There's a new kid on the cannoli block: Thinking Cup, the coffee nut's paradise facing the Common, recently opened a second location smack dab in the middle of Hanover Street. And it's not just offering quality cups of Joe and snacks. A little bird told us that executive pastry chef Thao Nguyen-Rich wouldn't be shy about going head to head with the neighborhood's resident cannoli kings — like Mike's Pastry, Modern Pastry, and Maria's Pastry Shop. Whose creamy ricotta filling would reign supreme? Whose crust would crumble under the pressure? We tapped four impartial cannoli lovers in our office for a blind taste test, to find out once and for all if the newbs at Thinking Cup have what it takes to steal the crown.
MODERN PASTRY (A)
Carly Carioli, editor in chief: "Tastes like a cannoli . . . but not the best one I've ever had. The filling is a little bit grainy. The crust on mine is significantly lighter too; it looks like the others are a little burnt."
Jackie Houton, managing editor: "Not bad! I wouldn't kick it out of my fridge, though it's not the best I've had. I think the filling leaves a little to be desired."
Thomas Page McBee, staff editor: "I like the crust. It has enough sugar, for sure. I like it overall."
S.I. Rosenbaum, staff editor: "I like the crust a lot, definitely."
MIKE'S PASTRY (B)*
Carly: "Where am I supposed to put this thing?? This one is just a little too much for me. The crust is a little sharp, too."
Jackie: "It's definitely the girthiest. It's almost a little dry, actually."
Thomas: "I feel really intimidated by this one. Definitely too much filling, and I can't tell if it's any good because it's overwhelming. I got a soggy crust. . . . I just felt really offended by this one."
S.I.: "I cannot put my hand around it! Too much filling, I think. The crust is kind of soggy. I don't like it. I'm finding it pushy and ostentatious."