Street Food

Mobile Munchie Mavens

Meet Adria Shimada of ice cream truck Parfait.

By Nick Feldman July 21, 2009


PARFAIT is only in its second week of business, but Adria Shimada’s mobile ice cream parlor is already making Seattleites all scream for ice cream—again (see Molly Moons, Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream, Old School Frozen Custard).

Parfait follows a motto of, “Ice cream isn’t health food, but it doesn’t have to be junk food.” Shimada, a trained pastry chef, models her mobile cart after a fine French bakery; she goes to great lengths to make every batch completely from scratch using organic and locally sourced ingredients—no corn syrup or preservatives in these scoops— and even hand rolls each cone.

The result is deliciously creamy and uncommonly bold, fresh flavors. With a $10 bill, both my date and I went for a single scoop in a confectioner’s cone. We sampled vanilla, chocolate, apricot sorbet, mint stracciatella, and butter toffee crunch. It’s $3.75 for the scoop, and $.75 for the cone.

How long have you been truckin’?
I just launched on Friday, July 10! It’s been a crazy-busy couple of weeks.

Where do you post up, and why?
Right now I’m outside the Caffé Fioré on Queen Anne on Friday afternoons and their shop on Sunset Hill on Saturday afternoons. I want Parfait to be a neighborhood parlor—even though I can move around—and I feel like those coffee shops tend to be cornerstones of the community. [note: check out OUR MAP for locations.]

Next week I’ll be expanding to the third Fioré location on Leary Avenue in Ballard, and I’ve been invited to the Queen Anne farmers market—so it looks like I’m going to be a Ballard and Queen Anne truck!

Why did you choose the mobile life?
In some ways it evolved out of necessity; the truck made sense in a recession economy and for the product I wanted to make. The cost of my ingredients is three times higher and far more labor intensive because everything is organic and made from scratch, so instead of investing capital into overhead I invested in ingredients. A small venue just makes sense when you’re making a truly artisan product.

What’s the must-try item?
My menu’s going to change often—seasonally and a little on my whim—but there will be a few classics. At this time of year my favorite is the Fresh Mint Stracciatella. It’s a grown-up mint, not at all like a candy cane. But my two other picks are the Meyer Lemon Bar and the Butter Toffee Crunch, made with homemade toffee.

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