I have never really been a big proponent of cannoli and I am really not sure why. Maybe it is because they remind me of eclairs which just pretty much gross me out with their overly sweet fillings wrapped in an overly sweet and soft dough, but I am honestly just not quite certain. This is not to say that I have not enjoyed a cannoli or two in my day but when I go to a bakery, my eye will never be drawn into buying a cannoli. Ever. Despite this opposition to cannoli, I was told by BOOF buddy Hugdoll that while visiting Boston’s North End, I had to go and get a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry. Because I trust Hugdoll’s judgement regarding food and baked goods, after enjoying my pizza lunch and Galleria Umberto’s, I headed across the street to Mike’s Pastry.
Additional side note: Before I even went to lunch at Umberto’s, I saw numerous tourists and locals alike carrying blue and white boxes and bags with the Mike’s Pastry logo. It’s reputation proceeded itself.
Mike’s Pastry has been around for quite a bit sometime and it definitely has a lot of history both locally and abroad. Because of their reputation, the bakery gets a tremendous amount of foot traffic from locals, to tourists, to celebs, to politicians and yes, even presidents. It is always packed but they move quickly through the lines, although, it is a little tough to actually navigate through the “line” because it is more of a just conglomeration of people expecting you to “stepforwardwheneveryoucan”. It is a to go” place, but luckily there is a tremendous amount of seating nearby in either Boston Commons, the Paul Revere statue park or by the harbor.
If you are looking for something more commercial to compare it to, think about it as the New England version of the “Cake Boss” bakery minus the seating. They feature almost any pastry you can imagine, but just as “cake boss” is known more for their cakes, Mike’s Pastry is really known for their cannoli. They have Cannoli’s ranging from Plain, to Hazelnut, to Oreo, to Chocolate Chip, to Limoncello, to Lobstertail, to Pistachio…you get the idea. To go to Mike’s Pastry and not get a Cannoli does not make much sense and on this lovely day after perousing the options a few times, I opted for the Oreo Cannoli. Oh, I am sorry. What is cannoli, you ask? Cannoli is a tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough filled with a sweet, creamy ricotta based filling. I think the reason why I am actually able to enjoy Cannoli opposed to an eclair is because the filling is ricotta based. It allows it to be sweet but not overwhelmingly so and because of the hard fried shell, it adds a strong texture to the gooey filling.
Back to the Oreo Cannoli. It.was.delicious. The flavors were all there and it was just sweet enough to hit that “spot”, but not overly sweet that I couldn’t really hold it down. As I just mentioned, the strong fried shell really assists with the overall taste of the cannoli because if it were a soft dough like in an eclair, it would just be too gooey and soft. The hard shell helps break up the smooth ricotta filling without taking away from the flavor. You can have it with a dusting of powdered sugar or without, but everyone knows…get the powdered sugar. That would be like having fried dough without powdered sugar at a State fair. Gross. I also bought a Hazelnut Cannoli and a plain Cannoli for Hugdoll and bf of Hugdoll, AndyStat, and I was informed that they both greatly enjoyed their cannolis.
All in all, I believe that I have been transformed into a Cannoli fan. There is another popular Pastry spot down the block, Modern Pastry, and I would be interested to give their cannoli and treats a try as well. For you BOOF buds that have not been to Mike’s Pastry, it definitely is a MUST on your next trip to Boston and if I move there, I am definitely going to have to be careful about limiting my Cannoli consumption. This is another cash only spot…I think it just has to do with keeping the flow of customers in and out in a timely manner, but the cannolis and other treats can get a little steep, so be prepared for that. Oh, you say that you have moved away from Boston? You still want delicious Cannoli? No worries. Mike’s Pastry now delivers! You can place an online order for a 10 count (or more) of their delicious Cannoli to be either shipped to you normal UPS ground or next day air. Shutthefrontdoor.
Docked for lack of seating
P.S. Apparently their whoopie pies are also delicious.
P.P.S. I am currently having issues with my camera-laptop connection, so I used these pictures from Yelp. I do not own the first and last photo.