Thanks for the comments and suggestions in response to our last post, which recapped the pasties we’ve taste-tested so far. We’ll be trying your suggestions for future posts, so keep them coming!
Today, we’ll highlight some pasty serendipity—a pasty encounter in an unlikely locale… Royal Oak.
Royal Oak, Royal Pasties
Royal Oak is known for its bar and restaurant scene, music, and hip vintage shops. However, one of its true gems, without all the sparkle and polish, is Hermann’s Bakery. Located at 317 S. Main, Hermann’s is in the heart of downtown Royal Oak. Hip and trendy it is definitely not. Delicious, comfortable, friendly, and old-fashioned… that’s Hermann’s.
Hermann’s Bakery has been a Royal Oak staple since 1902. Hermann’s first opened under the name Dondero’s Bakery, but George Hermann renamed the business after he bought the bakery in 1942 after working there for 20 years. It’s been in the family ever since.
Stepping into Hermann’s is like stepping back in time. Beautiful wood-framed display cases showcase tasty treats of all kinds. Cooling racks of breads and rolls can be seen through the door to the kitchen. The atmosphere is warm, the aroma is heavenly. Hermann’s still uses its original recipes for breads, cakes, cookies, and savory items.
I discovered Hermann’s a few years ago, and I stop in for a treat whenever I’m in Royal Oak before closing time. (I highly recommend the gooey butter cake and Bavarian cream donuts…so incredibly delicious!) On a recent Saturday, I spotted pasties and bought the last three in the shop.
I learned that Hermann’s bakes pasties on Tuesdays; 45 small (selling for $2.95) and at least 72 large (selling for $4.25). They are typically sold out by the weekend. But sometimes they have a few frozen, so ask if you don’t see them on display. Richard Hermann developed his own pasty recipe about 20 years ago. He has a loyal following of regular pasty customers.
Given the quality of everything I’ve tried at Hermann’s, my expectations were high for the pasty. I was not disappointed. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the way Hermann’s bakes a traditional beef pasty that is truly their own.
Hermann’s pasty varies from the typical pasty in a couple of ways. First, the crust. It is thick, flaky, and amazingly tasty. Their secret ingredients: buttermilk and a little lard. The crust is rich and buttery tasting, but it is somewhat delicate, not holding up as well to handling as others we’ve tried.
The second difference: the veggie mix. Hermann’s includes rutabaga and turnip, as well as potato, carrot and onion, in its filling. The result is a super moist filling with a generous vegetable component, which we liked.
Here’s how Hermann’s pasties rate according to our Key Pasty Indicators (KPIs):
- Crust to Filling Ratio = 7… crust is a little thick and the pasty is not traditionally formed. Its shape is right, but it’s made in a pie pan and has a hard edge.
- Filling Consistency/Flavor = 8… lots of vegetables and plenty of coarse-ground beef make for a very moist, flavorful filling. Both turnip and rutabaga many be too radical for true traditionalists.
- Price Consideration = 10… at $4.25 for the large pasty and $2.95 for the small, Hermann’s offers excellent pasty value.
- Flake-O-Meter = 9, the crust is very rich, light, and flaky, but it doesn’t hold up to handling without cracking.
- Overall Savory Index= 10… The richness of the crust and the combination of vegetables make this a very appealing pasty.
Hermann’s overall rating is an impressive 8.8. We heartily recommend this pasty and this bakery.
317 S. Main
Royal Oak, Mi
Tues-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5p.m.