Pleasant Pops has a pretty strong frozen pop game with flavors like orange chai and blueberry pancake. But just around the corner from the shop's new downtown D.C. location, Woodward Takeout Food is adding some competition with a new line of even more precious, ornate cold treats on a stick.
Executive Pastry Chef Antonio Lisbino, who also oversees Woodward Table and Bistro Bis, recently began creating pops in flavors like tiramisu semifreddo with caramel chocolate popcorn and toasted brioche with pistachio and granola. Unlike your typical Popsicle, these are dressed up like little pastries in the window of a Parisian boulangerie. Surprisingly, the toppings (mostly) stay attached, so you can hold the dessert upright.
Lisbino says as a kid growing up in Naples, his mom used to make him frozen pops. His pops, with semifreddo or custard bases, are a little fancier, to say the least. And they cost $4 each. The former Cafe Milano pastry chef wanted to create something that was beautiful and also had a crunchy element. The texture is a little softer than your typical fruit pop.
Of the four I've sampled, the coconut mango pops (which are the only flavor also available at Woodward Table next door) are the standouts, followed by the tiramisu, which has cake swirled in. The brioche-based pops are a little less flavorful, but thankfully, not overly sweet. To make them, Lisbino soaks brioche in milk overnight, then uses the milk to make the pop.
Lisbino has about six different frozen pops in rotation right now. He plans to frequently add new flavors. One of his next creations will incorporate Italian doughnuts called bomboloni. Look out for the cold treats through September.
Woodward Takeout Food, 1426 H St. NW; (202) 347-5355; woodwardtable.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman