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Jan 1, 2007 03:26 PM

Defining East Coast Chinese Food [Split from S.F. board]

...and Shrimp with white Lobster sauce with bits of ground pork in the sauce, and Lobster Cantonese, and crispy fried noodles (like Chinese tortilla chips) placed on the table to dip in Real Eastern 'duck sauce' mixed with mustard for sweet and hot combo, and fat stuffed egg rolls, and chow mein with the same crunchy noodles and bean sprouts, and very different tasting meaty spare ribs (ready to dip in the sweet hot..mustard/duck sauce combo).......................answer................NO!

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    1. re: Gary Soup

      Now Now Gary!
      We have previously had discussions of Chinese and other cuisines adapting to local traditions and creating additional signature dishes to their international repertoires...we can't ALL marry into a Sino-Culinary tradition! I'm sure the "Gang of Four" has indoctrinated you well!
      New York Chinese food is a well established tributary of Chinese food just as much as those created in all the other hyphenated Chinese Cuisines (Chinese-Korean, Chinese-Singaporean, Chinese-Phillipino, etc etc, etc...!) They influence, and are influenced by, the peoples and readilly available foodstuffs around them...this is one of the cornerstones of a World Class Cuisine!
      Shao Long Bao, can coexist besides a New York eggroll and neither are diminished by their repective pedigrees....
      "to which I would add "Thank God"!

      1. re: ChowFun_derek

        LOL, I'm aware of that as anyone, but I feel East Coast Chinese food belongs on the East Coast, just as Tex-Mex belongs in Texas; otherwise you'll have West Coast East Coast Chinese food. It'll be like phony tinsel on top of real tinsel, as Oscar Levant might put it.

        Besides that, I don't think New York Chinese restaurants ever put out a good Tomato Beef Chow Mein....

        1. re: Gary Soup

          Then ALL cuisine should stay in its' place of origin???
          No Shanghai food except in Shanghai?
          No French food except in France??
          Never saw a tomato in any Chinese dish on the East Coast when I was growing must be West Coast Chinese...!
          ...and aren't tomatoes a product of the "New World" and not Asia?

          1. re: Gary Soup

            What is NYC tomato beef chow mein? The traditional tomato beef chow mein is SF is pretty bad w/ the super red ketsup, IMO.

            If you know a place where you can get a fresh tomatoes, black bean, onions and green bell peppers stir fried over crisp noodles, I'd pay to know. Whenever I order this in SF I've literally gotten "that's weird" or "we can't cook it that way" responses.

            1. re: ML8000

              Can't you folks tell when I'm joking? TBCM is California Chinese from half a century ago, and you can't get California-Chinese in New York, so why should you be able to get New York Chinese in California? The TBCM of the 1960's at Jackson Cafe, Sun Tai Sam Yuen, Song Hay et. al. used fresh tomatoes, green pepper etc. But NOT crispy noodles, unless you specified. I like to think I've outgrown it, though.

              1. re: Gary Soup

                Frankly it's difficult to tell what you're saying given all reference, EC, WC, TM, etc...and you didn't put any :) in your message. As I'm sure you know, the internet is not ripe for subtle humor.

                Since Jackson Cafe closed really haven't come across old school TBCM except I "taught" a place on Clement St. to cook it that way but they closed about 8 years ago and I moved.

                1. re: ML8000

                  Tai Chi, on Polk street, has a version that LOOKS like the Jackson Cafe version of old. I haven't tried it, but I ogled the order served to the neighboring table, finally deciding it wouldn't taste as good as heirloom TBCM did in my imagination.

                  1. re: Gary Soup

                    Thanks for the tip. If I'm in the hood I'll have to stop by. I'm guessing however I also might run into the "TBCM of my imagination" as well. Beef-eater tomatoes in August is how I remember it best. My Mom's family has cooked it that way for a long time, at least since their restro in the 40s (long gone). Just getting some with fresh tomatoes however would mke me happy but maybe I should wait until Aug/Sept.

                2. re: Gary Soup

                  Thanks for reminding me about this dish. I'm only familiar with the fresh tomato & green pepper version, but I have no idea when and where I first had it. When well done, it is a joy to eat. I used to joke about eating Chinese spaghetti. It's been years and years since I have had it, and years since I've seen it on a restaurant menu. Damn, I'm hungry for it right now!


                  1. re: Ed Dibble

                    It is described in a 1950s Los Angeles menu as "a favorite with modern Chinese youth"

                    1. re: Brian S

                      Thanks for the link, but the dish of my memory does not have crispy noodles.


                3. re: ML8000

                  We have tomato beef chow mein down here in Los Angeles. LA Tomato Beef Chow Mein? Yes, we have the super red ketsup, and the soft beef, and I'm sure they can add black beans for you and make the noodles extra crispy, if you ask.

                  That being said, I haven't had a good one in years...

                  1. re: silleehillee

                    Interesting... the only thing Beef and Tomato would top up here in Toronto (at least from what I remember from my childhood) would be rice. Also, my aunt used to make it as well... it's nice to how times change even with our immigrant food.

          2. New York Chinese food is Chinese food. Blake said you can find the universe in a grain of sand, and you can find a universe of food along the gritty byways of New York. If you think of NY food in terms of Seinfeld wolfing down a takeout carton, just remember that Seinfeld was written and filmed in California. One thing I loved about the film "Woman on Top" is that it had as accurate a view of the San Francisco food scene as most Californians have of ours.

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