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An arsenal of ice cream

Mobile eatery turned patisserie, Parfait offers tasty confection

Anna Ferkingstad, News Editor
Originally published December 18, 2013

Ruby StaufferOriginally a food truck, Parfait, emphasizes ice cream as a "small batch made from scratch." Three scoop sizes are available, with a mini at $2.00, single at $3.00, and a double at $5.00. Hand made waffle cones are an extra $1.00.

Ruby Stauffer

Originally a food truck, Parfait, emphasizes ice cream as a “small batch made from scratch.” Three scoop sizes are available, with a mini at $2.00, single at $3.00, and a double at $5.00. Hand made waffle cones are an extra $1.00.

Creamy, local, flavorful ice cream. Homemade push pops that scream of childhood. Friendly service and welcoming decor. Parfait’s new location in Ballard is a tucked away gem.

Parfait, a mobile eatery turned patisserie, opened the doors at its new Ballard location in the Greenfire Campus building at 2034 NW 56th Street last September. Originally a food truck, Parfait was started by Adria Shimada in 2009, with the hope of combining artisanal desserts and local ingredients, all while keeping a small carbon footprint.

The 1,000-square-foot space serves scoops, as well as a variety of ice cream creations and baked goods. From the sleek metal tables to the sustainable ingredients, the restaurant hasn’t lost the urban flare that was so unique to a food truck — it has just made it stationary.

With the wafting scents of fresh waffle cone, it’s hard to walk in there and resist a scoop of ice cream, despite the goose-bump producing temperatures of winter. Small chalkboards reveal the days’ flavors, which depend on the season and the ingredients available.

Some fall and winter flavors include, but are not limited to, Pumpkin Spice, Butter Toffee Crunch and Cinnamon Stick. Notable flavors include the Fleur de Caramel and Orange Star-Anise, which both offer the deeper and warmer flavors one often wants on a winter day. The Fleur de Caramel exudes the classic homie caramel taste but with a subdued creamy undertone. A scoop of the Orange Star-Anise, on the other hand, will redefine your definition of a creamsicle, allowing a citrus tang to collide with the familiar essence of vanilla and licorice.

For those desiring a reminder of summer, the vegan Pear and Vanilla Sorbet has a thicker consistency with citrusy and fruity hues.  Three scoop sizes are available, with a Mini at $2.00, Single at $3.00, and a Double at $5.00. They also offer buttery hand made waffle cones for an extra $1.00.

If plain ice cream isn’t enough, they also offer an array of homemade toppings including dark chocolate sauce, vanilla bean caramel sauce, hazelnut toffee and fresh whipped cream for $1.00 each. Other ice cream confections, such as ice cream cakes, milkshakes, push pops, and wee little ice cream sandwiches, vary in price.

However, if ice cream is not for you, there are still a variety of options to choose from. The partisan hot chocolate is fresh and has the classic chocolatey taste accompanied by a reassuring warmth for a blustery winter day. There is also a selection of baked goods ranging from canneles, madeleines, brownies to clafoutis, tarte tatin, and rugelahs. These two bite pastries are almost as mouth watering as the ice cream and will  transport you to the petite artisinal bakeries of France, from which Shimada originally found her inspiration. Known as “portable creme brulees,” the Cannelés de Bordeaux stands out with a contrasting mouth watering crunchy caramelized exterior and a moist and creamy custardy center. The choices in the pastry case, including the Cannelés de Bordeaux, often range from $3.00 to $5.00.

Another ice cream place in Ballard, “so what?” you may ask. Although Parfait joins well populated stores, such as Cupcake Royale, Molly Moon’s, D’Ambrosio, Hot Cakes, and Full Tilt, it is unique. The only ice cream producer in the area that creates their base from scratch, Parfait ice cream is truly different. And truly original.

From the location in the newly created eco-friendly Green Campus Building to the little green sprouts pushing out of the dirt in an array of little gardens right outside the front door, it is evident that Shimada makes no compromise on the “made from scratch” motto. All other ingredients, such as milk and eggs, come from local farms and producers. Prior to opening the patisserie, the food truck was a common sight at a plethora of Seattle Farmers Markets.

Although Parfait is easily missed from the street, it is the kind of eatery you should be looking for. The flavors and decent prices far exceed many of the ice cream places in its proximity. Parfait makes the perfect after school stop whether you emphasize the straight from farm regimen or are just craving a scoop!


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An arsenal of ice cream