Tysons, VA

Local Vienna eatery Pure Pasty Co. won several international awards this past weekend for its food.

The 2020 World Pasty Championships took place in Cornwall, England, which is home of the traditional meat pocket. Pasties are a traditional English specialty and can come in a variety of flavors but are typically a savory snack filled with a variety of ingredients and encased with a flaky crust.

At a biodome venue called the Eden Project, the competition brought together chefs from Argentina, Canada, the U.S. and the United Kingdom, according to Michael Burgess, the Vienna eatery’s owner.

Burgess beat most of the other roughly 180 entries and took home a silver medal for his lamb jalfrezi pasty and a bronze medal for the cheese and onion flavor pasty, which were both in the savory category.

The lamb jalfrezi, which embodies a flare of Indian cuisine, is one of his favorite recipes since it has a good “flavor profile and heat,” Burgess told Tysons Reporter, adding that he credits one of his friends and customers for giving him the original recipe, which he tweaked.

In past years, the eatery at 128 Church Street NW has won other awards at the competition as well, and Burgess said attending the competition became a “pilgrimage” and “tradition.”

Many community members congratulated the eatery online after a shoutout on the Town of Vienna’s social media accounts.

“Wonderful! I’ve had the cheese onion one and it is scrumptious!,” wrote one Facebook user.

Originally living in the United Kingdom, Burgess worked in a banking firm and used to visit the U.S. with friends on snowboarding trips, he said. He and his friends used to talk about the lack of pasty options, and after Burgess said he saved up some money, he decided to open his own business.

“We have spent years honing our craft, and these results show that we are getting it right,” a press release said. “We do our best to give all the ex-pats in the D.C. area a real taste of home.”

The group plans to return to Vienna shortly, he said, adding that “we have a lovely certificate to hang on the wall when we get back.”

For anyone wishing to try one of the award-winning pasties, the restaurant is open on Sunday-Monday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Besides pasties, the eatery also offers pies and sausage rolls, desserts, soups and salads according to its online menu. Prices for individual dishes are about $8.

Though the store doesn’t deliver small orders for individual meals, it does catering for events and the British Embassy in D.C. is a regular client, Burgess said.

Photos courtesy Pure Pasty Co. 

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