A 1960s menu from a Chinatown restaurant

A buck bought you a lot of food at the Rice Bowl, a Cantonese place at 44 Mott Street: “in the heart of Chinatown,” as the massive menu points out.

Open from 1939 to 1970, it was a “sophisticated high-class restaurant that required gentlemen to dress in suit and tie,” writes Daniel Ostrow and Mary Sham, authors of Manhattan’s Chinatown.

The Rice Bowl had quite an assortment of chow mein, the Americanized noodle dish topped with soupy vegetables that epitomized Chinese food decades ago.

It’s tough to find a bowl of chow mein in the city today, amid all the trendy Asian fusion spots. Even the last chow mein neon sign is gone.

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7 Responses to “A 1960s menu from a Chinatown restaurant”

  1. Upstate Ellen Says:

    Heh – well, this certainly explains why my Jewish grandmother, who lived in New York City for her entire life, ordered only chow mein when we went to a Chinese restaurant. She certainly wasn’t familiar with anything else!

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    yeah, but so many varieties to choose from!

  3. Big Sis Says:

    I think there is a Chow Mein sign (without the original restaurant) on Pitkin Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn. North side of the street but I forget the cross street (Thatford? Osborne? Not sure.)

  4. Lwong Says:

    But keep in mind what the average wage was at the time.

  5. Pix In Motion by Leo Bar Says:

    Reblogged this on Pix In Motion – Leo Bar and commented:
    Ahh delicious… And so affordable.

  6. MartKawaii Says:

    Reblogged this on Flowers in the barrel of a gun. and commented:
    I just found this really cool blog about “the ghosts” of New York – the remains of different periods, through which the city has been. Here is for example a menu of “a sophisticated restaurant” in Chinatown from the 1960’s… pretty close to the Chow Mein that Henry Miller was ordering with his muse June…

  7. MartKawaii Says:

    Reblogged this on http://flowersintebarrelofagun.com !!! So cool

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