If youre a fan of pot pies, calzones or even turnovers, your taste buds will be happy to discover the Authentic Cornish Pasties with a California Twist at SloCo Pasty Company.
The half-moon-shaped, doughy delight with a braided edge known as a pasty pronounced PASS-tee are commonly thought to have originated in Cornwall, a coastal peninsula at the southwestern tip of England where inhabitants are more likely to refer to themselves as Cornish than British.
Literary references to pasties reach back to the 1100s and wind through two Shakespeare plays, but as a cuisine theyre firmly rooted in history as a working-class staple, especially to Cornish miners in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Really, theyre street food that weve taken up a notch, noted Kurt Stump, who opened SloCo Pasty Company in June 2011 with his wife, Gwynne.
Both were introduced to pasties elsewhere, in Arizona and the Midwest, and harbored their pasty shop idea for several years before realizing the concept in downtown San Luis Obispo.
The Stumps designed their Chorro Street eatery with the thought of creating an English/Irish pub atmosphere, a kind of a community gathering place, said Kurt (who did all the woodworking, from building the bar to routing the wall panels).
About a dozen tables are sprawled between inside and out, and the high-ceilinged interior sports industrial-style lighting fixtures and archival photos of Cornish mines.
In keeping with the pub concept, SloCo Pasty really mines the English/Irish mother lode when it comes to potent potables, offering not only Guinness on tap but also Boddingtons, Smithwicks (a revered Irish ale thats been brewed since 1710), and (gluten-free) Magners Hard Cider.
To develop the SloCo Pasty menu, the Stumps did a lot of research and experimenting, processes with which theyre very familiar.
Both have doctorate degrees, Gwynne in biology, Kurt in physics, and he still has his day job as a medical physicist. Even Gwynnes mother got into the act, contributing recipes for spot-on soda bread and a hearty Irish stew developed from her own mothers recipe.
For an intro into this Cornish fare, try the Oggy, a time-honored take on the pasty thats filled with steak, potatoes, onions and rutabaga.
From there, most of the names speak for themselves Shepherds Pie, Bangers n Mash, Chicken Pot Pie, Carne Asada, and Chicken and Brie but another popular pasty is the Aporkrodite with pork loin, feta cheese, gorgonzola and bacon.
Of course, this being the Central Coast, theres also a beef Tri-Trippin pasty, but vegetarians can tuck into a Shroom with portabella mushrooms, an Italian Garden with squash and broccoli, and a Vegetarian Bake with veggie sausage, black beans, corn, butternut squash and green chiles. Dessert pasties run the gamut from pumpkin pie to Nutella and strawberries.
Not in the mood for pasties? The menu also includes a daily soup, salads such as the Vineyard and Orchard with spinach and grapes, and even the Canadian-inspired Slo Poutine baked fries topped with gorgonzola cheese, feta crumbles and house-made gravy.
Indeed, everything at SloCo Pasty is made from scratch, said Gwynne. We make our dough and fillings every day. Theres no just opening a can.
That approach also lets the whole crew collaborate on fun specials like a cream of carrot curry soup or the St. Patricks Day-themed corned beef and cabbage pasty.
We really never know where were going to go next with the specials, and we encourage our staff to do that theyve helped us open and have grown right along with us, said Gwynne.