Best Lo Mein in Chicago?
I've been craving good lo mein for weeks, and this weekend, in honor of my birthday, I plan to make the 2 1/2 hour pilgrimage into Chicago to find it!
Where should I go?
I hope you plan to make a couple other stops for some other hound-worthy food, but in my opinion the best lo mein I've had is at 65 Chinese (the dumpy loop mini-chain). It's chock full of bbq roasted pork and just the right amount of greasy.
FWIW, my favorite Lo Mein is at the little shack called Empire on Division on the S side of the street between Dearborn and State. The rest of the food is ass, but they used to kick out a lo mein that I would pay twice their reg price for gladly. No gloppy gravy, no stupid dried ramen noodles. This stuff was the bees knees. Last time I had it was two years ago, and it was still the same. The place is a total dive, by the way. My normal order was veggie lo mein, dry and extra La La (spicy.)
This is one of those places where the only thing I would ever order is the lo mein, and sometimes the noodle soups, and absolutely nothing else. Did I mention it's a total dive?
Might I also mention that I've noticed major differences in what is called "Lo Mein?" What would be your ideal style? Mine is dry wok seared thin wheat noodles (but not ramen noodles - more of a spaghetti thickness) with a very light sauce, veggies and meat of choice. I've ordered Lo Mein at several places and gotten gloppy cornstarchy garbage sauce with boiled ramen noodles far too many times. In fact, I generally stick to chow fun for noodle dishes in places I'm not familiar with.