I enjoyed the familiar taste of curry on a delicious and flaky crust. For a lack of better comparison, this was similar to eating a piping hot chicken pot pie.
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Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang News food columnist.
With the thrill of the weekend approaching, I went downtown to look for dinner and unwind after a long week. I entered the small tavern-looking restaurant, greeted immediately by delicious smells and cheerful music.
I was tired of the usual dinner items found downtown and eager to try something unusual and delicious. From the recommendations my friends gave, I knew this was something I needed to add to my culinary experience.
Located downtown in the historic Stream Building, SloCo Pasty Co is an underrated dining gem of downtown. Since opening in 2008, the restaurant has stuck to its passion for pasties and continued to serve them to the Central Coast.
For a Thursday night in downtown San Luis Obispo, it was reasonably busy. I chose a table near the talented group of musicians performing at the back of the restaurant and started browsing the menu.
According to the inside cover of the menu, pasties have been around for many years, dating back to 1740 when they were registered with the Cornwall Records Office in Truro. Originally considered a nutritious staple of hardworking tin miners in Cornwall, the pasties offered on the menu came in a number of varieties including traditional, original and dessert flavors.
After consulting with the waiter and narrowing down my choices between the different chicken fillings, I decided to order the chicken curry. I have a fierce love for any kind of curry, so it was necessary to my culinary experience to try this interesting twist.
The manager brought out the large bread pocket, served with chilled yogurt mint sauce and a side of shredded cucumbers and carrots. Before starting my meal, I sampled the cucumbers and noted their bitterness, which was more of an acquired taste.
The pasty itself was topped with scraps of dough in the shape of the letters “XC” and braided with an intricate crust. Historically, the crust acted as a sanitary handle for the miners to hold while eating. After they were done eating, they would throw away the crusts to ward off any devilish spirits in the mine, therefore guaranteeing their safety.
Not having to worry about appeasing any ghosts, I cut into the giant bread pocket with the provided steak knife, which let out a delicate puff of steam. The yellow curry mixture included grilled chicken breast, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, red potatoes, onions and fresh coconut milk.
I enjoyed the familiar taste of curry on a delicious and flaky crust. For a lack of better comparison, this was similar to eating a piping hot chicken pot pie. In between bites of food, people scattered around the restaurant clapped enthusiastically to the music.
Overall, the flavor was mild enough for my inability to handle spicy foods, but still flavorful enough to validate finishing the entire pasty. The chopped up vegetables were tender and soft, pairing well with the creaminess of the savory yellow curry.
I slowly chipped away at the massive dumpling, occasionally dipping a bite into the chilled mint yogurt sauce or topping it with shreds of cucumber. By the end of the meal, I was comfortably full and appreciated the portioned meal.
Even though trying a unique flavor is an exciting way to enjoy a meal, I would like to try a traditional pasty flavor for comparison.
The next time I visit SloCo Pasty Co, I will be sure to bring more company to split a couple different pasties.