Chow Mein Sandwich

The chow mein sandwich, a strange specialty of drive-ins, diners, and cafes on the south coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island east of Narragansett Bay, exists because Frederick Wong started the Oriental Chow Mein Company in 1936. Wong’s noodles are crunchy, not soft as in chow mein elsewhere; and traditional chow mein sandwiches are meatless: simply noodles topped with sauced sprouts all on a plate along with a hamburger bun. For those more familiar with typical Chinese-American chow mein, the concept is a little weird. It takes a seasoned expert to actually pick one up like a normal sandwich; and while a bun floating in chow mein at first seems anomalous, an eater soon discovers that it is a mighty handy tool for mopping up the last of the gravy from the plate.

Restaurants With This Dish

A small, round loaf of bread laced with cheese and jalapeno sausage
Bourque’s Supermarket

PORT BARRE, LA

Putzs Creamy Whip - Hot Fudge Cake
Putz’s Creamy Whip

CINCINNATI, OH

Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria - Fried Chicken
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria
Nathaniel Reid Bakery

KIRKWOOD, MO

Fried chicken sandwich with coarse-cut cole slaw in the bun
Bakesale Betty’s

OAKLAND, CA

Dixie Supply Bakery & Cafe

CHARLESTON, SC

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