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Donkey Roll (驢打滾 or "Lu Da Gun") at Beijing Pie House

Last night someone (yes, you, J.L.) posted that it was rumored Beijing Pie House had shuttered.

Not to leave a shuttered stone unturned, I called them up last night and confirmed that they indeed had not shuttered.

But I couldn't just call and leave it at that.

So I took the opportunity to order the Donkey Roll dessert or 驢打滾.

Why, you ask, did I order the Donkey Roll?

Well, because the Donkey Roll requires 24-hours notice. That's why.

So I put in my order last night and picked up it up this evening.

And, boy am I glad I did (thank you, J.L.)

Good stuff. Good eating. No. GLORIOUS eating.

What, you say, is a Donkey Roll?

Well, imagine a jelly-roll had a one night stand with a French crepe and they conveniently forgot to use protection.

There are variations, but Beijing Pie House makes theirs with glutinous rice flour, rolled out flat into a crepe-like sheet, then covered with a layer of sweet red bean paste, and then rolled just like you would construct a jelly-roll.

Result? Silky smooth and pillow-y soft. Like biting into cotton candy taffy made of red mochi paste, but without the sickly sweet feeling you get with state fair cotton candy bombs. It's very luscious without being heavy. Perfect denture dessert food, if you will

Give it a try sometime.

But remember ... plan ahead.

Beijing Pie House
846 East Garvey Ave, Monterey Park
(626) 288-3818

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Beijing Pie House
846 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

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  1. Sounds great! So how would I, with my toddler level of Mandarin, go about ordering this?

    11 Replies
    1. re: JThur01

      Drive to 846 East Garvey.

      Enter Beijing Pie House.

      Get menu.

      Point to the entry that says "Donkey Roll" under the DESSERT section.

      Nod when they say some gibberish about "tomorrow" and "wait" and "ok?"

      Leave name.

      Come back the next day.

      Pay, pick up order.

      Eat and enjoy.

      4 rolls to an order. $5.99.

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      Beijing Pie House
      846 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Sounds simple enough, but the problem is I'm a little over an hour away. Back to back days don't work well for me. Would "Lu Da Gun" work over the phone?

        1. re: JThur01

          Try this link:
          http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict...

          Then click on the words in the "Mandarin Pinyin" column.

          Let the reader beware: if you mispronounce it and order a "big green sword" by mistake, it's on you. :-)

          1. re: JThur01

            Yes, most definitely JT.

            Or just ask for someone who speaks English, there is one server who does, and ask for the Donkey Roll or item no. 1 on the dessert menu when you call.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Ray, ipsedixit. Thanks. I'd give it a try, but if they break out laughing, I'll know it was the "big green sword" : -)

              I once asked about a dish well enough that the waitress replied with a stream of Mandarin that I couldn't understand. But, at least my pronounciation was good enough to make her think that I was fluent.

              This Donkey Roll sounds great. Any idea how the name came to be?

              1. re: JThur01

                Apparently, the way it's made resembles a donkey rolling in the ground.

                1. re: JThur01

                  Tried calling in an order and was told they no longer have it!

                  1. re: JThur01

                    That's what happen when you wait nearly a year to follow-up.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I know, I know...I haven't made as many trips and it kept getting bumped for other projects. Besides, I finally had confidence in my pronounciation.

                      I guess it wasn't that popular or they'd have kept it? Or just too time intensive?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Obviously. The items I'm interested in, rarely fail to be the first dropped from menus.

        2. ipse, you owe me many mooncakes for this.

          Glad my mis-information was useful in helping you hit that donkey. roll.

          Now I, too, must go, post-haste.

          10 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            I am forever in your debt.

            And even if I didn't owe you, you can have all the mooncakes stashed away in my closet that you can handle.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Just went to Beijing Pie House tonight. Got the standard Beijing beef pie and took it to go. Washed it down with some chilled Hitachino Nest Ale. Awesome.

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              Beijing Pie House
              846 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

              1. re: J.L.

                Which Hitachino Nest Ale? The White Ale is most popular, though I don't think it would go well with the Bbeef Pie

                1. re: J.L.

                  Did you tell them about the nasty rumors you were trying to spread?

                  :-)

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Me: "How's business?"
                    Nice girl at the take-out counter: "生意好."

                    And so I stand corrected.

                    @Tripeler: White ale. It was either that or a glass of an already-opened bottle of Grgich Hills zin.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      In another week, might be worth asking how's the donkey business....might be picking up after this.

                      1. re: K K

                        I think I've only heard this question asked on the Avenida Revolución ... how would you say it in Mandarin? :)

                        1. re: Bradbury

                          Couldn't you just do an impression of a donkey for the server?

                      2. re: J.L.

                        生意好 ... but only thanks to your continued patronage.

              2. Nice find! You made me look this up....it has been historically a Qing dynasty dessert item in the royal palace, might even be part of the 333 courses of the "full Han banquet".

                Also for your viewing pleasure

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf3BDL...

                of an upscale department store basement dessert shop in Taiwan that sells these hand made donkey rolls and packages them very neatly, reminds me of high end wagashi. The latter part of the video is a very pricey Greek mullet roe.

                Here's another video of the making of it, somewhere in Taichung, Taiwan

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lhKdT...

                1 Reply
                1. re: K K

                  I've actually been meaning to try this for a while. But it requires advanced notice and whenever I go to Beijing Pie House it's sort of on a whim, and there's no way I'm going back-to-back nights. Carb overload.

                2. damnnn it, this is why i wished i moved back to home to CA sometimes....that thing looks delicious, i just google'd it

                  1. "Well, imagine a jelly-roll had a one night stand with a French crepe and they conveniently forgot to use protection."

                    Thanks to this line, ipse, a mouthful of Thai-spiced cashew shrapnel just landed on my desktop monitor (and keyboard) like a poor stucco job. Friggin' hilarious.

                    1. "Well, imagine a jelly-roll had a one night stand with a French crepe and they conveniently forgot to use protection."

                      -1st Place, Chowhound Imagistic Majesty Awards 2010

                      Keep on tootin' brave soldier.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Thi N.

                        At this point, I'm hoping it's more than just a one-night stand.

                        Praying they got married, joined the Mormon faith, and lived happily ever after ...

                        (And, Thi, don't you mean 2011?)

                          1. re: dharmathug

                            Yes, and the tartufo bianco di Alba is just another mushroom.