(WORCESTER) CBS – In a city named Worcester…
There was a tiny little shack…
And inside that tiny little shack there was a lady…
And that lady in that tiny little shack made Egg Rolls…
So they call her Egg Roll Lady.
The Egg Roll Lady spent her days rolling and rolling and rolling egg rolls to feed travelers from all over the countryside.
“She’s just so friendly,” one customer said, speaking fondly of Egg Roll Lady. “She invites you in. She feeds you. She offers you all different kinds of little treats. She’s just a wonderful, wonderful lady.”
And the eggrolls the Egg Roll Lady rolled were no ordinary Egg Rolls. In fact, these Egg Rolls were magic in your mouth and could slay even the heartiest of appetites.
“She likes it extra meaty, extra juicy and fresh,” Cristina, one of the Egg Roll Lady’s daughters explains. “Slim and crispy and delicate, and when you dip into the sauce the cinnamon from the duck sauce just mixes with the garlic, and the fresh carrots and chicken in there and just gives you a pow.”
It may sound like something out of a storybook, but it’s actually no fairytale. Because at The Egg Roll Lady and Fish Shack, owner Phuong Lam, AKA The Egg Roll Lady, her husband Bow and their daughters Cristina, Jennifer and Gwen make these hot, crunchy snacks in this cozy quaint spot just off of I-190.
“This is a small company,” Phuong says. “I mix the egg roll and he [Bow] roll it.”
“The children are beautiful; her husband is wonderful, and they all work side by side,” a customer explained. “It’s just really nice to see that.”
It all started over a decade ago when they began serving egg rolls at fairs throughout New England. Phoung’s egg rolls developed such a following she had to upsize from her small stand to a full service restaurant where customers could satisfy their craving year round.
Each one of these epic egg rolls are stuffed with a filling made with chicken, pork, garlic, vegetables, plus the most important ingredient only the Egg Roll lady can provide:
“My love. I cook with my love for everyone.”
These eggrolls can be enjoyed one of two ways: dipped in duck sauce, or wrapped in lettuce like they do back in the Egg Roll Lady’s homeland of Vietnam.
“The traditional from my country, you have to take a piece of lettuce, the cilantro, then you put the egg roll in the middle and you roll it.”
In the tiny kitchen, they’re not only making some of the best egg rolls around, they’re also frying up plate after plate of fresh seafood.
There are massive pieces of haddock coated traditionally or in a fluffy beer batter;, bowls of luxuriously creamy clam chowder and crunchy clam fritters. The Fried Clam Plate is loaded up with big bellies. And the Special Shack Platter has a little bit of everything. While you can get house made tartar sauce on the side, here they recommend giving your fried fish a little Asian flare with some house made Korean kimchee.
“If you break off a piece of haddock or a scallop, put the kimchee on top, it just stirs you up and you have to have more,” said Cristina. “It gives the seafood a punch.”
Since they’re working with so much fresh fish, Egg Roll Lady decided to serve Crab Rangoon filled with chunks of real crab meat – much to her daughter Cristina’s delight.
“I was like, Mom you gotta put the real crab meat in there. No imitation crab. Just real crab meat.”
While there really is nothing like the food at the Egg Roll Lady & Fish Shack, you certainly can’t beat the service. How about this for a sampling of customer quotes:
“She treats all of her customers like a family.”
“She’s never in a bad mood.”
“One of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”
“When you come in here you really feel as though you’re being served by somebody that wants to serve you. She loves what she does, and anytime you love what you do, you’re really good at it.”
And they all ate happily ever after.
You can find Egg Roll Lady & Fish Shack at 609 West Boylston Street in Worcester, but call first (508-755-4451) because they are open only limited hours. You can also find them online at eggrolllady609.com.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.
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