Many, many yesterdays ago, I was playing with a Parmesan shaker, lost my balance, tipped over the booth I had been kneeling on and conked my head. The cushy pleather booths may no longer be there, but 25 years later, Italian Delight is still standing, still delicious.
So is it Avellutto’s or is it Italian Delight? The restaurant’s full name is Italian Delight by Avellutto, something I literally had no idea of until I googled the address so I could drop by last time I was in Kansas City. We always visit when we’re in town, although this here is located in Mission. Tomato, tomahto.
I am not exaggerating when I say I’ve been dreaming about this Stromboli for 8 years (I’m also ashamed to admit that’s how long it’s been since I’ve set foot in my hometown). That’s neither here nor there. Back to the glorious Stromboli: “Pepperoni, sausage, and mozzarella cheese with sauce. Mushrooms are optional”, per the menu.
And speaking of tomahto, you should know I have an intense love/hate relationship with tomato sauce. Usually it’s hate. Whenever I order Domino’s (which is more often than I should), I always ask for “Light Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce”, whatever the hell Robust Inspired means. I feel tomato sauce is botched 90% of the time, and dumping sugar in it is no substitute for properly roasting tomatoes, the same way using garlic and onion powder does not replace sauteeing real garlic and onion. Sure, you can use powder to enhance, but it should never be used as a replacement. Long story short, I usually avoid tomato sauce unless I make it myself. Is it snobby? Maybe. Is my tomato sauce absolutely delicious? Damn right it is.
So imagine my surprise when said Stromboli comes out looking like this:
I mean sure, the menu said sauce, I just didn’t expect it to be THAT MUCH. Of course, I wasn’t going to send it back (If you send food back when there is nothing wrong with it, I am absolutely judging you rn), so I just sort of pushed the sauce to the side, cut off the pieces that had no sauce on them, and started from the center. YOU GUYS. The sauce was delicious. Like, really, really good. And the Stromboli itself is so ridiculously cheesy it balances out the sauce really well. Pepperoni and sausage are as good as they can be, and I cannot stress this enough: get the damn mushrooms. They’re so good.
Splitting three desserts is easier than deciding on a single one.
The Cannoli are made fresh after you’re done with entrees. None of that pre-packaged, chewy, palate-coating, fatty Carlo’s nonsense. These are crispy, light, and not too sweet. *Insert Thanos Perfectly Balanced meme here*
Ah, Tiramisu, how I love you so. And this one is no exception. Absolutely no unnecessary stuff added, proving once more that sometimes simple things are best. A very generous dusting of coffee + cocoa seals the deal.
Last but not least is the spumoni cheesecake, something I have no reference for. I’ve never had spumoni nor spumoni cheesecake, so I was looking forward to this the most. The top layer is some sort of vanilla-almond whipped cream/foam, topped with crystallized cherries and almond. The middle layer is cherry cheesecake with chopped cherries mixed in, giving it a really nice contrast to the creaminess. The last layer was plain pistachio cheesecake, no mix-ins. As far as trying things for the first time go, this was great.
If that wasn’t enough, we also got a box of Italian cookies to go, out of which I only ended up trying one, and as much as I would love to tell you how it was, at this point I was already halfway into my food coma and have exactly cero recollection of what it tasted like. If the rest of the desserts are any indication though, they were all excellent.
Nostalgia itself wouldn’t be a compelling reason to come back, but the food is so good, it is always worth it. I just wish they would put the booths up again.
Italian Delight is located on 6522 Martway St, Mission, KS 66202. Open Monday – Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm and Sundays from 12 pm to 7 pm.