The Egg Roll Project

December 22, 2011

Today—the eve of Christmas Eve, the third day of Hanukkah, and the Friday before the long holiday weekend—I give you a sneak peek into my Egg Roll Project. The convergence of holy days means one thing: Chinese-American food—and the egg roll is its sigil.

OK, I concede that these days mean many things to many people, but across religious and secular boundaries, common ground can be found at Chinese-American restaurants. No, not Chinese-Chinese restaurants—and please, certainly not Chinese-American chain restaurants—but the disappearing breed of family-owned Chinese-American restaurants.

I submit three of my favorite Chinese-American egg rolls in the greater Chicagoland area for your consideration. Your taste memory and nostalgic needs may differ; these speak to mine.

Above you see the egg roll at Chinatown Cafe. It's actually owned by my cousins—I can't remember if we're actually blood cousins; I'll have to trace the family lines with my mom this weekend.

Below: the egg roll at Kow Kow in Lincolnwood.

Below: the egg roll at China Chef in Morton Grove.

Below: Chinatown Cafe egg roll interior.

Below, Kow Kow egg roll interior.

Below, China Chef egg roll interior.

If you have an essential egg roll to share, please let me know in the comments below. More egg rolls—and more on my Egg Roll Project—in the New Year. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Chinatown Cafe
2604 S. Wentworth Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
312-791-0366

Kow Kow
6755 N. Cicero Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
847-677-7717

China Chef
5920 Lincoln Ave.
Morton Grove, IL 60053
847-967-6050