Main Location: Minneapolis and St. Paul
At some point during the 1800’s, the history-soaked baked good known as the Pastie arrived within the Minnesotan borders. For some reason or another (PLEASE don’t ask me the details, I don’t have a clue) it integrated itself into the food traditions much like the Polish, German, and other immigrant-brought foods. You should thank whatever God or Science you pray to that it did, and when you eat one, you shall understand why.
Potter’s Pasties, the geniuses that they are, celebrate this old British and Minnesotan food tradition by selling these homemade pasties to the masses. Beginning their bread-laden renaissance three years ago in St. Paul, they have skyrocketed themselves to one of the most recognizable and popular stands. So much so, in fact, they were able to buy another truck this last year so that they could sell in St. Paul AND Minneapolis AT THE SAME TIME. I all but fainted the day I saw the new truck in my old Minneapolis stomping grounds.
Why are they so popular exactly? Well, let me inform you of what it is they’re selling. That being 5 different rich, comfort-bringing fillings, alongside whatever special pasties they decided to make. Slowly cooked with simple but strong, nostalgic flavors. These include the Traditional ground beef and potato, a Chicken Pot Pie, a Pulled Pork with Apples and Coriander (my favorite), and a Thai Vegetable made with red coconut curry (almost tied for my favorite).
[See the end of the Post for a FUN Lesson on Britain and Curry!]
Around the fillings is wrapped this bread-like PASTRY crust, handmade of course, and extensively tested by the chef for what I’m guessing was quite some time, because it is PERFECT. It is thick and firm, crispy on outside yet tender with some flakiness on the inside, some of it soaking up the juices without making the entire thing soggy. It has FLAVOR, that perfect savory pastry flavor that works with the filling for a heavenly experience of handheld pie (god I think I just said something dirty…).
It’s difficult to think about what else to talk about for Potter’s, when you start thinking about the food there you just stop caring about any other detail. When it comes to what I believe truly qualifies a Food Truck to be a Food Truck, , Potters stands as a shining beacon. Go there, I promise you will not regret it at all.
Oh, did I mention you can order partially-cooked Pasties to take home and finish cooking yourself for dinner? Yeah, you can do that.
The only reason which I do not place this at a perfect 10 is because every once in a good while, they have a slight problem with consistency. The filling isn’t as perfect as it always is. It is still good and great, but it is something that should be warned of and remarked on. Also, the desserts they offer aren’t exactly the best, though I have heard they’ve improved recently.
Other than that, buttery rich crust with the tastiest, homiest fillings; and they are FILLING. Those without large stomachs will often find this their meal for the day. If you’re thirsty, you can get a cup of hot or iced Vietnamese coffee, very tasty with the Beef.
These were ORIGINALLY MADE just to be eaten with your hands, and though the stuffing is a stew of sorts, it does NOT fall out. One-handed perfection, there is no worry of mess at all. They are THE perfect street food, in every sense of the word.
Usually around 9.50, with some lower, but worth it, COMPLETELY worth it.
You tell them what you want, give them money, and they hand it to you; that’s it! No waiting! It’s all precooked and held warm; which, normally, isn’t a good sign for food, but pasties were created for holding heat. Again, they’re the perfect street food.
The TOE: 10
When you have a place like this, that focuses its efforts on a specific, unique kind of food, and does it WELL, while inside a vehicle with the British flag painted on it, you’ve got something special. In my first post, when I talked about what this rating is for, when I mentioned the “unknown factors,” this is what I was talking about. There is just something… “about” this place that makes you love it. Every single point of Food Truck glory is hit and hit hard, but it isn’t just that; the place stands out, and reminds you of home. That’s why I’m going to keep going back to eat, and keep eating what they serve. As far as I’m concerned they are the best Food Truck in Minnesota.
The truck is Open-Air, making it so easy to talk to the people behind it when you order. I’ve had some nice little conversations about food and trucks, not to mention pasties. Do you remember me mentioning their “daily special pasties” earlier? Those aren’t just what the chef wants; you can make your suggestions on what kind of Pastie you’d like to eat a day or two beforehand, and they will most likely make one to sell for that day. Now THAT is how you do Daily Specials.
Just go here, if you’re looking for food and Potter’s is on the street, visit and get something good; make sure to ask what their special is. It is perfect for the cool fall or early spring day, when you get that hot, soul-warming mixture with a nice cup of hot Vietnamese coffee.
For now, avoid the desserts; see if you can trick a friend or see someone else buy one. Then judge whether it would be good or not (again, I hear they’re improved now, but unsure).
[What follows is a little paragraph discussing British Curry. Ignore if you want, read on if it looks fun!]
Some of you may have reacted to an certain menu item saying “Wait, Thai Vegetable, that doesn’t sound British, are they just doing a little Asian twist here?” or something of the like. The answer is NO. Anybody that knows about English history and their cuisine can inform you that due to the old British Trade Controls taking center in India oh so many years back, in a sense ruling the country for quite some time, culinary habits and tastes immigrated, along with the people, between the two countries .
This resulted in a large sub-culture of Indian and Thai cooking within the English cities, and a new love for Curries and the like; this can be seen within the many Indian restaurants all around the country. Which is why, if you ever get the chance to head to London, one should try to stop at an Indian restaurant for Curry; it is always a fun and divine experience.
[So now you’re looking at me in a weird way because I ignored how the Pasty came here and yet somehow know so much about British Curry history… well I have a very selective memory okay!!? And curry tends to take top priority!]