I was beyond excited to hear that Parfait ice cream truck owner Adria Shimada is opening her own shop. And that was before she told me about her patisserie plans that extend far beyond scoops and toppings.
Shimada launched Parfait’s brown-and-orange truck in 2009 and her superb (and organic) frozen wares regularly draw long lines at farmers markets and festivals (she does delivery and mail order, too). But she’s also a culinary school graduate, a Francophile, and a veteran of several Bay Area restaurant kitchens. So her 1,000-square-foot space in Ballard will serve scoops, certainly, but also ice cream creations like profiteroles filled with ice cream, wee ice cream sandwiches, confections, and artful ice cream cakes and pies (thus ending my yearly quest for a grown-up ice cream cake on my birthday). Accompanying all this ice cream: baked goods like canneles, madeleines, clafoutis, tarte tatin, brownies, and what Shimada promises is the world's best-ever rugelah.The shop will be at 2034 NW 56th Street, on the new, supersustainable Greenfire campus and right next door to Skillet Diner. Shimada refers to it as Parfait’s atelier, in part because the Graham Baba design includes a towering wall of windows right behind the counter so visitors can witness all the mint stemming, lemon juicing, whisking, baking, and other labors of love that happens in the kitchen space.
“My needs are really different from that of an ice cream shop,” Shimada says about the kitchen she got to design from scratch. Parfait is a rare operation that makes its own ice cream base—a custardlike substance that demands additional time and attention, not to mention a particular blend of ingredients for each of Parfait’s flavors.
Having more space means being able to make things like hand-dipped ice cream bars, as well as push pops, a carefully wrought organic version of those frozen sweets in the cardboard tubes I remember from childhood. Shimada even found translucent tubes that are reusable and recyclable. She’s envisioning a case filled with flavors like blackberry, lemon, and orange. Parfait will also do its own sodas using house syrups made with the same seasonal, organic produce from local farms (strawberries, blueberries, nectarines) that goes into its ice cream.Parfait is shooting for an August opening; the hours are tentatively set for noon to 11 every day. A play area stocked with items from nearby Clover toy store will cater to the family crowds, while the Caffe Fiore pour-over will appeal to nighttime sweets-seekers.