You may or may not be aware but egg rolls and spring rolls in Detroit (and some other cities, too) are commonly being stuffed with meats like corned beef, hamburger and pulled pork. This is not a new practice but as new places are popping up in metro Detroit with these offerings, WDET reporters Bre’Anna Tinsley and Laura Herberg decided to take it upon themselves to investigate. And by investigate we mean go out and eat them.
Pop’n Smoked BBQ
Pop’n Smoked BBQ This barbecue joint on W. 8 Mile Road has only been open for about 6 months. The family that owns it started out competing in barbecue competitions across the Metro Detroit area. After rave reviews from customers, they decided to open a restaurant and sell their famous barbecue egg rolls.
Pop’n Smoked offers beef brisket, pulled chicken, and pulled pork egg rolls. The rolls come with the option of two house made sauces, spicy mustard and BBQ. We tried the pulled pork and chicken rolls. Both were delicious on their own, but seemed to need the sauce to feel complete. The rolls were perfect for a quick on-the-go bite. The family plans to open another restaurant a few doors down called “Pop’n Wings and Desserts” that will feature…wait for it… peach cobbler egg rolls! You can look for this new restaurant in the fall.
To hear Laura and Bre’Anna try Pop’n Smoked BBQ egg rolls click the player above.
Asian Corned Beef
In 1974, Kim White moved to Detroit from Vietnam after marrying an American and opened up a place called Asian Corned Beef (spellings vary). She says at first customers were thrown off by the name. They seemed skeptical of the sandwiches, asking her if she shipped the meat in from China (she doesn’t). White recalls only selling about five sandwiches a day. But at some point she started offering corned beef and Swiss cheese egg rolls and business started booming.
The roll tastes like a deep fried corned beef sandwich without the mustard. It’s served with an orange duck sauce, but could easily pair with thousand island dressing or mustard. The ooey-gooey goodness wrapped in the deep fried Wonton wrapper makes it an easy snack to take on the go.
Asian Corned Beef now offers nine egg rolls including pastrami & Swiss, cabbage & cheese, and steak, Swiss & grilled onions. The rolls range from about $1.50 to $3.00 in price. The original location is at 13660 Wyoming St. on Detroit’s west side. White’s family now owns and operates four locations in the city.
This Chinese-fusion, sit-down restaurant opened up last year in Midtown. It’s owned by the people responsible for places like Wright & Co. and Sugar House and offers craft cocktails as well as small and large plate items like crab rangoon and Mongolian hanger steak.
Also on the menu are cheeseburger spring rolls for $2.95 a piece. Instead of dipping the roll in a sauce, like most spring rolls are served, this spring roll is meant to be consumed wrapped in a leaf of romaine lettuce with pickles, tomatoes, and a tangy mayonnaise-based sauce. When we tried the rolls we were surprised to encounter what seemed like melted American cheese inside. The roll tasted less like an Asian culinary staple and more like cheeseburger hamburger helper wrapped in a crispy, flaky crust. The appetizer would make a good Super Bowl snack.
Did we miss anything? Add your favorite non-traditional eggroll or spring roll in the comments below!