When you think of an old-school Italian bakery, you probably think...New York. Boston. Providence. New Jersey. Or at least I do. I don't have actual evidence, but I feel like there is probably a higher concentration of such bakeries in the Northeast.
Albuquerque, New Mexico probably wouldn't even cross my mind in pondering old-fashioned Italian bakeries.
But as it turns out, such a place does exist--a bakery called Saratori's di Tully.
It's next-door to Tully's, an Italian specialty market that made me feel like I was in Philadelphia or New Jersey for a few moments--big, fat sandwiches at the deli counter, homemade ravioli both in the deli department and freezer, and more types of pasta than you can count. A great place, but you'll have to trust me on that. I'm here to talk about the sweets.
Saratori's di Tully, I hear, is named after two girls in the family--Sara and Tori. If that is true, I hope that both girls are extremely proud to have this establishment bear their names, because it's chock full of tasty stuff.
They make their cannoli to order, I should tell you that first. Although I have not tried one of these heavenly treats for myself, I have it on very good authority that they're good stuff.
I started with the "Spruzzare Biscotto", which was nice and tender and almond-y--a perfect cookie bite. The texture was very nice--slightly dry, but not like dry-out-yer-mouth. It would have been even better with an espresso, I think!
Next up was a fennel biscotto, which was lightly licorice-y (but not offensive to licorice haters) and not extremely sweet but more like a nice tea cookie. See the fennel seed? It added a nice little burst of flavor at irregular intervals. Sometimes it is nice to have your cookies challenge you a little, you know?
Finally, the "Nonna's Lemon Drop" cookie. It's a general rule that I hold that if it's named after Grandma, it's probably gonna be good. For me, this cookie led to several moments of nostalgia--not for my upbringing, but for the cookies I used to buy at Rocco's Pastry on Bleecker Street when I lived in New York City. If you've been there, you know what an excellent experience it is. Here's the cookie.
For a taste of the East Coast in the middle of Albuquerque...dudes and dudettes, you've got to go to Saratori's!
Saratori's di Tully, 1425 San Mateo Blvd, Albuquerque; more info here.