The Pure Pasty Co. in Vi­enna

The Washington Post - - RESTAURANT­S - — Stephanie Witt Sedg­wick

Open­ing a Cor­nish pasty shop in sub­ur­ban Vi­enna might seem like an odd choice, but Michael Burgess thought it was about time.

“I saw the growth of pasty shops in the United King­dom and thought the con­cept would adapt well to the U.S. mar­ket,” says the 49-year-old Cheshire, Eng­land, na­tive and owner of the Pure Pasty Co., who hung out his shin­gle Oct. 1.

The hand-size, moon-shaped sa­vory pies (pro­nounced PASSteas), once a sta­ple of Cor­nish min­ers, are as trendy in Eng­land as cup­cakes are here, ac­cord­ing to Burgess. Judg­ing by the spec­i­mens he and his Amer­i­can chef, Joshua An­drus, are turn­ing out, he might be on to some­thing.

The pasties are baked in an oven placed close to the ser­vice counter, so their aroma works its magic on cus­tomers wait­ing in line.

The shop of­fers a menu of five pasties ($5.99 each), a daily chef ’s spe­cial pasty, house-made soups (12 ounces, $4.49) and sal­ads ($3.99 to $4.49). And yes, Brit­food lovers, there’s also a puff­pas­try sausage roll ($3.75).

Burgess and An­drus, who has worked in the kitchens of Cafe At­lantico, Ger­ard’s Place and Chees­tique, are com­mit­ted to us­ing high-qual­ity in­gre­di­ents, or­gan­i­cally grown and lo­cally sourced when pos­si­ble. They worked to de­velop a pasty crust that is ten­der and fla­vor­ful, yet strong enough to hold a gen­er­ous serv­ing of fill­ing.

The meat-potato-onion Tra­di­tional Style is hearty and per­fect for beef lovers, yet Amer­i­can­ized with a lit­tle cream cheese. Still more Amer­i­can is the Philly, a com­bi­na­tion of chopped, thinly sliced steak, onions, pep­pers and aged pro­volone. The de­li­cious com­bi­na­tion makes for a par­ticu- larly good last bite of the juice­soaked pas­try, which, Burgess says, is the best part of any good pasty. (We agree.) The Cor­nish Masala is a gen­tle primer in In­dian fla­vors. The least suc­cess­ful of the group is the Chicken Proven­cal, with a some­what bland com­bi­na­tion of boiled chicken, leeks, cream and herbes de Provence.

Veg­e­tar­i­ans have the op­tion of the Slow­down Veg­gie, with pota­toes, peas, car­rots, cel­ery, onion and mush­rooms.

The sal­ads — Cae­sar, gar­den and chef ’s — are large enough to share. Soups vary daily, but a creamy tomato soup is the house sta­ple. A daily $8.49 combo in­cludes one pasty and a choice of soup or salad.

The shop is not the only out­let for the pies. Burgess has a food cart ready to go and a spot picked out, one block from the Ballston Metro.

The cart will be open for lunch only, Mon­days through Fri­days, with a planned launch date of Nov. 1, depend­ing on per­mits. (Fol­low their hours and lo­ca­tions on Twit­ter: @purepasty.)

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