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Oakland Bites: An Egg Roll Convert

on February 28, 2009

After weeks of grocery store, mealy tomatoes, I headed to the farmer’s market in hopes of finding some that were miraculously delicious. This far from peak season, it proved impossible, and I just couldn’t get excited about the booths of kale, lettuce, honey, and a whole lot of citrus. After wandering the market gauntlet for a while, I noticed that one booth had a regular line of two or three customers.

At 10:45, Andy and Cindy Thai Cuisine was handing out full-on savory meals to customers who didn’t care that it was still breakfast time. And neither did I.

Since rent is due tomorrow, I opted for the cheapest thing on the menu–two chicken egg rolls for $4.50. I’ve never been a big egg roll fan–always seemed like a waste of calories for not that much flavor–but since the five year-old behind me could handle it, I figured I could too. Turns out, that kid has great taste.

The perfectly crispy exterior was filled with free-range chicken, zucchini, shitake mushrooms, ginger, carrots, and cilantro. Though a a lot of egg rolls have filling that has been diced to a mush, these had large pieces of everything, and the texture was almost like biting into a mini-burrito. The combination of the ginger and the accompanying sweet chili sauce was delightfully spicy, and surprisingly sophisticated for something that came out of a booth on a street corner. I would happily go back again and make a more serious investment.

You can catch Andy and Cindy at any of four area farmer’s market’s–Temescal (Sundays, 9-1), Grand Lake (Saturdays, 10-2), Berkeley (Saturdays, 10-3), or the Tuesday Berkeley market (Tuesday, 2-7).

For a detailed menu, and information about their commitment to free-range and organic food, click here.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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