Joined: May 16, 2008
From: Dogtown, USA
|Posted: 2013-03-23 8:53 pm  Permalink|
I have indeed encountered the chow mein sandwich only it wasn't in a restaurant. It was in the Orange County CA kitchen of a close friend of mine. My friend Doris grew up outside of Boston, and along with her 2 siblings worked in their parents' Chinese restaurant. After college all 3 kids migrated to California, with the parents following suit after selling the restaurant to retire in the sunshine.
Also in a strange twist of Tiki fate, I learned that Doris's 2 uncles owned the recently closed Hong Kong Inn in Ventura CA where I ran a Tiki bus trip just last year !!
Anyway Doris's parents visited her OC home on a regular basis where I used to inquire about their old family business. One time I asked what their specialty was and without skipping a beat they mentioned the chow mein sandwich. They said that dish was so popular that it paid for 3 kids' college educations. For years I used to bug her parents to make it for me so I too could partake in that regional "ancient Chinese secret".
One day they happened to have all of the needed ingredients in the kitchen so they whipped one up for me. Essentially it was Chow Mein piled open face on top of hamburger buns with a bunch of crispy noodles. I tried to eat it like a regular sandwich but it ended up as one big sloppy mess.
I didn't quite get the appeal but they said their old Caucasian customer base LOVED it.