Lehto’s Pasties, St. Ignace

Pretty Awesome Pasties: With Lehto’s Pasties, It’s A Good Thing Our KPI Score Goes To 11!

Image Courtesy of Lehto's Pasty Shop
Image Courtesy of Lehto’s Pasty Shop

We have two extremely on-the-ball Awesome Mitten readers to thank for this latest edition of Pretty Awesome Pasties.

In a Pretty Awesome Pasty blog post from a few months back, we asked Awesome Mitten readers to suggest the next round of pasties to include in our series of pasty rating blog posts.

Thanks to astute readers Erica and Monica who commented on that previous post, our gastronomical tour of Michigan’s “pot pie without the pot” luckily led us to Lehto’s Pasty Shop (St. Ignace and Traverse City).

The company’s website shares that Lento’s Pasties was started in 1947 by Mr. Lehto after he honorably served in the U.S. Army during World War Two and returned Stateside in 1946.

Lehto’s is one of the Original Famous Pasty Shops (we need to look into that further!) located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Lehto’s is still family owned and operated to this very day by John and Katherine, along with niece Laurie and her husband Bill Walker.

Photo by Julie Rogier
Image Courtesy of TripAdvisor

What a Find!

A dear friend who grew up near Traverse City kindly picked up two beef pasties for us, since this pasty reviewer regularly spends time up on the Sunrise side of the state.

Thanks to our dear pasty pal, two sizeable, meat-filled pasties arrived frozen and we simply followed the cooking directions on the website for a delectable delight!

As the website notes, “Pasties are $5.50 and weigh about a pound. Mr. Walker emphasizes the “about” because the pasties are homemade, and weight varies.”

We can report that the two beef pasties were two lovingly handmade, sizable bundles packed with a tasty filling, all within a savory and delicious crust.

Rating Lehto’s Pasties: The Key Pasty Indicators

As regular readers know, a key feature of these blog posts are reviews of Michigan-made pasties using a proprietary rating system developed just for the Awesome Mitten blog.

Photo by Julie Rogier
Photo by Julie Rogier

The following 5 Key Pasty Indicators (KPIs) are unique standards carefully developed as pasty measurement criteria.

We regularly rate pasties made by some of Michigan’s vendors using this KPI system, which goes from 1 to 11 just to keep things interesting.

And it’s a good thing the ratings go up to 11, because Lehto’s is by far our favorite!

Key Pasty Indicators (KPIs)

  1. Crust to Filling Ratio – 10.5.  Lehto’s offers the best balance between the outer pastry crust and the savory filling that we’ve seen in nearly a year of pasty rating.

  1. Filling Consistency/Flavor – 10.5.  Lehto beef pasty filling offered recognizable chunks of beef, potato, rutabagas, and onion with excellent texture, ingredients, spice, and overall flavor.

  1. Price Consideration – 11  At $5.50, we could have easily split the beef pasty for a satisfying dinner for two adults, but instead we scarfed the whole thing down.

  1. Flake-0-Meter – 10.5.  Lehto’s offers one of the most delectable, buttery and flaky crusts we’ve run across.

  1. Overall Savory Index – 10.5

Image Courtesy Collin Barlage
Image Courtesy Collin Barlage

Overall, Lehto’s pasties are some of the tastiest we encountered.  The aggregated KPI score of 10.6 proves that point.

Our only regret?  That our friend just delivered two of them!

Beth Baerman and Julie Rogier, Contributing Writers

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