Battle of the Dishes

Rice Ball Battle: DeFalco's vs Giuseppe's

This edition of Battle of the Dishes is serving up golden Italian balls varying in size and texture.

Suppli di riso -- aka arancini -- aka rice balls. Pick a name, any name, and you'll get a dish originally inspired by the Arabs' takeover of Sicily -- and leftover risotto. 

Coated with a light batter, suppli are typically filled with cheese; while arancini are traditionally served with meat sauce, mozzarella and peas. Roll them anyway you want, so long as they're deep fried and easy to grab.

Curious as to who's serving up the most goldenly delicious dish? Find out after the jump.

In One Corner: DeFalco's Italian Grocery and Deli
2334 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale

The Set Up: A softball size rice ball stuffed with your choice of spinach and mozzarella or ragu and mozzarella in a bowl of homemade spaghetti sauce (a 90 year old family recipe). It's listed under sides but could definitely be a lighter lunch.
Pros: The outside was nice and crisp with a fluffy center. We loved that there was plenty of the homemade spaghetti sauce for dipping. The acidity of the tomatoes really showed through the sauce, offering a bright compliment to the crispy shell of the fried rice.
Cons: They put quite a bit of lovin' into this dish, so be prepared to wait. We were the only ones in the place and were quoted 15-20 minutes until our arancini would be ready. Awesome?

In the Other Corner: Giuseppe's Italian Kitchen 2824 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix

The Set Up: Three raquetball size suppli di riso stuffed with mozarella on a plate of house made sauce -- apparently if an Italian eatery is baring its family name, it's mandatory they make their own sauce.
Pros: The portions were great for sharing, and the rice was seasoned with plenty of pepper and oregano. (Extra bonus for Guy Fiery fans: his face is on every wall!)
Cons: The texture was a dinner roll consistency due to being premade and frozen until ordered. Nonetheless, we would have eaten all three had they not been so stingy on the sauce. If this battle was on family made sauces, it would have ended in a winning tie.

The Verdict: DeFalco's takes it FTW. Sure we waited 15 minutes here versus 15 seconds at Giuseppe's, but there's no topping a made-to-order rice ball with a meaty warm center.

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Nicole Whittington

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