after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Mike’s Pastry blows us away

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t says: g and I like cannoli.  They make us happy.  They’re hand-held, and, if made correctly, are guaranteed to bring smiles to everyone.  My (and g’s) fave-of-all-time was Vaccaro’s in Baltimore for three reasons:
1)  They keep the shell and cream separate until you order so they can minimize shell sogginess.
2)  They offer a chocolate-dipped option, in which case the shell is dipped in chocolate (and hardened) before the cream is added
3)  The filling is rich and studded with chocolate chips, offering a luscious texture that has as of yet been unmatched.
Bonus reason: if you go to Vaccaro’s on your birthday, you get all-you-can-eat dessert for free.

In Philly, we’ve been known to go to Isgro for their marscapone cannoli.  They’re not quite as good as Vaccaro’s because they pre-fill them quite early (so the shell is a bit softer than I’d like), but they hold their own.

Upon hearing of an impending trip to Boston, newfound friend bw suggested that we try “Mike’s Pastry” in Boston.  We trust bw’s opinions, which was confirmed by k and seemingly everyone else we met who had spent time in Boston, so g put it on our itinerary as the last thing to do before we left.  When g and I arrived at the shop in Boston, we felt a whisp of doubt as wesaw mounds and mounds of pre-filled cannoli.  That, my friend, is strike #1.  As we waited in line, I prepared for mushy cannoli shells, wondering if we had been led astray.  The second strike was that there were a bajillion different “flavors” of cannoli … which to me is a little heretical.  For me, cannoli comes in either a vanilla or chocolate creme, with the shell either plain or chocolate dipped, and with/without chocolate chips (and maybe an occasional pistachio sprinkled on top).  That’s it.  But at Mike’s they got all kinds of crazy stuff going on.  But g and I kept it “real” and ordered the classics.  Scratch that – let’s just say that because g left the ordering up to me, I kept with the classics … the “craziest” I went was one of these:

pistachio cannolo

To put it bluntly, the above-pictured cannolo rocked my world.  But not like a Vaccaro’s cannolo rocks my world.  With Vaccaro’s, it’s so rich and thick and dense, and the shell is so crunchy that after just one cannolo, I’m done for at least 6 hours.  But Mike’s is very different.  It might even be “opposite”.  The shell is very light and airy (akin to a potato chip) – how they filled it without breaking it, I’ll never know.  The cream was similarly light-and-fluffy, which was a change from Vaccaro’s, and while not necessarily superior, gave Mike’s cannoli a kind of “shtick” that I really appreciated – especially because now I was able to consume two cannoli within three hours (and was still hungry for dinner later!).

I still give Vaccaro’s a slight edge (their cannoli cream tastes a bit more flavorful – a more vivid vanilla), but I now know of at least one place to eat something should we ever be stranded in Boston again … and maybe I’ll even try a fancy flavored one … ?  Or not …

Oh, and Mike’s also had this:

boston cream puff

g, in an attempt to eat a unique-to-Boston food, figured that a Boston cream-containing pastry was the way to go.  From what I can tell, she enjoyed it very much – I didn’t even get a taste (not that she didn’t offer – but I was pre-occupied with cannolo at the time).  That said, after her reaction to the cannoli, I’m pretty sure that it just doesn’t hold a candle to those lovely Italian “little tubes” …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

24 September 2012 at 11:04pm

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