With pea at home, food for me these days consists of anything microwaveable. So any chance to dine out involves a thorough search of something good and unique.
That brought us to Lumpia Shack Snackbar, a tiny space in the West Village bursting with character and fried aromas. Lumpias are fried spring rolls, served here in six juicy bit-size pieces. But they offer so much more than that.
Order their namesake item of course, but save room for the rice bowls and sisig poutine. The portions are sizable and the flavors heavy, so I’d recommend ordering family style so you can try a bit of everything.
Out of our rice bowls, I enjoyed the pork belly with bicol sauce, which is a dense coconut milk that mutes the meat and pickled radishes in a really lovely way. The sisig routine is not for the faint of heart — fries, doused in thick adobo gravy, oozy cheese curds, sharp chili, all mixed with a sisig of pork belly and pig ears.
They also offer a ramen burger. It’s small for $11.50 a pop, but to be honest, the only appropriate portion size for anything that consists of pork belly, garlic chili and buns made up of packed ramen, which they get from shimamoto.
Their pancit noodle bowls are a bit more traditional, with a medley of vegetables, egg and light citrus-y dressing.
Places like Lumpia are what really makes the New York food scene what it is, not the Masas or Per Ses. Their service was genuine, even offering us a bunch of calimansi lemonades for ordering so much. This gem of a snack bar has a front of house that takes up no more than 200 square feet and offers no more than six of so bar stools, but these are the great finds that makes city eating so much fun.