Restaurants & Bars

Eggrolls at Kong’s Market in Santa Cruz

Melanie Wong | Oct 26, 201109:52 PM

Staying in the neighborhood , I noticed “eggrolls” interspersed in the verbiage painted on the outside listing up beer, soda, deli, and the typical convenience store offerings. So we walked over to Kong's Market to check it out. A covered tray next to the cash register offers up three varieties: vegetarian, chicken and vegetable, and pork. They’re all $1.37 + tax. The sign lists hourly times of day that they come out of the fryer . . . then we were told it doesn’t really apply this time of year. During the summer busy season, it’s every 10 minutes or so. The proprietor’s quite proud of the eggrolls and said that some of his customers drive in from as far as Los Gatos just to buy them.

We bought some of the pork ones and the chicken-vege once I’d checked that they’d been made fresh that day. I asked about the condiments in squeeze bottles, being especially intrigued by a flaming pink sauce that turned out to the sweet-and-sour. The proprietor said that he calls it “gay sauce” and suggested blending it with the sweet chili sauce. Normally he charges $1 for the sauces but gave us a small Dixie cupful gratis. Mustard and soy sauce are also available.

Back at the house we reheated them in the oven for our lunch. Quite a bit of oil puddled in the pan. At least it was clean, fresh tasting oil. The eggrolls were rather flat in form rather than cylindrical, mostly golden brown, well-bubbled wrapper encasing a thin line of filling. The pork ones were just meat inside, seasoned with what tasted like a little ginger and white pepper. The chicken ones had a bit of ground chicken binding together shredded cabbage and carrot along with glass noodles. The pork ones had fuller flavor; the chicken ones were lighter in texture. The combo sauce --- sweet chili + sweet and sour --- made them more palatable. They were crackly crunchy and fried well. That said, I doubt I’ll walk the half-mile each way to buy them again.

Kong's Market
400 26th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062

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