Saturday, October 13, 2007

Andreoli and Mercato del Gelato

Yesterday we finally tried Andreoli Italian Grocer. It's a market/deli that also has food available for taking out or eating there. They opened a few months ago and I've been reading really good things about the place.

We shared the panino di caio (panino with thinly sliced ribeye steak, fontina cheese and onions) and an order of tiramisu.

All of their specials sounded really good as well. I can't remember the exact details, but there were some pretty unique items: rabbit, venison, baby bass...

The panino was fantastic. The beef was extremely tender and full of flavor. The bread (made on-site) had a nice and crispy crust. The accompanying side salad was just ok - romaine lettuce tossed w/ oil and pepper.
Andreoli - panino di caio
The tiramisu was great - one of the best we've ever had. It was pretty light and had a great coffee flavor. I also liked that the alcohol flavor wasn't too strong and overpowering.
Andreoli - tiramisu
It's too bad that we live so far from Andreoli, otherwise we'd be regulars there.

On our way back home, we stopped by Tempe Marketplace to walk around. It's very similar to Desert Ridge in North Phoenix - an open-air mall with a bunch of big box retailers surrounding it. The stores in the mall itself all seem to be targeted towards the teen crowd (Wet Seal, Gap, Aeropostale....). There is nothing exciting in terms of the dining options, except for Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, which I want to try. The big box retailers - yet another Ross, Michael's, Old Navy, etc. The same thing you can find all over the city. Yawn.

We walked by a gelato shop called Mercato del Gelato and decided to give it a try. We first tried a sample of their hazelnut gelato. It had a powdery texture and weak hazelnut flavor. Pass. Next we sampled the pineapple sorbet. It had a strange and artificial flavor. Pass. Not wanting to just walk out, we got a small dish of the lemon sorbet (how bad can lemon sorbet be?). We should have passed on this as well. Similar to the pineapple sorbet, the lemon sorbet tasted strange and artificial. We ended up eating a few bites and tossing it. I'm guessing they are using a bunch of pre-made bases and mixes. Yuck. I definitely recommend passing on Mercato del Gelato and heading to Arlecchino Gelateria for some real gelato.


Yankee1969 said...

We tried Andeoli a while back. It was ok, but unlike everyone else, we weren't blown away. I enjoyed my sandwich, but I wish they weren't so authentic in their drink selection or at least had something reasonably priced.
I think it was in Michelle Laudig's article in the New Times earlier this year on Arlechino that if a gelato place has more than 8 or 10 flavors, you're better off just walking out, since they are probably all made from a mix. I'm not sure if that's always true, but that always goes through my head when new places open up that have a huge variety of flavors. Not that we don't enjoy hitting The Gelato Spot near us on Greeenway from time to time. I just wish parking at Arlechino/LGO wasn't such a life-or-death nightmare.

Anonymous said...

I know the chef at Mercato del Gelato and she is not making from a mix as she is a professional chef. Most of the other places in town (Gelato Spot, Angel Sweet, Gelato Premio, etc) are using high school kids to make the gelato. Arlechino is doing some things from scratch but also purchases mixes from multiple suppliers despite his comments in various news articles about everything being from scratch and people breaking into his shop for his recipes ... whatever. Also, you may want to check out the Maricopa County Environmental Services record on Arlechino's sanitary habits ... scary!

Andy said...

anonymous -

Sound like I may have hit a nerve?!? Regardless, thanks for your comments. What I have written is just my opinion. If you disagree, I respect whatever your (and anyone else's) opinion is. I let my taste buds decide.

Also, I did check Arlecchino's report and didn't find anything that I would consider "scary".

Anonymous said...

I went to Mercato del Gelato for the first time last week, it was AMAZING!! I disagree with your analysis of their flavors. If I had to choose a favorite, I'm not sure I could. Also, their facility was very clean and had a positive atmosphere. I plan to return very soon.