Combine one graphic designer and one marketing mastermind. Add a hot griddle and a bunch of fresh ingredients. Shake it all together with diverse flavor profiles and an appreciation for both sweet and savory. Stick it on a toothpick and serve at your local food market–you’ve got Poffees, a new mini pancake pop-up created by Greenpoint couple Dan Dalzotto and Lindsay Liu.
Poffertjes, originally a Dutch treat served at markets or festivals, are made in batches on a large cast iron griddle with small indentations, creating a spongy miniature pancake traditionally served with powdered sugar. Dalzotto, who grew up in Melbourne Australia, grew up on the treat and shared it with his girlfriend Liu, who has been a dedicated foodie when not working her day job in marketing. “It’s like a mini pancake but with more burn bits and smothered in butter,” says Dalzotto. The duo wanted to bring some variety to the delicious little puffs and make them as diverse as their backgrounds. From maple bacon to banana Nutella to parmesan pesto to scallion pancake with ponzu sauce, these bite size snacks hit both sugar and salt cravings and are the perfect snack while roaming food fairs like the Queens Night Market or Hester Street Fair, where Poffees will be sold regularly this summer.
All images © Poffees
Greenpointers caught up with Liu and Dalzotto during their official launch this week about their new business run out out of their Greenpoint apartment, their hopes for even more taste profiles from around the world, and how these mini pancakes brought them together as a couple.
Greenpointers: How did Poffees get started?
Dan: I grew up eating these in the local market in Melbourne. It’s a Dutch thing, and after the occupation in Australia they stayed around at the local farmers markets. It’s funny, these aren’t in New York at all. The traditional way is just butter and a little powdered sugar, but we’re in Brooklyn now. So we have to spice it up. Lindsay has a bit of east influence, I have Italian influence, so we are creating a lot of different flavors.
Lindsay: I’ve always been really interested in food, I’ve had a food blog, and when we decided to start making these mini pancakes we wanted to elevate the flavors as well as show off the original. We have scallion pancakes, or ones with pesto and parmesan… there are so many ways to eat them, and they are such fun, easy snacks.
GP: The flavor changes so much depending on the topping, it’s nice to have something that can have such a range between sweet and savory.
D: They are a great palette for flavors. The good thing about it is that it’s not rocket science. I studied gastronomy in Argentina, and we both love cooking, but this business is very new to us. I’m a designer during the day, and Lindsay is in marketing, so it’s been great to be able to do something so different.
L: We work on computers all day, sitting at a desk staring at two screens for 10 hours a day. It’s been amazing to take the weekends and really be able to use our hands.
GP: How did you guys meet?
D: Well, I kissed someone at work…
L: And then I left! And he said he wanted to work together again, so we started a company. It was a business plan…
D: She said yes! And we are so happy. What better way to tear your relationship apart or make it so much stronger than standing behind a hot cooker together? There’s a couple that’s been doing this for over 20 years in Melbourne, and they only work two days a week! That’s a dream. And to make people so happy with food.
GP: Do you have further plans for new Poffees?
D: We want to expand the flavors. Maybe a dulce de leche with a crumb, or more savory flavors, and we’d love suggestions. You could even put a meatball on these Poffees, there are so many options. It can be a meal, an in between snack, just a sweet thing. We are toying around with making some with cornmeal, like an arepa.
L: We would like to make some that our vegan friends can eat, too.
GP: Where can we get Poffees?
L: Hester Street Fair. The Queens Night Market. And more soon. The best thing about New York is there are so many places to serve these. We can be in Brooklyn one day, then Queens, then Manhattan. I have a tiny Toyota and we can just pack it all in there and go, there’s not too much of a production. The whole operation is run out of our apartment in Greenpoint, right above Torst!
GP: What’s the next step?
D: We would love to have a residency at a bar. Serve them up during brunch or something. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday. Were not going to be millionaires from this, but we love working with our hands and around the neighborhood and really just making people happy.
Follow Poffees on Instagram to find out where they will be selling!