When Parsnipity Cafe owner Cynthia Wilson was a carefree 19-year-old living in Hawaii and zipping around the islands on a motorcycle, she discovered one of her favorite foods.
The dish – a type of spring roll made by stuffing wrappers with filling then deep frying – is Filipino, but Hawaii has a large Filipino population. Everywhere Wilson went, lumpia followed.
“Lumpia was at every single party and every single potluck,” she said. “I just loved it. Everyone loves lumpia. I continued to make it throughout the years, and every time I took it to a party, it would be gone in minutes.”
When she opened Parsnipity Cafe, her new restaurant inside the Epic Center at 301 N. Main, last month, Wilson made lumpia a star on her menu. One of her more popular dishes is the traditional lumpia she sells that’s stuffed with ground beef, carrots, onions, celery, salt and pepper and served with a side of homemade sweet and sour sauce. (An order of three is $3.79.)
It’s so popular, in fact, that Wilson and her small staff are taking lumpia to the next level. On Oct. 31, they’re putting on a “LumpiaPalooza” where they’ll sell 20 different varieties of the treat stuffed with all kinds of wild sweet and savory ingredients.
She’ll have macaroni and cheese and bacon lumpia. Cream cheese, feta and spinach lumpia. Pulled pork lumpia. Apple pie lumpia. Banana Nutella lumpia. Peanut butter and jelly lumpia. Pumpkin pie cheesecake lumpia.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, customers can sample as many of the lumpia varieties they want for $1.50 apiece. If it’s successful, Wilson plans to make LumpiaPalooza a once-a-month event.
She also plans to start selling orders of take-and-bake lumpia by the dozen so people can take them to parties and holiday dinners. She needs a few days’ notice and will sell the regular flavor for $20 a dozen and designer lumpia for $25 a dozen. Call 316-768-6139 to place an order.
Though Wilson sells a wide variety of dishes at Parsnipity Cafe, she’s becoming known for her lumpia, which is a rare find in Wichita.
She’s good with that and even dreams of an eventual lumpia food truck.
“We can almost not keep enough of it rolled,” she said. “Whenever there’s a
spare moment, we’re rolling lumpia.”