In the 15 years since Great Wall Express opened in Pflugerville, a lot has changed, manager Esther Lin said. Pflugerville has more than doubled in population size as has Great Wall Express, which opened a second Chinese restaurant in the area in Round Rock.
Even with all this change, however, Lin said much has remained the same for her family-owned restaurant.
“We’ve never had a huge menu; it’s just simple with popular dishes that people enjoy,” she said. “We’ve kept it so anything can be made specially, and that has never changed.”
Many of the dishes that were classics a decade and-a-half ago have remained popular at Great Wall Express. Lin said customer favorites include General Tso’s chicken; orange chicken; and the dish named after the restaurant, the Great Wall, which is made with shrimp, chicken and a mixture of vegetables. Egg drop soup and sweet and sour chicken are also popular.
Lin’s husband and Great Wall Express co-owner Hai Lue Lin still works in the kitchen in Pflugerville, custom-making any order for diners.
Hai has taught his sons, who run the location in Round Rock, to do the same.
“We have the same food, the same sauces; everything comes out the same,” Lin said. “People can’t tell the difference because it is a family-owned restaurant.”
With so many other restaurants and shopping options being built around Great Wall Express’ first location in the years since it opened, Lin said the restaurant keeps customers returning with fresh food and the best cuts of meat.
She said that although 15 years in an ever-changing area has brought challenges, she and her husband love Pflugerville and what they do.
“We have been in business for a long time, even longer than here in just Pflugerville, but I love what I do, and I think that’s why we have accomplished so much here,” Lin said.
Great Wall Express
1202 FM 685, Pflugerville
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30-9 p.m.; Sun. noon-8 p.m.
4500 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock
Hours: Sun.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30-9 p.m.