Lumpia is one of those foods that I absolutely love, but just don’t eat nearly enough. That’s why I’ve been stalking Danilo’s Famous Lumpia for a while, hoping to catch up with them and give their lumpia a try. Danilo’s Famous Lumpia is out and about a lot in their fairly non-descript little white and red-trimmed trailer. They are a regular in the lunch rotation at the Jax Food Truck Food Court. And they can be found at various apartment communities for dinner throughout the week. We finally caught up with them at one of their other regular spots…Academy Sports & Outdoors on Atlantic Boulevard Saturdays for lunch. It had just stopped raining (storming, really…wind, lightening, the works), so we were afraid as we pulled into the parking lot that they might have been packing up and calling it a day. Boy, are we glad they stuck around and waited for clearer weather. We were excited to finally give them a try.
Their menu is pretty simple and straightforward, with just a handful of items. Just like the trailer itself, they have stuck to the basics as far as their menu goes. I like that Danilo’s is a no-frills, no-gimmicks kind of operation. They clearly stick to what they do well and what works for them. For me, the choice was simple – I wanted lumpia and noodles. So, I ordered the combo meal with pancit noodles and three lumpia ($8.25). I also wanted to try an order of banana lumpia, also called turron ($3.00 when ordered with a combo). Our service was quick and pleasant. The owners are friendly and easy-going, yet eager to make sure that you are really going to enjoy the food that you order. And it is a lot of food for the price! The portions are hefty, which meant that my plate of food was enough to share and still have a little left over for lunch the next day.
When I dug into my plate of goodness, I started off with the pancit noodles. Pancit is a Filipino dish, using thin rice noodles fried in soy sauce and seasonings and then tossed with veggies and meat. These noodles were cooked well and were light and flavorful. They had a fresh, lemony taste and were piled high with cabbage, carrots, and peppers. There were also a few stray pieces of grilled chicken, although not a lot…only 3 or 4 small pieces scattered throughout the noodles. The bites of chicken I did have were very good, so I could have gone for a little more of it. Overall, the pancit noodles were good, but my only real complaint is that they were a little too peppery. I generally like pepper on my food, but these noodles were a bit too heavily peppered. There was even one clump of noodles in the middle of my plate that had so much pepper that it was crusted together and completely black. For me, that portion of noodles was inedible, but I just ate around it. The rest of the pancit, though a little too peppery, was tasty and full of bright citrus flavor.
Now onto the lumpia…the famous lumpia. After taking a bite, it was easy to see why they have earned such a name. These lumpia were amazing. Although this popular Filipino dish can be filled with a wide variety of different ingredients, the ones from Danilo’s Famous Lumpia were packed with meat, carrots, onion, and spices. The meat was so perfectly seasoned. And the lumpia was fried to golden perfection. The fried spring roll wrapper was super crispy and delicious. Even though it was fried, it still somehow tasted light and airy. It wasn’t heavy or greasy at all. These golden-fried lumpia don’t leave you feeling too full, even thought you’ve just downed a bunch of fried food. I polished off my three lumpia like a champ and wished that I had ordered more. “Famous” is right…these lumpia are worth tracking down.
I finished off my meal with a sweet treat…turron. These sweet banana lumpia were so heavenly. You can get them with your choice of several different sauce toppings. We picked strawberry, but you can also smother these little beauties in chocolate sauce, maple syrup, or powdered sugar if that is more your style. Either way, you are in for a treat. How can something so simple be so delicious and decadent? I mean, there is really not much to it…banana in a spring roll wrapper, deep fried. That’s it. But it is so good. The banana just sort of melts and becomes incredibly creamy and sweet and just magical. They should maybe consider an addendum to the name of their truck…Danilo’s Famous Lumpia and Magical Turron? That has a nice ring to it.
So whether you track down Danilo’s for the pancit, the lumpia, or a sweet banana dessert, you are in for a treat. It is easy to see why they have earned the name “famous”. These lumpia are incredible.
For this review we welcome a member of our own JRR family: Rhonda Kovar is a former call center manager turned stay-at-home mom. She grew up in the heart of North Carolina and moved to Florida after getting hitched in 2002. She is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University and a lover of all things crafty, musical, or edible. Rhonda loves finding new and delicious ways to turn her two tiny picky eaters into future foodies. You can follow her on Instagram.