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Who has the best old school Chow mein, egg foo young, you know the stuff I grew up on. Cheap and Tasty

I grew with a Jewish family that always had chow mein, lo mein, kung pao, egg foo young on Sundays. I'm coming to San Francisco next week and am looking for a restaurant to get these old style favorites of mine.

I did search the board and couldn't find any solid answers, most places listed were out of the city. I'm staying in Union Square area. I've heard to avoid Chinatown, but beyong that I seem to be missing where these places are.

Thank you for any help!!!

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  1. I can't give recs for the specific dishes you're looking for but why do you think you should avoid Chinatown? I even like its dim sum though many prefer places in the South Bay. From Union Square all you have to do is walk about two blocks to Chinatown. There's SO much to choose from. We stay in the north end of North Beach when we're there and walk all the way through Chinatown picking whatever food we're in the mood for at that time of day. Good luck.

    1. Here's an old thread about Americanized Chinese food that suggests Chinatown because that's where the stuff you remember can still be got, although I am not sure any restaurant serves chow mein with those hard "noodles."
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1931...
      I particularly like this article linked from Gary Soup's old blog about Chinese food and Jews.
      http://eatingchinese.org/miller.pdf

      4 Replies
      1. re: wolfe

        The "hard noodles" are typically called "crispy noodles" by the restaurants and they are available at most Chineese restaurants. You just have to ask for crispy noodles and you will get them.

        1. re: skwid

          The crispy or Hong Kong style fried noodles here in SF are not the same as New York-Chinese/Jewish/American food. The food here is different...you'll need to find these disappearing places in the Northeast, but even there Chinese food is undergoing great evolutionary change as peoples tastes become more educated...I still miss aspects of this 'cuisine' but I have never found it here....I eat pizza and Ancient Brooklyn Chinese, real deli and bagels, when I return for a visit! ..but I am certainly contented by the flavors of China (not to mention the rest of Asia) that I have experienced here.

        2. re: wolfe

          You forgot the link :) I do that all the time.

          Oh, THAT kind of chow mein? I didn't know that was even really Chinese. How long ago was that?

          1. re: c oliver

            I replaced the link but the one to the La Choy canned noodles disappeared.
            Skwid, are you telling me those noodles are really available? The next thing will be Chinese green bean mushroom casserole with "crispy noodles."

        3. I cant think of anyplace in your area that serves that type of chinese.
          There is a place in Daly City called the Lily Cafe that is just what you are looking for.

          1. But if you're not from here, or from someplace with a big Asian population, you can just walk over to Chinatown, take a look around, and enjoy yourself. It may or may not be exactly what you were looking for, but it's the easiest and funest way to get your Chinese fix.

            1. New Gold Medal in Oakland does a nice chow mein if you ask for pan fried noodles...various toppings. The other stuff...don't really know. If you're looking for Chicago noodles (like La Choy canned), I have no idea.