Oxford is often revered as a foodie paradise, and there’s one restaurant that’s quickly rising to the top of the comfort food list.
On a Roll Egg Rolls is owned by Lisa Blackmon-Miller, an Oxford resident who puts her own spin on the traditional Asian cuisine.
Open on Wednesday and Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. and located in the Soul Food Kitchen restaurant on University Avenue, On a Roll has two standard recipes, along with various weekly specials, some tamer than others.
The Original, a combination of cabbage, turkey and cheese, comes with a sweet chili sauce that’s sure to please diners. For those in the mood for something spicy, the Kenric’s Kick’n Chick’n, a buffalo-style roll, is a clear choice.
Customers also have the option of turning any egg roll into an “explodin’ egg roll,” which is, essentially, a deconstructed roll atop a bed of crinkle-cut fries.
“My favorite thing is the Kick’n Chick’n explodin’ egg roll,” said Mackenzie Foltz, a recent Ole Miss graduate. “It’s like Wing Wednesdays on a plate.”
During operating hours, the small parking lot of the Soul Food Kitchen space is full of both locals and summer school students, lined up at the window. Customers have the option of sitting on the porch to eat their meal, but in the sweltering Mississippi heat, many take their egg rolls to go.
“On a Roll is one of Oxford’s newest best-kept secrets,” Nitu Singh, who is taking classes in Oxford this summer, said. “I love picking up an Original egg roll to eat while I’m studying biology.”
Blackmon-Miller says the secret to her egg rolls is a recipe she learned from her sister-in-law, who taught her to make them so the family could eat them while her sister-in-law was deployed in Afghanistan.
According to Blackmon-Miller, the most difficult part of the learning process was mastering the rolling technique.
“I struggled initially with rolling the wrappers,” said Blackmon-Miller. “Let me be honest, I was terrible. After mastering the technique of rolling without rips in the wrappers, I began experimenting with the recipe.”
She spent two years perfecting the recipe and formulating the combinations on the menu today.
However, Blackmon-Miller says the creative process never stops.
“I continue to add new varieties and grow the idea daily,” Blackmon-Miller said.
A recent addition, and the product of such brainstorming, is dessert egg rolls. Currently, On a Roll features a cookie dough egg roll and the increasingly popular cheesecake roll.
“One of our best recipes is actually one of our strangest, as well,” she said. “Our cheesecake egg roll is ridiculously delicious, like from-the-heavens delicious. The filling is creamy and cool while the outside wrapper is hot and crisp.”
As more people are finding out about the little shop, the rolls are in high demand.
In response, Blackmon-Miller says On a Roll already has plans to expand.
“We hope to open more often to include lunch and late night,” she said.
For more information about On a Roll and their weekly specials, visit their Facebook page.