House of Egg Roll

Good eating in the Valley of the Sun
User avatar
chrislee
Posts: 170
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

Ok, so I've kind of been wanting to go here for a while now really as a goof just because of the name of the restaurant. I work pretty nearby & we go to Chou's pretty often. My coworker & I also drive by on other occasions. I actually mentioned it to him a week or two ago that I wanted to just go because of the name.

So when I heard this week that there were changes & that it was actually supposed to good, I was especially intrigued.

I saw a picture that Charleen posted of the Shaanxi-Style Handmade Noodle dish & it looked fantastic. She was raving about it. Saw Chef Gwen was at the same lunch & she posted some pictures as well. They said that Helen had heard that there were new owners & she'd heard they were serving great noodle dishes.

So when Heather was down nearby going to my eye appointment with me, decided we had to check it out.

First impression was that it was nice & super clean. Expected a more lived in feel.

There were quite a few employees in there. Guessing it was owners, maybe relatives & a number of employees? Lots more staff than I expected. I don't think there was much English in the building though. Our server was super nice, super sweet but we had a hard time communicating with her. At one point, we asked her what her favorites were & she said "This is a Chinese restaurant." :) We managed to get a couple of recommendations out of her and a "Chinese people like it" in reference to the Kung Pao Chicken dish.

So we ended up ordering 4 dishes after pointing to Charleen & Gwen's Instagram pictures.

We had 2 really strong favorites.

We loved the Shaanxi-Style Handmade Noodle dish (#52). The noodles were amazing & the picture doesn't do it any justice. I don't usually post 1/2 eaten dish pictures but I should have in this case to better show the noodles. They were topped with chiles, soybean sprouts, boy choy and vinegar. As Charleen said, "It felt like a hug." Love, loved this dish. A bit salty but I'm a fan of salt. :)
IMG_8725.JPG
Shaanxi-Style Handmade Noodles
IMG_8725.JPG (202.1 KiB) Viewed 6860 times
Our other favorite dish was the Hot & Sour Pork Dumpling Soup (#50). This was a recommendation from our server. She asked if we liked dumplings. We do so went with this. This was absolutely wonderful. Excellent tasty dumplings with lovely wrappers (that would have been great on their own) in a yummy broth with vinegar, sesame oil & lots of cilantro. This was brilliant. I saw after we ordered that they also have this dish with lamb dumplings. Need to try that now. I would return over & over if just for this dish.
IMG_8727.JPG
Hot & Sour Pork Dumbling Soup
IMG_8727.JPG (188.73 KiB) Viewed 6860 times
Then our server also recommended the Shaanxi Pan-Fried Noodles (#54). We asked what her favorite was & she picked this. Again, it was tough to communicate so I think that's what she was saying. This was also a nice dish. A bit sweet, a bit of heat (sliced jalapenos), pork & onions. I like these noodles but liked the handmade noodles in the first dish even better. Definitely nothing to sneer at.
IMG_8726.JPG
Sshaanxi Pan-Fried Noodles
IMG_8726.JPG (197.48 KiB) Viewed 6860 times
And then our first recommendation from our server after pointing at the Shaanxi-Style Handmade Noodles was Kung Pao Chicken (#30). It was good but we couldn't get over some of the other dishes. When we were trying to communicate that we eat everything, she said that Chinese people like it. Maybe it's just a popular dish there? They asked about rice when they brought this out and when we said yes, they brought out individual rice bowls. Again, I know nothing but I'm just guessing that might not be standard operating procedure & that most people probably come there for the noodle dishes? Still good but we'll be digging more on the noodle side in future visits.
IMG_8723.JPG
Kung Pao Chicken
IMG_8723.JPG (194.62 KiB) Viewed 6860 times
I can't wait until we get a good number of folks down there (or just Dom or Helen) so we can get feedback on a large number of dishes. With the communication challenges, I think it'll take some trial & error (or just to get Helen down there). :)

I did see after the fact that Chef Gwen's favorite dish was the Tomato Egg Soup so definitely something to try.

Some shots of the menu to help try & coordinate dish planning/review:
IMG_8729.JPG
Menu 1
IMG_8729.JPG (147.86 KiB) Viewed 6860 times
IMG_8730.JPG
Menu 2
IMG_8730.JPG (147.45 KiB) Viewed 6860 times
Anyway, Heather and I were both big fans and I'm super excited to return and try more!!!
User avatar
chrislee
Posts: 170
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

Helen said #42. Vegetables and silver bean thread in lamb soup is great too.
PHXeater
Moderator
Posts: 598
Joined: 7 years ago

3 years ago

There is nothing I love more than exploring menus at spots like this. Put together a PFN lunch and I'm there!
User avatar
chrislee
Posts: 170
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

Had the tomato egg soup that Chef Gwen mentioned yesterday. It was lovely. Delicate, subtle.

I'm glad it came out before the hot & sour dumpling soup though. That is so flavorful that we might not have appreciated it as much. Gwen mentioned adding some vinegar from the table. Will have to try that.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1451667846.277266.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1451667846.277266.jpg (63.68 KiB) Viewed 6491 times
Definitely will order again.

The hot & sour pork dumpling soup was just as good as I remembered.

Need more food menu item recs!
User avatar
chrislee
Posts: 170
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

icchef posted some dish recs on Yelp.

Following are large dishes good for sharing.
#17 - Braised Chicken With Potato & Pepper (bones in)
#18 - Shrimp With Spicy Hot Chili Sauce - said bomb addictive dish with shell-on head-on shrimp
#19 - Fish Filet in Hot Chili Oil with Mixed Vegetables - said similar to Sichuan water boiled fish

Restaurant specials are mainly noodle dishes.

#12 - Sweet Glutinous Rice Ball Soup - black sesame filled mini rice balls in soup made with fermented rice & osmanthus flowers.
#42 - Lamb Brisket & Silver Bean Thread in Lamb Soup (served with fresh bread) - one of her favorites
#40 - Stir-Fry Chinese Greens - actual type of greens may change
#50 - Hot & Sour Pork Dumplings Soup - she mentioned isn't spicy - it's not. #theweelees all LOVE this dish.
#52 - Shaanxi-style Handmade Noodles - wide noodles with beansprouts & chilis
#56 - Handmade Noodle Nuggets (kind of like orecchiette) in a tomato egg soup - super comforting dish (I want this)

She posted pics of many of these in the Yelp review.

I'm so bummed they're closed on Tuesdays....
User avatar
Mike Z
Posts: 494
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Central Tempe

3 years ago

Awesome recon, Chris. Going to put up a gathering
User avatar
chrislee
Posts: 170
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

Ok. So I'd brought #theweelees here once before for a quick bite - just had 2 soups and they loved it.

When we were on our way home from picking them up from ballet on Saturday, we asked where they wanted to grab a bite. The unanimous chorus was HOER. So we headed there for dinner.

Had a nice (male) server who spoke a lot more English. We were feeling adventurous so decided to take his lead on most things.

We started with #26 - Stir Fried Chinese Lettuce. Totally dug it. Great texture. Nice dish to get some greens to contrast the noodles.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452652138.538898.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452652138.538898.jpg (72.82 KiB) Viewed 6186 times
Then we had to try one of the sandwiches. We went with #61 House Shaanxi Sandwich. This was with braised pork, chili & vinegar. Tasty.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452652156.825546.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452652156.825546.jpg (65.15 KiB) Viewed 6186 times
Of course we had the Hot & Sour Dumpling Soup. We went lamb this time and it was also excellent. #49

Omitting picture as I think I've posted it twice already.

And then we had #19 - Fish Filet in Hot Chili Oil With Mixed Vegetables. This was definitely similar to Sichuan water boiled fish. It was milder than the versions we've had at Miu's and Szechwan Palace. Very good though.

We asked for rice with it (and kind of got a funny look). We got it and started eating it until Heather surmised that they probably don't eat the sauce. Now my pop is from China, Canton to be specific, so I grew up with Cantonese food. That's all he was really interested in (and all that we had in years past) so I'm still new to these different regions. We asked the server and he verified that they normally just eat the fish & vegetables out of the dish and don't ladle the sauce on. Something learned.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452652191.876099.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452652191.876099.jpg (68.89 KiB) Viewed 6186 times
And then we had #44 - Stir Fried Beef and Lamb. This was actually Heather's favorite. She LOVED it. It was a bit spicy for #theweelees but very good.

The super interesting thing about was the texture. It had what seemed like pasta cubes in it. I think they said it was bread but it came across as al dente pasta. icchef posted a description on Yelp so I do think it was soup soaked stale bread. Super interesting. Super good.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452652173.991810.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452652173.991810.jpg (73.7 KiB) Viewed 6186 times
At this point, I think newbs definitely have to get the Hot & Sour Dumpling Soup for sure.

My second rec might be the #56 - Handmade Noodles Nuggets though I haven't tried it yet. It's basically the Tomato & Egg Soup that Chef Gwen loved (and we loved) with noodle nuggets in it. Unfortunately they had milk (and egg) in the nuggets so couldn't order with #theweelees. That's what I'm getting next time for sure.
User avatar
Skillet Doux
Posts: 3437
Joined: 7 years ago
Contact:

3 years ago

Legit. Seriously, seriously legit.

The lamb dumplings in sour soup, the Shaanxi noodles, the lamb soup with pita bread, the explosive braised chicken... so much good stuff here.

Incidentally, the cold meats I've tried here are outstanding. It'll be really difficult to go back without ordering the pork belly with garlic sauce and the spicy pig ears again. Killer renditions, both. And a nice, gentle jellyfish if there's anybody out there who has thought about giving jellyfish a try. This is a good one to start with.

Can't wait to get back. Great news all around on this place.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
jsmcmillan
Posts: 3
Joined: 4 years ago

3 years ago

Had a really great lunch here last week. Three vegetarian dishes:
Celery and tofu skin - nice, clean and refreshing with a little szechuan pepper and cumin, touches of seaweed.
Shaanxi noodles were great
Eggrolls were the worst thing we had - funny
Pork dumplings in sour broth crushed it, cant wait to return
User avatar
BillBuitenhuys
Posts: 397
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Chandler, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

Wow..this place is wonderful.

We ordered from the Lee's Greatest Hits list above....
Shaanxi-Style Handmade Noodles
Stir Fry Chinese Lettuce
Hot and Sour Pork Dumpling soup
House Shaanxi Sandwich

Every dish was a winner. The lettuce with a splash of black vinegar eaten with those rich noodles....damn.

Be forewarned that menu item numbering has changed since the images posted above.
DesertDoc
Posts: 84
Joined: 7 years ago

3 years ago

And, HoER is now busy on Saturday nights. Were told wait would be an hour, ended up waiting 15mins (score!)

Had to listen to a lady yelling at the guy at the front door about him not answering the phone. She wanted to place a takeout order and was told that it could take an hour. She was then irate but proceeded to order the fried rice, egg rolls and orange chicken. Whoops! I'm guessing the rest of her night was just as unpleasant. Karma is a cruel thing sometimes.

So happy for pfn and Helen as we would have never heard of this place...

-desertdoc
User avatar
LaPan
Posts: 276
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Chandler, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

So, we had a mini-foodnerds lunch on Friday and a good time (I think) was had by all.

However, I'm sad to say, the food on offer was not nearly as good as my past three visits. Besides being sold out of anything chicken upon arrival, a lot just seemed a bit off. I'll start off with what I liked best (and I'd love others to chime in on authenticity and subjective tastes).

My favorite dish was the Pork with Garlic Sauce (correct as needed). As you can see from the picture, most of it was gone by the time I got going with pics. The pork was sooo tender, like pork belly. And the sauce was not overpowering but full of flavor.

Image
Pork with Garlic Sauce

Now, this noodle dish was delicious. It came with two kinds of noodles (all handmade) with a lovely, light sauce which worked especially well with a little vinegar added. It also provided me the opportunity to learn the
Secret Chinese Noodle Cutting Action by jackaz. It's sooo amazing and so easy! And the dish, just hiding outside of the shot, was the Stir Fried Intestine. I'd never had intestine this tender and juicy and flavorful. One of the highlights for sure.

Image
Noodle dish (help with name) and Stir Fry Intestine

This soup was delicious, nice sour flavor. Someone help me with its name.

Image
Soup #1 (number for naming purpose)

This soup was also delicious, though in a much more delicate way. And the meat was not tough or too soft. Very well made.

Image
Soup #2

I was told by one fellow nerd that this is where it all begins. It's a basic tofu dish that I've never had, nor heard of, which is why I can't remember it's name. According to most, it was just an 'ok' version of what it's supposed to be. It was ok by me, but not something I'd order again.

Image
(name please?)

And, finally, my biggest disappointment. Spicy Cumin Lamb. I've had this twice before and it was out of this world. This version had smaller pieces of lamb that was dry and chewy. I'm hoping this was a one-off but it doesn't give me confidence for the next time.

Image
Spicy Cumin Lamb

So, all in all, it was about a 50/50 experience food wise with one huge disappointment for me. I'm curious for the others to chime in.
User avatar
jacqaz
Posts: 80
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Tempe, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

Awesome report LaPan! It was so nice to meet you in person! Fun group. Here's my additional notes to help identify the dishes.
LaPan wrote: Image
Shaanxi-Style Handmade Noodles and Stir Fry Intestine

Image
Qishan City Noodles with Special Ingredients

Image
Vegetable Lamb Soup (Lamb Brisket & Silver Bean Thread in Lamb Soup)

Image
Spicy Mapo Tofu

My take on it was the same as you LaPan, most of the dishes were good, but not out of this world for me. Granted I am not totally familiar with Shaanxi style cuisine, but I was not totally impressed with the Mapo Tofu and the Spicy Cumin Lamb too.

Qishan City Noodles with Special Ingredients was a pleasant surprise for me. It was a nice flavorful broth with hint of vinegar, very refreshing to have along side some of the heavier dishes.

They were out of dumplings when we were there, so we did not get to try the Hot and Sour Lamb Dumpling Soup. I think I might be back again to try the House Biang Biang Noodles, after all, it is the thing that is written in white in the huge red box on the cover of their menu. :lol:

I feel like it might have been a off day too, so I might give it another try. There are LOTS of items on there I still want to try. Simply could not do it in just one visit. :)

They added more items to the menu since the first posting here, so the numbers have shifted and changed. So you might want to go with actual description and name of dishes to order when you are there.
I was born in Taiwan, where eating is the national sport!

- Jacq
User avatar
LaPan
Posts: 276
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Chandler, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

I realized that we forgot to try the jellyfish, too. I figure the only way to try that is with fellow nerds as NOBODY else I know would give it a shot. Next time!
User avatar
jacqaz
Posts: 80
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Tempe, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

LaPan wrote:I realized that we forgot to try the jellyfish, too. I figure the only way to try that is with fellow nerds as NOBODY else I know would give it a shot. Next time!
Definitely next time. I was debating on getting it, but there was already too much food. :lol:
I was born in Taiwan, where eating is the national sport!

- Jacq
davej
Posts: 57
Joined: 4 years ago

3 years ago

jacqaz wrote:Definitely next time. I was debating on getting it, but there was already too much food. :lol:
There is no such thing as too much food! :D
User avatar
jacqaz
Posts: 80
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Tempe, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

davej wrote: There is no such thing as too much food! :D

Very true!
I was born in Taiwan, where eating is the national sport!

- Jacq
User avatar
Tim H
Posts: 281
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Gilbert, AZ

3 years ago

This was our third meal at House of Egg Roll, and it was a mixed experience like our previous visits. The Sichuan dishes just don't measure up to Dinghao. (We ate at Dinghao the day before.)

The Hot and Sour Lamb Dumpling Soup was delicious, one of my favorite soups right now. I think dumplings and noodles are the strong suit here. We've had the pork dumplings as well, my wife prefers them, I prefer the lamb.
HoE_dumplingsoup.jpg
Hot and Sour Soup with Lamb Dumplings
HoE_dumplingsoup.jpg (96.38 KiB) Viewed 4232 times
The Mapo Tofu was pretty good, but not great. It's got a slick of chili oil on top, and it has that taste of Sichuan peppercorns, but it's mild. In fact, it's wimpy. Not very hot, not very numbing. On the upside, if you don't like it spicy, this is the version for you.
HoE_Mapo.jpg
mild wimpy Mapo Tofu
HoE_Mapo.jpg (90.08 KiB) Viewed 4232 times
The Stir Fried Cumin Spicy Lamb was a disappointment. Heavy on the veg, skimpy on the lamb, and the lamb was sliced very inconsistently. Some slices were really thick and unpleasantly chewy. And they were so heavy-handed with the cumin that there was a sandy residue on the meat and veg. And again, not very spicy. But my biggest gripe was that there no cilantro stems. I was surprised how much I missed them.
HoE_cuminlamb.jpg
Cumin Spicy Lamb
HoE_cuminlamb.jpg (102.12 KiB) Viewed 4232 times
Also, avoid the family style tofu. It's the one real disaster we've had here. The sliced pork in garlic sauce I had in January was also not good (skimpy on the sauce, bland), but the pics other people have posted look different from what I had, so I'll have to try it again.
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
User avatar
chrislee
Posts: 170
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

3 years ago

Went back last week and it was kind of uneven for us too.

Hot & sour dumpling soup (pork) was good but lacked a little of the brightness of flavors that we'd had before.

Shaanxi-Style Handmade Noodles, which upon finding HOER was one of our favorite dishes, was pretty bland. Noodles were pretty cold & there wasn't much flavor (not much vinegar, no heat & not much salt).

Braised chicken dish was good.

A little bit sad...
User avatar
Tim H
Posts: 281
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Gilbert, AZ

3 years ago

We've had the noodles twice, and although they do arrive a little bland, we appreciate that since they have all the fixings on the table (vinegar, fried chili flakes, soy sauce) to dress them exactly as you like. My wife is an expert noodle fixer, and they are awesome after she works her magic.
There is nothing either good or bad but gravy makes it so. - Kevin Hearne
Post Reply