The countdown to Best of Phoenix is on. Mark your calendar: This year's issue will be on newsstands September 26. What better way to warm up than by asking some local "experts" to list their own personal bests? This week Petite Maison co-owner Wendy Porter shares where she gets her egg roll fix in Phoenix.
By Wendy Porter
There's pretty much no time of day I won't eat an egg roll -- I literally will order an extra half-dozen for a (un)heart healthy breakfast the next day after crushing a half-dozen at dinner. The crispy hand-held pockets of love come in all shapes, sizes, and ingredients. And, as a Jewish girl who grew up on the East Coast, I fancy myself an expert of sorts. Here's my list of five fave spots (in no particular order -- that would be like choosing your favorite child!) to grab a handful of fried happiness . . .
Wahsun Chinese The egg rolls at Wahsun are obviously hand-rolled, slightly misshapen, and can be really messy. Each is filled with top-notch ingredients like whole tender of white meat chicken, a jumbo shrimp, and sautéed vegetables. I'm pretty sure they give you an order for free when you get take-out, but I bet you'll have eaten any freebies before you get home. Served 4 for $5.95, I recommend at least two orders at a time, more if you're sharing.
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Jade Palace Classic New York-style egg rolls filled with pork, vegetables, and perfectly fried every time. These delicious treats look like they came out of a machine they are so uniform, but don't be fooled -- I know for a fact they roll them there. For the meek, you may need a knife and fork to finish one, but they come two to an order and no one cares if you use your hands, just keep a napkin in your lap. La's Thai Cuisine These delicate, fried Thai vegetarian rolls are not only beautiful, you actually don't feel like you've eaten a gut bomb after inhaling all four to an order. La's uses tofu skin to wrap them, and stuffs them with plenty of fresh Thai herbs. If an egg roll was ever described refreshing, these would fit the bill.
Red House Chinese Cuisine To be honest, I've never actually entered the door at Red House -- it's our go-to Chinese delivery place. They serve totally traditional New York-style rolls, one to an order, and they come with housemade hot mustard sauce and duck sauce. They're a little smaller than Jade's, but it doesn't matter -- they magically appear like a gift from the egg roll gods after a long day.
Jack in the Box Made from mystery meat, leftover vegetable ends resembling day old cabbage, carrots and celery, these are a very, very, dirty little secret of mine. I can down three orders in the parking lot, and while I usually regret it in a matter of minutes, I still do it. Don't be a hater . . . You *know* these belong on any self-respecting egg roll list.