Monday, August 20, 2012

The Egg Roll Hut

I cannot recommend the food at The Egg Roll Hut, except to say that the portions are generous and that if you judge things by dollars spent per unit of weight, it’s also pretty cheap. The noodles are bland and the cashews in the cashew chicken are soft in a disconcertingly squishy way. I myself never plan to eat there again, but I would not discourage you from supporting their business. This is because I love the Egg Roll Hut, and I would hate to see it go.

Before it was The Egg Roll Hut, the property was some sort of Dairy Queenesque establishment: a squat brick building on a busy four-lane road with a kind of patio out front and a drive-thru wrapping around the back. The new owners have kept the patio and the drive-thru and the long marquee above the counter, though they have rearranged the letters on that marquee to spell out a different menu. One would perhaps not notice, except that they have also kept the previous sign, a big illuminated twist of vanilla on a glowing yellow cone, high on thick pole out front on the corner.

Viewed from the side street, the ice cream sign floats over rooftops and treelines, at night seems suspended like a beacon, disembodied, without context, except for a tube of red neon, twisted not into rivulets of cherry syrup but bent into four clear words that make no sense because what they say is: The Egg Roll Hut. It is so guileless and inexplicable, and for some reason that charms the pants off me. I will not try to articulate why The Egg Roll Hut on an ice cream cone is so unspeakably endearing, but I will add that it is all the sweeter because I never remember where it is, am never prepared for the shock of seeing it again, and so am forever discovering its sweet strangeness anew.

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