LTH Home

Allegretti's Bakery (Norridge)

Allegretti's Bakery (Norridge)
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Allegretti's Bakery (Norridge)

    Post #1 - May 20th, 2006, 2:33 pm
    Post #1 - May 20th, 2006, 2:33 pm Post #1 - May 20th, 2006, 2:33 pm
    Image

    A friend of mine from work often times makes a nice gesture by bringing down a box of cannoli for the crowd from his favorite local bakery, Allegretti’s. I’ve never been one to see the beauty of most types of sweets but I find myself usually devouring one or two of these things without the least bit of trouble.
    The problem I have with most cannoli is that the filling, in most cases, is just too damn dense. These, however, have a wonderful lightness and weight that borders on irresistible. Its cheesy element is vibrant yet not overwhelming. And for about $1.50, I have to resist getting fifty of them at a crack. They also hand-fill them as you wait. Trix’s only complaint about them is that they’re about twice as big as normal.
    I don’t claim to be a cannoli maven or anything but one thing I do know for sure is that I absolutely love these!


    Image

    Allegretti's Bakery
    7717 W. Lawrence Ave
    Norridge
    (708) 453-4412
  • Post #2 - May 20th, 2006, 4:54 pm
    Post #2 - May 20th, 2006, 4:54 pm Post #2 - May 20th, 2006, 4:54 pm
    I have been to this bakery before and was not impressed at all with what I sampled. Evidently I missed the "go to" pastry. I'll be back for another visit after my next stop at Bob-O's for sure.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - May 21st, 2006, 3:50 am
    Post #3 - May 21st, 2006, 3:50 am Post #3 - May 21st, 2006, 3:50 am
    Pigmon,

    Heck of a good looking cannoli you have there.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - May 21st, 2006, 12:33 pm
    Post #4 - May 21st, 2006, 12:33 pm Post #4 - May 21st, 2006, 12:33 pm
    With all deserved respect to Pigmon & Trixie, a few observations about this cannoli:

    They should be filled just before purchase; imho this is a necessary step to have even a chance of a decent cannoli. The crust supposed to be somewhat brittle [after all, it's a fried dough] but light and tender; it's not supposed to be so tough that you need a pick-axe to get through it [as has been the case in some commercial cannoli I've sampled]. The thick, tough ones, again imho, are reverse engineered to stand up to the moistness of the ricotta filling.

    Also, I'm concerned about the bright green nuts at the end of the cannoli. The cannonical garnish is cruched pistacios, in some parishes and neigborhoods I'm lead to believe that chocolate shavings are permitted. This cannoli appears to have been inflicted with the dreaded GREEN DYED PEANUTS, a sign of a bakery that ... oh, I have deleted several perjorative terms here ... isn't as good as it should be. If by some chance these were really pistachios, I deeply apologize.

    The size strikes me as about right, and as the inheritor of the little tubes that Grandma Jenny used to make her cannoli shells with, I'll stand by this one unreservedly.

    Allegretti's Bakery is very near Casa di Giovanna, but I'll admit that I never go there. Trips down Harlem to Palermo Bakery make me very happy. [I want all of my calories to be GOOD calories]. Also, I'm pretty sure that this place is where the aunt I didn't like used to buy birthday cakes that I didn't like.

    If you're in the 'hood [and why didn't you stop by?]

    Sicilian Bakery
    5937 W. Lawrence Ave.
    Chicago, IL
    773-545-4464

    is my go-to place for Italian baked goods if I'm not in the mood to go down to Palermo Bakery. The zeppole were outstanding this year at St. Joseph's day. Don't like the pizza as much as Palermo, tho.

    And Palermo's right by Riviera....

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #5 - May 21st, 2006, 1:29 pm
    Post #5 - May 21st, 2006, 1:29 pm Post #5 - May 21st, 2006, 1:29 pm
    Giovanna,
    Like I said above, I'm no cannoli expert but I stand by my simple observation that this is a damn good one; green dye or not.
    Since it's right by your house, go try one and let's us know what you think.
  • Post #6 - May 24th, 2006, 5:17 pm
    Post #6 - May 24th, 2006, 5:17 pm Post #6 - May 24th, 2006, 5:17 pm
    PIGMON wrote:Since it's right by your house, go try one and let's us know what you think.


    All righty. I don't feel like I do enough to return all of the pleasure I derive from this board [it was either you or Gary who first exposed me to Knob Creek bourbon... thanks, I think]. So, I stopped by Allegretti's on my way home today and tried one of their cannoli.

    Eh.

    It may not be good for the know-it-all side of my character, but I diagnosed this puppy pretty accurately from the picture. The 'green' nut garnish was indeed dyed peanut. The shell was very thick [compared to home-made ones] and not sweetened or flavored that I could tell [which concurs with my grandmother's version, but not with Nicholas Malgieri's version*]. The filling was sweet and bland, with no cheese flavor and one lone, sad fleck of chocolate in it. The recipes I can find for cannoli filling all agree on ingredients that include at least sweetened ricotta, chopped bits of chocolate, and candied orange rind or citron. On the up side, the shell was fresh & the filling was pleasant enough [compared to a lot of other commercial bakery fillings].

    If you're in the neigborhood and want a cannoli, Conca di Oro on Northwest Hwy. next to Tony's Deli is my mom's go-to place for cannoli. Or, try out Sicilia Bakery on Lawrence or Sicilian Bakery at 4632 N Cumberland [which is the one I was thinking of last time anyway....]. I can't swear about the quality of their cannoli because I'll always get a custard eclair given the choice, but the bakeries are all-round good.

    Giovanna

    *Nicholas Malgieri's "Great Italian Desserts" came up in the sfogliatelle thread earlier, and you can never have too many cookbooks, especially about such important topics. This book's cannoli shell recipe includes marsala wine, cocoa powder, sugar and vinegar as flavorings.
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #7 - June 2nd, 2006, 9:19 am
    Post #7 - June 2nd, 2006, 9:19 am Post #7 - June 2nd, 2006, 9:19 am
    Pigmon contacted me after this exchange expressing a desire to sample some of the cannoli of my terrior. So, munch we did. Pigmon, Trixie Pea, stevez and I met in a nice little picnic area in Norridge Park, right around the corner from Allegretti's Bakery. This time, though, we sampled 5 cannoli from other bakeries; the plan was to taste them from Sicilian Bakery, Sicilia Bakery, Conca D'Oro Bakery, Palermo Bakery, and House of Cakes. The plan didn't quite work out [as so many plans in my experience don't...]. Conca D'Oro said that they were out of cannoli for the day [at 2 or 3 in the afternoon], so Pigmon & Trix went next-door to Tony's Deli and purchased cannoli from them.

    Enough exposition already. The five cannoli we sampled in increasing order of deliciousness are:

    5. Tony's Deli. Blecccch. A dreadful mistake to use the sacred term 'deliciousness' in proximity to this thing. Trixie Pea took one bite and made a face because the shell was not only stale and soggy, but had picked up some extra "deli flavor" from sitting around in the refrigerator. Can't remember any more what the filling tasted like, aside from stale and undistinguished.

    4. House of Cakes. The only cannoli that was filled to order, if I remember correctly. This one had a heavy shell with lots of cinnamon flavor [too much imho]. Filling had more sweetness to it than cheese flavor, a lot of chocolate bits, and an occasional taste of candied citron, but no actual pieces that I could see.

    3. Palermo Bakery. A good cannoli, but it was outshone by the other two. Shell was fresh tasting and of good heft - not too light, not too crunchy. Filling was creamy and smooth, with a noticable but not overwhelming cheese flavor. Not overwhelming quantities of citron or chocolate. Palermo will sell you cannoli with "pistachio" garnish on the ends, or candied fruit. I got a bite with candied orange peel on it that really made me wish local bakeries put more fruit stuff into their cannolis.

    Tied for first: Sicilia Bakery and Sicilian Bakery.
    It go SO confusing referencing which bakery what came from. But, shoot, the cannoli from both these places were good, so if you go to the wrong one by mistake, you're still golden.

    Sicilia Bakery: A good fresh, flaky shell, with just a touch of cinnamon in it; the lightest in the bunch. The first one had a LOT of citron in it, but little chocolate; we broke open a second one and the chocolate/citron ratio was reversed. It had a strong cheese flavor, and a texture and taste that made us wonder if it had mascarpone cheese in it in addition to ricotta.

    Sicilian Bakery: Again, a good fresh shell. A bit "cookie like". The owner claimed to Pigmon that he doesn't fill cannoli to order because he sells so many that he has to fill them every half hour anyway. Whatever the accuracy of this claim, the cannoli tasted nice and fresh. The filling had the strongest ricotta flavor of the bunch, and had been mixed up so that the graininess of the ricotta could still be felt. The first cannoli from here didn't have much apparent citron but a LOT of chocolate, the second one we broke open had a more even mix.

    A few notes: despite MY idea of when a cannoli should be filled, all except the Tony's had good shell texture. House of Cake's was too heavy for my taste... hard to bite through. At least none of the shells was too sweet. Disappointingly, it looked like NO ONE used real pistachio for garnish. [Sicilia Bakery may be the exception, I wouldn't want to swear... their garnish was the lightest.]

    I assume we'll show you some pictures of this extravaganza shortly. And when I have a moment's more time, I'll post on the "Sicilian Cheese Slice" survey we did as an add-on.

    Giovanna

    Sicilia Bakery
    5937 W. Lawrence Ave.
    Chicago

    Sicilian Bakery Inc
    4632 North Cumberland Avenue
    Norridge

    House of Cakes
    6189 North Canfield Avenue
    Chicago

    Conca D'oro Pastry Shop
    6710 N Northwest Hwy
    Chicago, IL 60631

    Palermo Bakery
    3317 N Harlem
    Chicago

    [edited to spell 'mascarpone' more correctly]
    Last edited by Giovanna on June 4th, 2006, 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #8 - June 2nd, 2006, 12:34 pm
    Post #8 - June 2nd, 2006, 12:34 pm Post #8 - June 2nd, 2006, 12:34 pm
    Giovanna wrote:5. Tony's Deli. Blecccch. A dreadful mistake to use the sacred term 'deliciousness' in proximity to this thing. Trixie Pea took one bite and made a face because the shell was not only stale and soggy, but had picked up some extra "deli flavor" from sitting around in the refrigerator.

    Giovanna,

    Many thanks to you, Pigmon, Trixie-Pea and Steve Z for the cannoli roundup. What great info to have at one's fingertips.

    One note about Tony's limp, soggy cannoli, don't buy the ones in the refrigerator case. Same as don't, ever, buy Italian subs from the refrigerated case.

    I'm a semi regular at Tony's, the wife likes the Italian Wedding soup, I like the subs and the occasional cannoli. For subs order at the deli counter, they will make it while you wait, for cannoli pick them up at the cash register where they are filled twice, maybe three, times a day. If there are none at the cash register, take a pass.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - June 2nd, 2006, 1:43 pm
    Post #9 - June 2nd, 2006, 1:43 pm Post #9 - June 2nd, 2006, 1:43 pm
    Giovanna—thanks for guiding us through the cannoli off, and describing what everything tasted like. Here’s what everything looked like.

    Sicilia Bakery
    Image
    Image

    Sicilian Bakery Inc
    Image
    Image

    House of Cakes
    Image
    Image

    Palermo Bakery
    Image

    Andy’s Deli (Where’s the love!?)
    Image

    Cannoli Eaters
    Image
  • Post #10 - June 3rd, 2006, 6:59 am
    Post #10 - June 3rd, 2006, 6:59 am Post #10 - June 3rd, 2006, 6:59 am
    It's amazing how clear cut the winners were (except, of course, for the two that tied for first place). In the interest of chow science, here are some more pictures showing closeups of the contenders in order of preference (last to first).

    #5 Tony's
    Image
    Someone forgot to completely fill the stale, off tasting shell

    #4 House of Cakes
    Image
    A fatty with a thick shell and unremarkable filling

    #3 Palermo Bakery
    Image
    Not bad at all, with extra points for the use of candied fruit as a garnish

    #1a Sicilia Bakery
    Image
    Very good shell and lots of citron as well as a hint of marscapone in the filling.

    #1b Sicilian Bakery
    Image
    Another good shell, more "cookie" like with lots of chocolate in the filling. The filling was a little denser and, as we came to describe it, grainier than the rest, which we universally liked.

    Mike's Pastry in Boston
    Image
    Cannoli from Mike's Pastry in Boston's North End. This is the standard bearer for me. Light creamy filling in a crisp, thin shell...filled to order with your choice of garnish (I opted for plain, in this case).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #11 - February 28th, 2019, 5:39 pm
    Post #11 - February 28th, 2019, 5:39 pm Post #11 - February 28th, 2019, 5:39 pm
    Allegretti's Bakery chocolate cake donut. Light crisp, moist, fluffy with rich chocolate fudge. One is too many, a dozen not enough.
    AllegrettisBakeryLTH1.jpg Chocolate Cake Donut


    Allegretti's Bakery, Count me a Fan!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more