubby will bring them home from the U.P. sometimes too. Although he has chicken pasties, I prefer the beef.
cooked pasties

Pasties out of the oven


     My hubby brought pasties home for dinner tonight, the impetus for this post. I think they were Albie’s, and though I prefer those from the pastie truck, I did not complain, since I always appreciate it when he takes care of dinner on nights when I get home late (he’s a keeper). You can always make your own pasties and I have in the past. Here is a simple pastie recipe that uses store bought pie crust if you are in a hurry, but there are many other pastie recipes online to check out, just keep in mind that authentic pasties are not complicated or full of exotic herbs and spices. Of course, you can always create your own pastie cooking adventure and use flavors and fillings you and/or your family love and come up with

Anatomy of a Pasty poster

Anatomy of a Pasty

something completely new. I think I read that someone in the U.K. made a chicken tikka masala filled pastie, I’ll bet it was excellent.

My only tip is to dice the veggies up small, like the size of the diced carrots that come frozen. The filling looks prettier this way and you won’t get odd lumps poking up under the top of the crust (I’m not sure if I explained that with correct grammar or even logic, but I hope I was clear).  And whether you serve it with gravy, sour cream or ketchup (or curry, parsley sauce, spaghetti sauce, etc…), that is totally a matter of preference. But if you have never tried them, I really think you should, even if you have to make them yourself. Perfect little meals that are perfectly delicious.

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5 Comments
  1. Sue permalink

    Where is Bill Walker’s pasty trailer now? We often stopped by when he was at Division and Front.

  2. Hi Sue,
    His truck is now located at the corner of 8th and Front St. (or Munson), in the defunct gas station next to, what used to be, Mabel’s restaurant, which is now called “Cottage” or something like that. Hope that helps!

  3. faith hershier permalink

    bill is no longer at 8th and munson – does anyone know where he is now. we tried getting pasties for 3 weeks straight and the truck wasn’t open and today we went there and his truck and signs are gone. we need to find out where he is now!!!!

  4. faith hershiser permalink

    i heard that he sold his truck and moved back to the U.P. sure do miss his pasties!

  5. joshua permalink

    i’d like to find the truck as well. have been and will be looking for it

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