Unless you resort to phoneticization—and who would ever willingly do that?—you just can't explain how to pronounce the word for a certain Cornish savory pastry without saying that it rhymes with "nasty." Which then necessitates a quick disclaimer. Because when done well, the pasty is a flaky, filling, golden-brown hand pie that practically no one could resist, not even if, as is traditional, it contained rutabagas.
At Bridgeport Pasty, which opened in June, you'll find pasties such as the Oinkle, sagey pork sausage with apple; steak and Stilton (supplemented with Swiss); chicken and ginger; and ratatouille. Another vegetarian option, spinach and mushroom, was as comforting and rich as creamed spinach, the mushrooms providing some additional texture. They're all $5, and as much as you might like to, you probably won't be able to eat more than one—the pasty's meant to be a meal in itself, and is.
Husband and wife Jay Sebastian and Carrie Clark started their operation back in 2011 with a food truck, which still makes the rounds to places like Rush and the U. of C. (you can follow the truck on Twitter @BridgeportPastyCo). Their motto there is "Big food . . . small footprint," a reference to their electric-powered ride. Now that they have their storefront location up and running, the little wagon's charged by solar panels on the roof of the building.
The storefront itself is a pleasant, open space with high ceilings and exposed brick. A lot next door is given over to backyard-style outdoor seating (and btw BP is BYO).
Stateside, pasties are most associated with Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where many laborers immigrated from Cornwall to work in the copper mines, bringing their preferred workingman's fare with them. Neither Sebastian nor Clark has any ties to the UP—they first encountered pasties in England—and they're still working to perfect the Yooper, their take on the traditional filling of beef, potatoes, onions, and rutabagas. The last probably doesn't help; the perfectly inoffensive root vegetable has a bit of a branding problem. Kind of like pasties.
Bridgeport Pasty, 3142 S. Morgan, 773-254-7441, bridgeportpasty.com