Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
If you step through the portal of one particular hodgepodge coffee shop / art gallery / pizza restaurant on Hamline Avenue in Falcon Heights, you’ll find yourself in the company of egg roll royalty. The takeover of Underground Music Cafe by the Eggroll Queen is tremendously recent, but you can already belly up to the bar and order your vegetarian, pork, chicken, or dessert (!) egg rolls at the outrageously reasonable price of $3 (or three for $8.)
The egg rolls are both fat and thoroughly packed; one is a hearty snack, two a bona fide meal, three a light meal for two people. Two things set these apart from your run-of-the-mill egg roll: first, they’re beautifully, delicately, crunchily crispy. Not sodden with grease, not heavy, not bulky; each egg roll is jacketed in a uniform toasty beige. Second, they’re stuffed with a tightly packed, relatively uniform filling that makes for consistent bites and surprisingly little spillage. We tried all three savory varieties, and found them dominated by skinny glass noodles and delicate shreds of cabbage. Ground chicken and carrot pieces gave the chicken egg roll a lighter flavor with a bit more chew to it, and the pork egg roll has a savory, deconstructed meatball kind of thing going on. We thought the vegetarian egg roll was just fine, but it wasn’t bursting with vegetables (or even soy protein); glass noodles definitely led the charge on this one, too.
These are the professional-grade egg rolls we’ve been waiting for, and with the exception of the egg rolls at the hot bar at Ha Tien, they’re unrivaled in the St. Paul area.
THE DISH: Egg rolls, $3 each
THE PLACE: Eggroll Queen Cafe, 1579 Hamline Ave. N, Falcon Heights
THE REASON: Big, bold, classic egg rolls for a compellingly low price