In the months since it opened in May, the Cornish Pasty Co. has made an impact on the Southside neighborhood and Best of Flag voters have taken note, naming it Best New Restaurant in this year’s contest.
“A few restaurants opened around the time we did that are pretty good restaurants as well, so it’s an honor,” said general manager Ryan Hays.
Surrounded by a mix of high-end restaurants and smaller local dives throughout the neighborhood, Cornish aims to bridge the gap by offering quality food at a reasonable price.
“Our food is from scratch, but not quite as pricey to appeal to more people,” Hays said. “It is traditionally a working-man’s food so we try not to out-price our base.”
The Cornish pasty originated in Cornwall, England, where company founder Dean Thomas was born. Made for miners, the pocket meals have a distinctive crimp in the dough that was meant to serve as a handle so workers could easily hold onto it.
Cornish Pasty guests can order the traditional Oggie pasty, made with steak, potatoes, onion and rutabaga, or one of the more unique combinations like the Royale with Cheese made with hamburger, fries, grilled onions, mushrooms, bacon and cheese.
“We like to think that whatever you’re in the mood for you can come in and get it here with a good beer [and] good atmosphere,” Hays said.
The extensive menu options also include meatless, dairy-free and gluten-free fare. While most of the menu aligns with the other locations for consistency the vegan pasties are a chance for the cooks to get creative. There are different specials made each day, so customers have to ask their server what’s available if they want a vegan meal.
“We want the kitchen to follow the recipes in the book so the customer can know what to expect, but there’s a few things like vegan pasties or special soups where the cooks can get a little creative and make up their own ideas,” said Hays.
And the same goes for the drink selection at the bar. The 20 beers on tap ensure that there’s something for everyone, as well as a number of cocktails that their talented bartenders will whip up on request.
Although the Cornish Pasty Co. has several restaurants in the Phoenix metro area and one in Las Vegas, the new Flagstaff location is not part of the franchise.
“That’s something we’re proud of,” Hays said. “This is my chance at a store because I’ve done right by the company.”
He began working in the kitchen for one of the locations in the Valley eight years ago before moving up to a server and then manager. While each restaurant has its own unique personality, dim lighting, family-style seating and good vibes are a staple of the company that can be found when diners come for a meal.