Today I flashed back to the wonderful old Orient Cafe that used to be on 7th Street just off Washington Avenue in downtown Saint Louis. I cooked my remembrance of the sub-gum chop suey they used to serve. Actually, it was the only thing I ever ate there. I even took my mother and father there and introduced them to Chinese dining.  They always ate the chop suey there, too.

When the Cafe finally closed down, I attempted to recreate the dish from memory.  And after a couple of tries I finally got it right. After that,  I often cooked it for the family.  I think that was my mother’s way of getting out of cooking. Also, because I prepared so much, there was always left overs for follow up dinners.  Since I didn’t work from a printed out recipe, my dish varied every time I made it.  But it always seemed to taste the same!


Since I forgot to take a picture while I was cooking today, I went back and borrowed this one from a post I published several years ago. After a closer look, I think this might have been an Oriental Chicken Soup. Same basic veggies, but the broth/sauce in the chop suey is much thicker. And I usually used beef or pork in the chop suey.

(I also created my own variation that I called Crunchy Chow Mien Burgers. I got the name from humorous mystery from the 60s or 70s where the main character went to a London restaurant where he always ordered them. For the life of me, I cannot remember the author or the book’s title. Anyway, my version was sort of like an Oriental Sloppy Joe made with ground beef, chopped celery and bell peppers and bean sprouts and topped with chow mien noodles on a bun.)


About Robert Edler

... a somewhat unknown and/or imaginary actor, writer, director, producer, photographer, friend, brother, uncle and all round good fellow that you really should get to know because he lives with that most glamorous fourpaw Mademoiselle Renee. (Mlle. Renee for short)

Posted on May 18, 2015, in COOKING THAT WILL NEVER HELP ME WIN MASTER CHEF and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I decided to dabble in Google a little to try to find your mystery. I didn’t, but I did read a lot of interest articles about Chinese food. The power of Google compels us!

    • That’s what I get for giving all my elderly card covers to the local book fair where someone will discover them and also help the Children’s Literacy and Education Fund.

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