Marrickville locals had been eagerly waiting for more than two months for the opening of Pagoto Gelato & Waffle House. A spectacular piece of commissioned street art by local artist Mr Grizzle appeared on Victoria Road announcing its arrival, and locals have been happily queueing ever since it opened on Friday February 13. Any bad vibes created by its opening date were no doubt dispelled by the blessing it received from a Greek Orthodox priest the same week.
Pagoto is the Greek word for ice cream, and Pagoto’s business partners Katerina Magoulias and Chris Felemegas say that “The actual concept started in Greece,” with the success of ice-cream chains there during the recent recession – proving that when times are tough, people can still shell out for frozen treats. Pagoto draws very much on the pair’s Hellenic heritage. Flavours such as baklava, diples and kataifi are based on Greek pastries. An interesting, very popular flavour is watermelon and fetta. Others are made with mastic, a rare tree resin used in Greece to make ice-cream and chewing gum.
More conventional favourites such as cookies and cream, chocolate and caramel slice crunch are also on the list of 36 flavours. Magoulias, a former chef, is also the creative force behind the store’s retro look and is developing more. (But is it a coincidence that the ever-popular Gelato Messina created a baklava-rosewater gelato the week before Pagoto opened?) Our impression of Pagoto’s tsoureki affogato (Easter brioche, with coffee flavour) was that it is not yet a match for the Enmore gelataria Cow & Moon’s prize-winning caramel-almond affrogato creation. Waffles with various toppings and coffee are also served. Plans are on the board for more Pagoto outlets —so bring on the ice-cream wars, where the customer always ends up winning.