Food Fight: Vietnamese Egg Rolls
Fatty FatBastard wanted a Vietnamese egg roll battle. And what Fatty wants, that no-bean-loving bastard gets. He suggested I head to Hollywood Vietnamese and Chinese. I chose Pho Saigon Noodle House as the opponent. Let the battle begin.
Hollywood For the sake of full disclosure, I had to get these to-go (kid issues), but did consume them within five minutes of purchase. I felt obligated to Fatty to keep this a fair competition, and I know how important it is to eat egg rolls at optimal temperature levels. These rolls certainly looked a little different than the usual Vietnamese version. They resembled short, stubby Chinese egg rolls. I took my first bite without fish sauce and the second, third, fourth, and so on, with the sauce. Delicious! The ground pork to shredded carrot ratio was two-to-one, which explained the stubbiness. The wrapper was crisp, but chewy--a very unique texture, but dynamite. Just one complaint: The last bite of each roll (yes, I had more than one) had a stockpile of grease. But if I had to be totally honest, I like me some greasy egg rolls.
Pho Saigon These were just the opposite of Hollywood. The egg roll was long, crispy, and not chewy at all (thin rice paper wrapping). The filling included all the same ingredients, but the carrot-to-pork ratio was about equal. Here's the big difference: Pho's egg roll lacked the grease, but not the taste. Amazing. I didn't need to wipe my fingers after every bite, but the overall flavor of this finger food was outstanding. No, I'm not fooling myself into believing these were anywhere near healthy, but it was still a nice touch by Pho Saigon. Compliments to a fry job well done!
Verdict This was just an awesome food fight, and a great suggestion by Fatty. It was extremely close, and both takes on this Vietnamese delicacy were outstanding. But there can be only one champion, and it was...Hollywood! The meaty filling and chewy wrapper proved to be a winning combination. Are these the best egg rolls in Houston? Maybe. Until further notice, they are in my book.
Next up, Battle Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I'm heading to Miller's Cafe. You pick the competition -- let me know in the comments box.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.