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The Kid and The Cannoli

March 14, 2018

Listen to your mother.

It’s generally good advice. My own mother wants me to fatten up my son. I’m sure she would put it a different way. But as a result of her encouragement, I continually encourage him to eat delicious things, and perhaps in greater quantities than he would if left to his own devices.

The kid is thin as a rail. His doctor says he’s very healthy. But if anybody out there has a Jewish mother… you know… they worry.

Love. It’s all love. And food. Which is also love. So I’m hoping that my mom will particularly enjoy this story. It’s just a coincidence that it’s being posted on Pi Day, and those who live in the Capital Region should take special note.

Because there’s a great cannoli hiding in plain sight at one of our best pizza parlors. And I’m pretty sure it’s not on anybody’s radar.

For the record, I’m usually clued into discoveries like this from the local Yelp community. But this one was all on my own, largely because I was eating with my eyes, and I was well aware of the standard of excellence that exists at this expanding pizza shop in Guilderland.

Marisa’s Place.

If the name isn’t familiar to you, you have somehow missed the All Over Albany Tournament of Pizza archive.

In the last few years of the competition, this shop consistently came in at the top of the Albany bracket. One year it won the whole thing. And while DeFazio’s in Troy and Marino’s in Schenectady are both excellent, neither are New York style slice shops.

Marisa’s is.

Not too long ago, I got to witness the owner training a new employee about how to make the pizza. I wish I could have recorded the entire session. It was brilliant. At one point Antonio was teaching the new guy about how to apply the sauce to the dough, and was likening the process to an artist’s paintbrush.

It might sound precious, but it was so heartfelt and without pretense that I was floored. The moment actually compelled me to go up and let the trainee know that he was truly in the presence of a master, and the he could learn a lot by heeding these teachings.

I probably put it a different way at the time, but I digress.

On the counter of Marisa’s, by the register, is a covered cake stand. And inside that glass dome are a stack of gorgeous cannoli shells. Shells, of course, because they are properly unfilled. And gorgeous based on their deep burnished color, not to mention the texture of fried dough blisters dotting the outsides.

My kid is a bit of a cannoli connoisseur. If you recall, we had that outing in Montreal where he conditionally ordered the cannoli if they would fill it fresh to order. That’s my boy.

He went with the traditional chocolate chip filling at Marisa’s and loved it.

I got to have a little taste of it too, and man was that fantastically creamy. Although I’m less into chocolate chips. What I did learn was that they also make a lemon pistachio cannoli filling as well, and that sounds like it has my name all over it. I’ll just need to wait until after my next round of bloodwork.

Deep fried cookies filled with sweetened cheese are amazingly not on my current diet.

They are great for fattening up your skinny kid though. Especially if he loves them. Except somehow, I managed to get a much more sensible kid than I deserve. Because he loves them so much, he wants to keep them a special treat. My hope was that going once a week would keep it special. But no. That would apparently bring them down to the level of an everyday indulgence. In many ways, he’s his mother’s son.

So, it’s back to the drawing board for me. For you, it’s off to Marisa’s. Because Pi Day. So get your slice, grab a cannoli, and experience both the savory and sweet goodness of Guilderland’s best.

And don’t forget to file away the taste memory of that slice. You’ll need it for Saturday’s Tour de Slice: Schenectady. You’re going right? You should go. It’s going to be delicious.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2018 10:54 am

    At her most recent checkup, the doctor told me and my wife that our kid is underweight. She is a skinny bean for sure, but she is by no means malnourished, she eats far healthier and better than I lot of kids I know. Frankly, I’m shocked at the crap most parents feed their kids every day.

    No matter what the doctor said, I have no concerns. She’s otherwise perfectly healthy and is also a very happy kid.

    I like that she’s thin. With obesity becoming more and more of a problem for kids in America, I’m very thankful our kid is naturally thin and we don’t have to fight that battle. I’ve no desire to fatten her up. Both my wife and I were very skinny when we were kids, it’s in her genes.

    I’m sure as she gets older (and with the influence of her father) she’ll discover the joy of eating, and she’ll gain weight.

  2. Beck permalink
    March 14, 2018 11:20 am

    As the mother of another young cannoli lover, thank you for the tip!

  3. albanylandlord permalink
    March 19, 2018 9:00 pm

    I will second the excellence of Marisa’s cannolis. I too discovered them on my last visit. I wonder how long they have been there waiting for me?

  4. -R. permalink
    March 22, 2018 9:45 am

    I had never been to Marisa’s Place until yesterday evening. Since I was up in them parts picking up the cats at the vet’s office (dental work – wallet says ouch), I figured I’d stop by for a coupe of slices to go (plain cheese and a mushroom slice – cold – I reheated in the oven at home). Oh yes, and a cannoli.

    Holy crap. Aside from a pie in house at my beloved DeFazio’s, this place easily has the best slice I’ve encountered in the wilds of the Capital District. No contest. If only they weren’t so far from my house, I’d get a pie from them on a weekly basis. So damn good. You can easily taste the quality of the ingredients and the love.

    The lemon-pistachio cannoli was excellent, but I’ve been spoiled by too many trips to Italy. But I’d get one again.

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