Cheap Eats 2011: The Pure Pasty Co.

“People thought I was crazy,” says proprietor Mike Burgess from behind the counter of his year-old bakery, which specializes in one thing–and it’s not cupcakes. Burgess, who hails from Cheshire, England, is selling pasties, the British hand pies that look like supersized empanadas and are about as familiar to Americans as Mrs. Lovett is to the average teen. But turning locals onto his pasties hasn’t been so hard. Each pie’s tender crusts hold fillings made with locally raised meats such as Ayrshire Farm pork. There’s a traditional Cornwall-style ground-beef-and-potato pasty, but we preferred Burgess’s more creative takes, including the Philly cheesesteak, laced with aged provolone. The bright little shop also sells such British imports as Hob Nob cookies and cans of black treacle. There are only a few stools, but part of the beauty of pasties is that they’re as easy to eat on foot as they are at a table.  

Also good: Chicken masala pasty; tomato soup.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch, Tuesday through Saturday for dinner (closes at 7).

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.