Spring rolls were once the sole domain of Asian restaurants, with fillings limited to julienned carrots, cabbage and wood ear fungi, interlaced with pork or shrimp. But today, chefs are having fun with other ingredients. The cheesesteak roll was the first non-traditional market entry, with its origins in dirty, bulletproof North Philly Chinese walk-ups nearly a decade ago. Our favorite is the nearly greaseless one at Deuce in Northern Liberties (1040 North 2nd Street; 215-413-3822), where chef Scott Schroeder avoids any ridiculous flourishes, employing just wafer steak, fried onions and American cheese.
At South Street rock club Tritone (1508 South Street; 215-545-0475), the underrated bar menu features a yummy salmon and spinach spring roll, as well as a crawfish spring roll, both great chicken-finger alternatives for Tritone’s late-night beer crowd. The filling of choice at Cherry Hill’s Scaturro’s (841 Route 73 South, Marlton; 856-985-4560) is crumbled hot sausage, broccoli rabe and aged provolone, though if you order it as an appetizer, you’ll be taking your entrée home in a doggie bag. Even desserts are getting into the game: Haru (241-243 Chestnut Street; 215-861-8990) has unveiled a banana spring roll with chocolate sauce.