Serious Eats: Talk

Whatever happened to chow mein (chop suey)?

Growing up in Yonkers in the '50s and '60s, take-out chow mein shops were as ubiquitous and pizza parlors. Chow mein was to Chinese cooking as pizza is to Italian cooking. As with the best pizza, the best chow mein was sublime. My preference was a steaming bowl of chow mein over rice (and yes, with the bullshit crunchy noodles) with big, plump, juicy shrimp, or with huge chunks of lobster. I can almost smell it now (pause now, as wave of nostalgia wafts over). The best shop in Yonkers was Moon's Chow Mein on South Broadway, about a mile from the Bronx border. But, a funny thing happened. As pizza was on its way to becoming worshipped in NY Metro, chow mein was going the way of the dodo. Talk about cruel fate. Are my brother and I (and Ed Levine) the only ones left who still crave chow mein?

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