Each week “Lucky” and “Pam” Seuamsothabandith walked the floor of the Seaford Clothing factory in Rock Island, Illinois, taking egg roll orders. The plant, which once famously made suits for Barack Obama, was where the couple (Phiengvilay and Phengphanh, respectively) found work after fleeing Laos in the late 70s.
When she was a kid, Stacy Seuamsothabandith woke up at 4 AM each Friday to the sizzle of her parents’ side hustle. “My mom was constantly working,” she says. “It was a nine-hour day in a really hot factory, then coming home to make a hot meal. I would sit down at the kitchen table with her to get two minutes with my mom first thing in the morning. She would always fry me a couple of egg rolls and I would go back to bed.”
Pam’s egg rolls. Credit: Laos to Your House
Pam passed away seven years ago, and the Seaford factory now sits empty, but her egg rolls live on in the family’s Lucky’s Eggrolls food truck, sustaining Quad Cities farmers’ market strollers and late-night bar goers since the late 90s. They arrived here in Chicago last June, when Stacy, her brother chef Keo Seuamsothabandith, and husband Byron Gully launched Laos to Your House, a biweekly virtual restaurant that reps Chicago’s only Lao food.
And now, on December 5, Laos to Your House is cooking live at Monday Night Foodball, the Reader’s weekly chef pop-up at the Kedzie Inn in Irving Park. Over the decades Chicago has had only rare opportunities to taste Lao food made to order, and though Pam’s egg rolls are now legendary, they only scratch the surface of this undersung Southeast Asian cuisine.
The LtYH crew will emerge from their new HQ at The Hatchery to assemble their signature Lao Bento Boxes and Laocuterie boards, featuring an assortment of grilled meats (brisket, sausage, chicken wings), sauces, and sticky rice; plus kua mee, sweet, caramelized wok fried rice noodles with pork and fresh herbs; nam khao, a crispy rice salad with tangy fermented pork, coconut, and red curry; and of course, Pam and Lucky’s beef egg rolls.
They’re also featuring a trio of specials you won’t typically find on their regular menus: the yellow chicken and potato curry gang garee gai, with a side of French bread to soak it all up; goong hom pha, whole shrimp swaddled in wontons and deep fried; and gingery sweet or spicy chicken wings.
“Keo, he learned to cook from Stacy’s mom,” says Gully. “She always wanted to have a restaurant, so every time we cook in that kitchen, it really feels like a tribute to her.”
There’ll be a limited number of walk-in orders available, so place your preorder right now. It all goes down beginning at 5 PM, Monday, December 5 at 4100 N. Kedzie.
Meanwhile check out the remaining Foodballs on the 2022 schedule below. New 2023 lineup coming soon.
Phengphanh “Pam” Seuamsothabandith and Phiengvilay “Lucky” Seuamsothabandith on their wedding day, Laos, 1975