Within the first 24 hours of my trip to Boston, I saw about a dozen people carrying white boxes with blue writing, tied with simple kitchen string. By the tenth person, I was curious enough to read the box and saw that they were from Mike’s Pastry. I assumed it was a local chain until after my second dinner in Boston when I stumbled across Mike’s Pastry on Hanover Street. I’ll be honest – I wouldn’t have notice it if not for the crowd inside and on the street, and it’s ultimately the crowd that planted within me the idea that I should bring a batch of cannoli home.
So, early on my final day in Boston, I made my way to Mike’s Pastry. When I arrived a little after 8am there were two tables of regulars, about 6 staff in the front, and no cannoli on display. I think visiting in the morning actually takes away from the experience since the filled display cases, rowdy crowds and waiting in anticipation with your friends is part of the fun and probably makes you believe it tastes that much better. The good thing about visiting in the morning is that you can relax at a table just like at any other local bakery and they will fill your cannoli fresh when you order!
I placed my order for a baker’s dozen and one of their lobster tails ($50). I felt like it weighed 15 pounds! The cannoli are huge! (See top corner photo for size comparison with an e-reader.) The 3 boxes made their way with me back to the hotel, to the airport, home, and 1 box went with me to work the next morning via bus and subway. They travelled surprisingly well. The only ones that spilled out of the shell were the original ones, I think it’s because they don’t have toppings on the ends to hold the filling in. I was able to taste about six flavours and my favourite was the amaretto – a little bit of everything and not overwhelmingly chocolately or nutty or dense.
The reaction from the crowd (i.e. my coworkers)? Underwhelming. Cookies from the nearby convenience store might have elicited similar reactions. Which I think helps my point that the experience adds to the taste.
So would I bring home another dozen? No. Travelling with boxes of cannoli is as convenient as it sounds.
Will I join the mob outside of Mike’s the next time I have dinner in Boston’s Little Italy? Definitely. I’d also visit in the afternoon after a tour of Old North Church.
Will I buy lobster tails to take home for myself? Yes! They are awesome and hold up really well over a few days!