I didn't think it was possible to embarrass a country whose people, six or seven generations back, spawned the Jersey Shore cast members (with the ignoble exception of J-WOWW) but Davio's manages to do so. Here, we have Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse Frozen Philly Cheesesteak Spring Rolls. As you may know, spring rolls, especially ones of the Philadelphia sandwich-based ilk, are a huge staple in Northern Italian Steakhouse cuisine, often known as "cazzatietta" by the locals, a colloquial term for "little bullshit." They are usually accompanied by other traditional Northern Italian Steakhouse favorites like crab cake sandwiches, Chicken McNuggets, and the leftover dregs of a discarded Mountain Dew.Davio's Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls seem to have a rather varied cult following, ranging from one supposed Michelin-rated thrill seeker's notion that these are the best things he's ever eaten, (suck it, Bouloud!) to others emphasizing the somewhat Applebee's-esque nature of the whole thing. Having no interest in driving to one of the restaurants, I picked these up while they were on sale at Stop and Shop, interestingly devoid of paper towels, bottled water, and duct tape. Northampton, where is your pride?!On the package, Davio's goes as far as to rhetorically ask me, "Yeah, they're Philly Cheesesteak Rolls. What are you going to do about it?" What indeed, Immanuel Kant? Allow me to utilize the categorical imperative and assume that, if I bought these, I must eat them. Doi. Davio's recommends no less than sixty thousand methods of preparation with a separate Amazon bestseller rated booklet sold separately, but I chose for the ever-reliable nuke and sear method while Keepitcoming was at hot yoga. I never fail to disappoint.The egg roll dough errs toward the thick side and tends to get gummy toward the middle, but the innards are plentiful and don't disintegrate in the cooking process. The filling can best be described as frozen cheeseburger dip or the gunk inside a White Castle cheeseburger as it is extremely rendered down when you prepare them, with the obvious replacement of the squishy bun with a crispy, greasy egg roll shell. I knew when I bought these that they wouldn't be "tender shaved steak with a blend of Italian cheeses," but I figured that I'd like them just the same. And in all honesty, I do, especially with a garnish of Italian Sir Kensington's Spiced Ketchup and Italian Salsa Verde. Despite that they are very small and not filling in the slightest and that the cheeses taste scarily identical to the flavor powder on Cheez Doodles, I think that if these were stripped of their pretension and restaurant-generated "reputation" they'd make a fantastic appetizer or party snack, but the price is so high at $6 for 6 rolls and $13 for 4 rolls at the restaurant that it's almost not worth the corners they cut. These would be just as easy to make on your own and you could probably make twice the yield for the same price.
Labels: 7, appetizer, fat free, meat, snack