Cannoli Clash: DeFalco's Italian Deli vs. Something Sweet Bakery
Hey, where can you get a good cannoli (or a cannoli at all?!) in this town? Maybe it's the lack of a Little Italy enclave or perhaps cupcakes just took hold of the dessert market too quickly, but we absolutely love this classic Sicilian pastry and think it deserves more love than it gets in the Valley.
For this battle we compare a classic Italian preparation to a one with a seasonal twist: the regular (as opposed to their chocolate shelled) cannoli at DeFalco's and the eggnog cannoli at Something Sweet Bakery. Which "little tube" of creamy goodness will kick the competition?
In This Corner: DeFalco's Italian Deli
The Setup: DeFalco's has been a family favorite for years because it's a little deli and grocer that has something for everyone. Whether you're craving Italian sweets, sandwiches or a big pile of pasta, you're sure to leave fat and happy. The deli is stuffed to the brim with shelves lined with authentic pastas, cans of tomatoes and other goodies for sale. The food is unpretentious and even a little Americanized, which is refreshing in a market full of upscale $20+ per plate hipster pasta joints and Olive Gardens.
The Good: DeFalco's cannoli had the perfect amount of crispy, flakiness surrounding their ricotta filling. Its cinnamony pastry and filling added a bit of flavorful depth to its basic components, while the diced cherries and chocolate chunks gave the extra push to the dessert's decadence.
The Bad: The ricotta filling, mixed with confectioner's sugar, was a little gritty. It's not a big complaint, but what we thought nonetheless.
In The Other Corner: Something Sweet Bakery
The Setup: When you walk into Something Sweet, chances are you'll be immediately greeted by both the counter girl and the head baker. Their friendly, knowledgeable service makes this bakery a place you want to visit every day. The display case full of shortbreads, tarts, cookies, cakes and other pastries makes this bakery a place you will visit every day to see what's new. Who would've thought something so sweet would be hiding in a strip mall next to a Safeway?
The Good:Compared to DeFalco's, Something Sweet had a much smoother consistency to their filling. The eggnog flavor was present, but not overpowering. It's the perfect hint of Christmas spirit for anyone beginning to feel the pre-holiday wear, but not yet super sick of eggnog in general. The eggnog cannoli is definitely a great, unique alternative to stale, sprinkle-covered sugar cookies for a holiday party offering.
The Bad:The cannoli shell wasn't nearly as crispy and flakey as DeFalco's, which worked to our advantage since we opted to chow down in our car out of their precious pink bakery to go boxes. However, if we weren't in the car, we would prefer the flakiness any day.
And the winner is . . . DeFalco's Italian Deli. While the eggnog cannoli is a novel concept and a great seasonal take on an Italian classic, nothing beats the real thing. Maybe we're just obsessed with cinnamon and chocolate, but eggnog, although it only comes once a year, just can't beat those flavors. We suggest you try the eggnog cannoli while it's still around, but we'll keep coming back to DeFalco's when we get a cannoli craving.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Phoenix dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.