Lilian Wanandy-Perez and her husband, Kevin Perez, who own and run the new Mosaic District store Poffy, built their relationship on gustatory travel and exploring international recipes at home. Then they had children—with food allergies.
“I love eating ice cream in Italy,” says Wanandy-Perez, sharing an example. “My kids never can enjoy that. I want to do something anybody can enjoy.”
When she began thinking about how she could create a treat her children and other folks with allergies could enjoy, one of her inspirations was a tiny Belgian waffle shop in Japan. “You can even smell it from down the street. You have a great feeling when you get their stuff,” she recalls.
She realized she could replicate that curb appeal with the poffertjes the couple made at home. Poffertjes are bite-size Dutch pancakes usually sold by street vendors. (Wanandy-Perez is of Indonesian heritage, a former colony of the Netherlands.) For a unique twist, the Perezes stuff the treat, more like aebleskivers, or Danish pancake balls.
The greatest marvel is that they figured out how to do it while leaving out seven of the nine major food allergens. Their creations do include gluten but omit other significant triggers like dairy, eggs, and nuts. And the treats attract diners regardless of their restrictions.
A range of flavors allows guests to design their confections in sweet or savory style. Fillings include not just cookie butter and fruits, but Spam and bacon. Highlights on the menu include chocolate pancakes—melty with hot chocolate chips and drizzled with berry coulis—and Indonesian-style green-colored pandan filled with palm sugar. Both are endearingly buoyant bites light on the sugar.
Mosaic District, Fairfax, poffy.net