Food Fight: Vietnamese Egg Rolls

Categories: Food Fight

hollywood.jpg
Hollywood.
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.

phosaigon.jpg
Pho Saigon.
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.

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Location Info

Hollywood Vietnamese and Chinese

2409 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pho Saigon Noodle House

7400 W. Tidwell Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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35 comments
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Jesse
Jesse

Thien An on Travis has the best Vietnamese eggrolls.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

If anyone actually got to the end of this post, I sure could use some good suggestions for a Grilled Chicken Sandwich...for the next Food Fight. Remember...I picked Miller's Cafe, you pick the other. Thanks!

SirRon
SirRon

Is Sweet Mesquite's Ultimate Chicken Sandwich too pedestrian for thus battle? I love that thing (on sourdough bun with mayo).

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

It may be hard for me to get out there. If I can, I will. If not, gonna go with Fatty's suggestion. (unless there's another suggestion).

SirRon
SirRon

Didn't think about Woodway being outside the loop. I'm a westsider, but I know about EOW's loop rep... jkjk.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

I've heard Southwells has the best Grilled chicken sandwich. Looking forward to this one. I need to start eating healthier!

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

My apologies if my comments came across as harsh. Sorry folks.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Good meeting you last night, Kevin. I haven't been to Pho Saigon, but at least those look authentic. I may try them. Good to know that there are other good Vietnamese egg roll places. The only others I had tried Vietnamese egg rolls were at Mai's, Pagoda and Les Givrals. All three of those places were attrocious, so I'd been sticking with Hollywood and occasionally Huynh. Maybe I'll venture to other ones for other Vietnamese foods, but Hollywood is where I'll stay for my egg roll fix! (Why did Pagoda have to be so Gawd-awful? They deliver!)

Betty Tieu
Betty Tieu

Totally agree on Tau Bay (59 location). It doesn't matter if I am counting my calories for the day, but if I am at Tau Bay- I must have an order of Vietnamese egg rolls.

Justin
Justin

I love the way everyone bitches about these meaningless blog posts as if they are the be all, end all to Houston food choices... the comments are always more entertaining than the original post. Try this place, you suck for going here, do it this way, do it that way.... Hey people, shut the hell up and just read. Take it for what it's worth. They're never gonna pick your favorites.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

Just so I'm clear, you love the comments, but you still want everyone to just shut up and read.

SirRon
SirRon

I love it when someone bitches in the comment section about people bitching. What's that called again...?

Bruce R
Bruce R

What's that called? Is it Rumpelstiltskin? Did I get it right?

SirRon
SirRon

Today I brew, tomorrow I bake;I can Google, but I can't rhyme.

tinyhands
tinyhands

Ugh, Hollywood is nazzty. I know HP doesn't believe in going outside the loop, but couldn't they have gone to a REAL Vietnamese place? Huyunh, Cafe TH, Kim Hai, Van Loc, Nga's ... *sigh*

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

First off, it's spelled "Huynh" and secondly, their egg rolls are all right, but not nearly as good as Hollywood. Secondly, HOW are these not vietnamese places?!? Because they ventured a few miles from their area rather than just open shop next door to 20 others? If you want true authenticity, go to Vietnam. Otherwise, shut it. Good is good. We're not talking about Mai's, are we?

tinyhands
tinyhands

You're absolutely right that a typo completely invalidates my opinion. Thanks for setting me straight.

As for what makes a good Vietnamese restaurant, in my opinion, is Vietnamese owners and staff. The one and only time I went to this regrettable place, there was nobody remotely asian working there, and yes, I peeked into the kitchen. Make sure you play the race card on me now, but anyone who's head isn't up his a$$ knows that Italian food doesn't have jalapenos, Mexican food doesn't need soy sauce, and Vietnamese food isn't made by white gay guys. Good is good, but bad is also bad, so shut it.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Race card? You played it on yourself. I've been here a dozen times, and although the host is, ahem, flamboyant, pretty much everyone there is Vietnamese. Maybe you were looking behind the wrong door if all you saw was white gay guys.

Steve Gilbert
Steve Gilbert

Best Vietnamese eggrolls in town? Easy! Pho Vang, 290 @ Tidwell. Beats these two hands down!

Craig
Craig

VAN LOC

PRINT IT IN BOLD

SirRon
SirRon

Every time I read one of these I am baffled over how these haven't become Top 5's. Food battles are tailor-made for the Top 5 category... 100x more so than "Top 5 similar videos I get when I search Youtube for a random food related topic" or whatever the next twelve Top 5's will be.

bakugirl
bakugirl

I think Tau Bay has some of the best!

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

While I do appreciate the Food Battles, many times the food choice is of a product that just two locations just can't cover the full spectrum. These really need to be redone as Food Battle Royal. Multiple locations on one food item. I'm all about these egg rolls. But for real, just to locations? You need to do at LEAST ten. Kid issues or not, we foodies want through food exploration. Go head, bust a gut, cause we wanna know.

DIY
DIY

I have a great idea, why don't YOU write up Food Battle Royal? Go spend the money and gas to purchase your food from multiple places, eat up and then submit it to the Press. You might have a cool side job on your hands if the piece is good enough.

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

Well that would be fab...but i do have a full time job. One thing that is not known to me is just how many of those that do this for the houston press are either doing it full time or part. I supposed knowing NOW that this is done on the side as a part time gig for some additional cash, will certainly add another dimension of "color" to my belief of these food reviews. Thanks for the heads up. And yeah, if I do ever get an massive asian roll review down, you can bet like hell I'll post it up.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

Eric, I sincerely thank you for reading and posting. As Katharine wrote, I have a full time job, but why should that add "another dimension" to your belief? Absolutely everything I post obviously has my name on it, and as such, will be as well thought out, researched, and written as if this was my full time job.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

To clarify, I am the only person at the Houston Press who writes full-time for the food blog. All of our other incredibly awesome bloggers are freelance writers who have full-time jobs of their own (and families and all kinds of other commitments). So go easy on them, huh? They work pretty hard to bring content to the blog day in and day out. :)

Dwdickersonjr
Dwdickersonjr

Gee...what about Mai's (they reopened yet)? Kim Son? Le Viet? Tay Do? I vote Le Veit.

Dan
Dan

Neither are authentic Vietnamese egg rolls.

Jeeterbug
Jeeterbug

i don't get what the big deal is about hollywood vietnamese...they're very proud of themselves for very subpar food

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