Alongside my hunt for decent fish n chips across the USA I'm always on the look out for other American versions of British foods, Cornish pasties being a great example. Cornish miners brought the tradition of the pastie when they migrated to work in the mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsular and they are still working their way throughout the state.
Joe came across a recommendation for M-Brew, an eatery in Ferndale that offers the traditional Michigan take on a said pasty. They actually specialize in local Michigan beers and food - all Michigan sourced. It's in an old converted VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) building and from the outside, just off of Woodward looks just like any other house on the street. Climb up to the wrap around porch and you enter to a homely cabin feel, a fireplace to bare wooden beams. Step through to a back basement you'll find a cave of vintage arcade games (think pac-mac), pinball machines (Family Guy, Wizard of Oz, Star Trek etc), dart boards to a shuffleboard.
M-Brew has a coffee shop feel, the cosy seats in front of the fireplace, but a coffee shop that serves beer. Lots and lots of beer. 30 Michigan craft beers in fact to Michigan made wines, meads and sodas. To be honest it's a little all over the place, perhaps that's a good thing in this instance because it only does it make it fun, but because it can be what you want it to be at any one time. It's a place to grab a coffee and read, a place to play a couple of pin balls or somewhere to drink a couple of local beers and relax.
But to the important business, the pasties. The Bruce Crossing (a town in Michigan's UP) Pasty is crammed full of beef, rutabaga, potato, carrots and onion and can be served with gravy if that's you're thing. It's traditional to a T, even the way it's folded. Would it stand up in the UK? Most probably. Is it the best pasty I've had in Michigan (this being the third?! - the first being one from Cousin Jenny's Cornish Pasties in Traverse City which were pretty tasty) - why yes!
We actually spent more time here then we would typically eating out, due to the games and pinball machines, the atmosphere is great, the staff are super friendly and having somewhere on the doorstep that serves Michigan made products - that's always a winner. We'll certainly be back, I have my eye on trying one of their Detroit pizzas next time!
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Fancy a pasty? You can find M-Brew at;
177 Vester St.