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Thought experiment - What is chow worthy classic "Chinese American" food?

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Thought experiment - What is chow worthy classic "Chinese American" food?

coolaugustmoon | Mar 25, 2012 05:58 AM

I don't mean the places in Chinatown with special menus on the wall. I mean the stuff I grew up with in the 70s til today from places with names like Panda Garden, Wok n Roll, Lotus blossom etc...
I live now in a major metro area. Places do exist with borderline white tablecloth service that claim to have this food. But the food isn't that much better then the take out joints. When I start thinking of what the menu would look like, I wonder if the cuisine is not amenable to things like heritage chickens or grass fed beef, or locally sourced produce. I assume these places do exist somewhere. But when looking online I sometimes find restaurants that start going this way but end up adding "cheffy" touches and flourishes, like soy ginger beurre blanc halibut or the Momofuku inspired steamed bun (mantou bread) craze with exotic fillings . Or the need to add sushi or Thai inspired dishes to the menu. So, can this place exist? Does the desire to use well sourced artisinal products cause a drift into a new type of menu to justify price points? Is this a cuisine that cannot be chow'ed up since it came from an artificial birthplace?

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