Seriously? Chow Mein Sandwich?

You know about efforts to revive and restore the Church of St Anne in Fall River.  Good things are happening.

I received a note from one of the fellows involved.  It seems that at $5 a shot they made $7500 for the restoration through… I am not making this up….

Chow mien sandwiches.

My correspondent asserts that this is a “local treat”.

In Philly you have cheesesteaks “whiz with” or “without”.  In Chicago you “drag it through the garden”.   You can get a Po’Boy, Muffuletta, or a Juicy Lucy.  All reasonable.

But in Fall River you eat … Chow Mien Sandwiches?


What a concoction.

The things you learn on this blog.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I once heard a rumor from a colleague about a “spaghetti filled breadbowl” he ate at a dig in central Kentucky.

    I can’t say I comprehend placing a carb heavy item within a bread based containment…

    Chow Mien Sandwishes….

  2. Gab says:

    “In Chicago you “drag it through the garden”. You can get a Po’Boy, Muffuletta, or a Juicy Lucy. ”

    LOL I had to google each one. The Chow Mein sandwich has been around since 1930s/40s in Fall River … and then there’s the St Paul sandwich …

  3. JonPatrick says:

    Here in Maine you would order “an Italian” aka an Italian sandwich, invented by a man named Amato in Portland ME. From WickedPedia: “The Italian sandwich is prepared using a long bread roll or bun with meats such as salami, mortadella, capicolla and ham along with provolone or American cheese, tomato, onion, sour pickle, green bell pepper, Greek olives, olive oil or salad oil, salt and black pepper.”. What in Boston they call a Sub, in Philadelphia and South Jersey a Hoagie.

  4. Chow mein sandwiches: you have to try them. They are a treat. Up there with clam cakes, coffee cabinets, and grinders.

    (I won’t even get into the Portuguese/Azorean specialties from the restaurants in town…too many great things to try in an area that one would think was resigned to fast food and Spam sandwiches).

    But you better stop by the packie for something to wash it down.

  5. JGavin says:

    In Philly, for a cheesesteak, provolone is more common, seldom American. I can only think of one or two places that do cheezwhiz. The best was with a Conshohocken roll. Think football roll , hard crust, soft inside. Also, mushrooms , onions and marinara sauce. (not ketchup).

  6. Elizabeth R says:

    There’s a wikipedia article about the chow mein sandwich. Apparently Emeril Lagasse has promoted it – he’s from the area.

  7. Deacon John says:

    And in the city of my birth, Salem, Massachusetts, we find the cousin of the chow mein sandwich: the chop suey sandwich, as documented by the New England Historical Society:

  8. Art says:

    There is something inherently Catholic about the chow mein sandwich. Choice of carbs: bread or noodles? The Catholic answer would be ‘both/and not either/or’. It looks similar to the yakisoba sandwich that is ubiquitous in Japan (perhaps Fr. Z has seen it on his visit there) except this uses a hamburger instead of a hot dog bun. Preliminary investigation shows that each developed independent of the other with the chow mein version predating the yakisoba by 20 years…

  9. KWhelan says:

    I grew up in the Fall River MA area eating chow mein over ground beef. Local chinese eateries sell chow mein sandwiches. The area grocery stores sell Hoo-mee chow mein mix in a box: The mix is simply a bag of fried noodles that you boil in water with a seasoning packet. Not the healthiest, but it sure brings back memories…including Eclipse Coffee Syrup:

  10. PostCatholic says:

    Egg Foo Young sandwiches are a St Louis thing.

    I grew up in Cambridge, MA and the Chinese food oddity there used to be that your dinner order would be boxed into the quintessential pint cartons, bundled into a paper bag, and topped with the soy sauce and mustard envelopes, fortune cookies, and French baguette-style dinner rolls. Because you can’t, obviously, have dinner without a dinner roll. I wonder if they still do that? Maybe your Bay State readers know.

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