Last night, Catherine, Moody, Pere and I had dinner at the Cornish Pasty Company in Tempe. We had been talking about going there together for quite some time, so it was nice to finally be able to do it. If you've never had a pasty (pronounced pass-tea), it's basically a half moon shaped pasrty stuffed with any number of savory ingredients (traditionally beef, onion, potatoes and rutabaga). It looks a lot like an Italian calzone, but they are worlds apart. Pasty's originated in Cornwall, England, where they were eaten by miners.
We arrived at the restaurant around 8pm. It's a tiny space that reminds me of the rail bars typical in Philadelphia and other cities. There was a long bar long the left, and a long row of two-top tables on the right. We took a seat in a specially constructed corner "booth" in the back.
The waitress came by pretty quickly and took our drink order. I went with a Boddington's on draught while Pere opted for her favorite Bushmills and Coke. Moody started with a Strongbow cider, something I like attribute to his years living in the UK Catherine, our designated driver for the evening had iced tea. Something about this struck me as funny, probably because she's originally from the UK and now living in Phoenix.
Once our drinks arrived, we were all set to order. There are about two dozen different pasties on the menu which you can choose from. Moody and I had been talking about the chicken tika masala pasty all week, so that's what we went with. Catherine ordered the bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) pasty, and Pere went with the lamb and mint.
All of the pastys were served hot from the oven and wrapped in paper. Although traditionally eaten with one hand like a sandwich, we all opted for knives and forks as the pastys were pretty heavy, and we thought they might not hold up when handled. The chicken tika masala pasty was stuffed with a generous amount of filling. Although it wasn't listed on the menu as an ingredient, I swear it had both potatoes and rutabaga in it. Overall, my pasty was very good, although some bites were overly salty leading me to believe that they salted the rutabaga and potatoes with a little too heavy a hand. Pere and Moody thought the same of their pastys. I tried Pere's lamb and mint pasty and thought it was good, although I still liked mine better. Catherine's bangers and mash pasty was really tasty. The sausage was very flavorful. I'll probably order one next time I'm there.
By the time we all finished our pasties, we were stuffed. They are much more filling than you would think. Catherine decided she still had room for dessert and ordered an apple caramel pasty. When it arrived, the waitress handed us four forks, so there really wasn't any way we weren't going to at least try it! The dessert pasty came with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce. My first bite of the pasty was good. The second bite, however, left me with a mouth full of cinnamon. The third and final bite I had suffered the same problem. Moody remarked that there was way too much cinnamon as well, so I know it wasn't just me.
Overall, I really liked the Cornish Pasty Company. I tend to like English comfort food. The overall atmosphere was nice too. They were playing a lot of 80's and 90's music with a leaning toward metal - but the volume was at a reasonable enough level that you could easily hold a conversation without having to raise your voice. On this visit we sat at a table but next time I go back, I'll probably sit at the bar as this is where all of the action is. With the small kitchen right behind the bar, I'd like to watch as the pasties are made, which is a continuous operation. One other thing worth mentioning. Any of the pasties on the menu can be ordered par-baked to go. This allows you to take them home and finish the cooking process or freeze them for later use.