My husband’s still a bit under the weather–and it was a glorious day here in Seattle–so the puppies and I left him sleeping and ran errands for a while. I got the dogs’ nails trimmed–traumatic for us all–and then on our way home, I decided we needed a treat for brunch: Lumpia!
If you’ve never had lumpia before, they’re basically the Filipino version of eggrolls, and our favorite place to eat lumpia in the Seattle area is a relatively new restaurant: Family Time Restaurant.
Family Time opened about a year now, and it’s rapidly become one of our favorite places to grab a snack. Their website gives you additional information, but if you just need the address … it’s:
Since I had a sick husband at home, I basically just ran in for take-out. Nonetheless, they sat me at a table with a glass of water while I waited for my lumpia. That small touch is one of the things that makes Family Time a great place to eat.
My brief wait was also worth it. The Lumpia Shanghi was awesome!
In addition, I grabbed the last piece of cassava cake in the dessert case!
Together, they made a delicious brunch!
Like all egg roll-type creations, there are as many different lumpia recipes as there are Filipino cooks. I’ve eaten lumpia stuffed with lots of veggies, with veggies and meat, with veggies and scrambled eggs, and even with sweetened bananas … which are some of my favorites, especially when they’re hot.
I especially enjoy the lumpia they make at Family Time, and the reason why is simple: they’re stuffed with a mix of minced beef, savory vegetables, and white and sweet potatoes! That meat and potato combo makes them some of the most interesting egg rolls I’ve ever eaten, plus they serve them with a sweet and spicy chili sauce that sets them off perfectly, one that’s sweet, savory, and vinegary … all at the same time! We’ve tried several other things on the menu … some interesting, some not so interesting … but we’ve just basically decided that a great meal for us is best kept simple: three orders of lumpia
The cassava cake added a rich, sweet finish to our savory lumpia brunch. I’ve never made it myself, but I’ve enjoyed it many, many times! If you’ve never eaten cassava before, it’s the starchy root they use to make tapioca. Shredded, cassava root has the consistency of thick shredded fresh coconut, with a mild taste that lends itself well to whatever other flavor you add to it. In the case of classic Filipino cassava cake–like our Family Time offering–that flavoring is often coconut milk. Panlasang Pinoy offers a recipe for it here that–from the looks of it–would give you the same sort of yummy cassava cake we enjoyed today. It’s basically a custard-based cake, lightly vanilla-flavored and full of crunchy shredded cassava! It’s crispy and creamy and sweet and light … all at the same time!
Final score: Based off of the two things I ordered today–lumpia and cassava cake–I’ll give Family Time a solid A. However, I must be honest and say that I haven’t been quite as enamored of some of the other things I’ve tried there in the past. It’s a combination of several factors that make me say that: both that I didn’t necessarily like the dishes that I tried (for example: the chicken adobo … I didn’t like the overall seasonings on it: it was too vinegary for me) and/or that I didn’t like the way they fixed it (for example: the crispy pata, the fried ham hock … which was too tough for me to eat, unfortunately … despite the delicious flavor) … but that doesn’t stop me from really loving their lumpia and their cassava cake.
I guess what that says is simple: just because you only like one or two things on the menu … don’t let that stop you from enjoying the restaurant