Modern Egg Rolls

Share This

Valley restaurants offer new takes on an American original.

Del Frisco’s Grille
2425 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix,
The ubiquitous egg roll served in Chinese-American restaurants is as authentically Chinese as the fortune cookie – which is to say not at all, since both were invented in America. So it isn’t surprising the deep-fried roll has crossed over into purely American restaurants with some interesting twists on fillings and dipping sauces. The cheesesteak egg roll at Del Frisco’s Grille (pictured) is a pseudo deep-fried Philly cheesesteak. Chef Jimmy Ton starts by sautéing trimmings from beef tenderloins, prime New York Strip and rib-eye steaks with onions, jalapeños and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. The seasoned meat is rolled in an egg roll wrapper (basically an egg and flour pasta sheet) with white American cheese and deep-fried until the skin is bubbled and brown. Served with Asian sweet chili sauce and honey mustard, this egg roll has been a signature appetizer since day one, for good reason. ($10)

2601 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,
This new small plates establishment from the folks behind FEZ calls its egg rolls “Crispy Cuban Cigars” because the flavor profile emulates a Cuban sandwich – as it happens, another American invention. Chef Kevan Kiefer slow-roasts pork shoulder with orange juice and herbs and then finely shreds it. The pork is rolled in an egg roll wrapper with sliced deli ham, caramelized onions and a baton of Gruyère cheese before a dunk in the deep fryer, and served with a side of whole-grain mustard aioli topped with diced dill pickles. ($11)

The White Chocolate Grill
7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix,
This small chain restaurant (which originated in Scottsdale in 2005 and now boasts branches in Colorado and Illinois) puts a Southwestern spin on the shareable starter with the aptly-named AZ Egg Rolls. The rich filling is a gooey combo of grilled chicken, corn, black beans and lots of Monterey Jack cheese. Neither dipping sauce – a jalapeño ranch-style sauce and an oven-roasted tomato salsa – deliver much in the way of a kick, but both fit the theme and complement the fried rolls nicely. ($10.89)

For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.