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1 From Column A, 2 From B

Remember when chinese restaurants were sit down places, with white tables cloths and the menu choices were 1 from colum a and 2 from b? The serving dishes were metal with lids...
I am looking for that type of place in or around Monmouth County....Are there any left?

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  1. None that I know of. Your post made me think of the Pu Pu platter that my folks loved to order. And there was always an order of chicken chow mein on the table.

    1. Your post made me smile. In Mercer County, China Chef in Lawrenceville doesn't have the 1 from column A...., but it does have those good old combination platters with pork fried rice and an egg roll. Combo platter #1? Chicken chow mein, of course.

      1 Reply
      1. re: stillnotdon

        This thread brings me back... I grew up in NJ and loved this food. I live in Los Angeles now, and am married to a Chinese girl, and have spent lots of time eating the real stuff. But the allure of the fake Chinese food of my youth in NJ still draws me in every time I go back.

        Did you know that what is served as "chicken chow mein" in NJ is actually chop suey?

        "Chow Mein" literally means "pan fried noodles" (not the deep fried noodles served at the table) and whether you're in Los Angeles, Kansas City or northern China, if you order "chow mein" you get something more akin to what Jerseyites would think of as "lo mein" (though not exactly).

        Mr Taster
        (Who yearns at least monthly for the perfect eggroll... who can't stand the flavorless, ubiquitous spring rolls that have taken over the country!)

      2. Not in Monmouth County, but if/when you travel up the Parkway, try Lun Wah in Roselle. Fun, kitschy atmosphere, although it leans more toward Polynesian than Chinese. Food is good (not five-star, but good) and they do the Pu-Pu like I remember as a kid, with the little grill in the middle of the platter. And a word of warning, the drinks can be pretty strong.

        All in all, a good time. (But it won't ever replace my memories of the East Winds in Scotch Plains...)

        1. My family used to go to Ping Toy in Irvington. I miss the subgum chicken chow mein. Has anyone seen that on a menu recently?

          1. The only place carrying this type of Chinese (Sorry, no Columns) locally that I can think of is Little Szechuan in Little Silver.


            1. King's on Rt 9N in Freehold (in the shopping center w/ Staples) has the white tablecloths, metal containers and column A&B that you have requested. More importantly, if you are looking for the Cantonese style of food from 30 or 40 years ago they prepare it very well. Service is friendly and accommodating.

              They unfortunately have no website and don't deliver but do a brisk takeout business in addition to the sit down dining. They are closed on Tuesday.

              King's Chinese Restaurant
              4345 US Highway 9, Freehold, NJ 07728

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bossa_Nova

                EXACTLY what I am looking for!!! Thank you Bossa_Nova and everyone who gave answers!

                1. re: tuxedo

                  We hit this place last Thursday for lunch. It was about 1 pm. The first thing that really struck me was how crowded it was! The place was packed, but we managed to get the last table. I thought the lunch prices were quite reasonable.. $6.50 for a quite generous portion of entree, plus rice (pork fried or white), plus soup, AND dessert. I thought the dinner prices were on the high side. There were no tablecloths, except on one table, but I imagine they put them on at dinnertime, and not lunch. And yes, they DID have the "1 from column A, 2 from B" option. It was $15.95 per person.

                  I rarely order my favorite appetizer anymore, but I had to try their shrimp toast. Their version is a winner! Large portion, fully of shrimpy goodness, and it managed to be crispy yet not greasy. Wife loved her egg roll. My hot and sour soup was, at first, an interesting blend of flavors, but halfway through, I decided I didn't like it that much. My beef and broccoli was excellent. Wife loved her chicken in brown sauce. Crispy noodles with duck sauce are served; hot tea is served on request (no charge for either).

                  And yes, they have the old-time serving dishes as well. Service was adequate, but very business-like waitress wouldn't crack a smile. We plan on going back. Wife wants to bring her parents. I still want to try the butterfly shrimp (aka the "bacon and onion shrimp").

              2. Went to Kings in Freehold on Superbowl Sunday...
                EXACTLY what we wanted!!! Old style chinese food....1 from column a and 2 from column b!
                Solid tasting food....we had soup, egg rolls, spare ribs, sweet & sour pork, fried rice, white rice and dessert....skinny noodles to boot! Plenty of food - had lunch leftovers for the next day.
                Going back to try the "pu pu platter" soon!
                Thank you everyone who offered help in my search!