If you're looking for a light lunch, Lands End Pasty Company is not for you. But if you're in the mood for a savory pastry, then your golden, flaky chariot awaits to take you to the bliss point.
Pasties are Cornish crescents of dough stuffed with meat and starchy vegetables, and a staple of Iron Range lunches. With no relation to the clothier of the same name, Lands End Pasty Company opened in Dinkytown last week, situated at the end of Dinkydale Mall, which also houses Shuang Cheng and Varsity Bike shop.
Lands End serves pasties and almost nothing else. There's a surprising dearth of restaurants serving this specialty, especially considering its rich history in Minnesota. The only other local restaurant that specializes in the hearty lunch staple is Potter's Pasties, just about a mile down the road.
A charming stone hallway leads customers to the shop, where a case on the counter houses eight varieties of pasties, all of which cost $6. While there's a traditional pasty with steak, potato, rutabaga, and onion, there are plenty of nouveau options that still stick to the pasty's Cornish heritage.
We opted for the chicken, bacon, and mushroom pasty. Branded on its top is a "CM"; Lands End does this to designate the encased fillings from one another. The bacon presence was light, so tender chicken took center stage, nestled in a bed of chunky onions with subtle mushroom gravy glueing everything together. The buttery crust combined the doughiest parts of a croissant and biscuit, resulting in lardy delight. Every pasty has a small portion of tart, seasoned apples inside, which counters the inherent saltiness.
The chips ($2) are that in name only. They're steak fries, and as steak fries often are, they're not crisped enough. Sublime seasoning with paprika and black pepper saves them. There's a special sauce that accompanies the chips, hiding in the fridge amid the drinks. Squeeze a liberal dollop on the fries, because the lemony mayonnaise-mustard is something to savor.
Lands End is flying under the radar of University area diners thus far, so get in now for a compelling, tasty lunch option that nearby cookie-cutter restaurants like Shuang Cheng and Qdoba fail to deliver.
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