Jeff suggested this book he just read, “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” – about Chinese Food culture across the world. Sounds interesting to me, since I grew up in my family’s Chinese restaurants from sit-down to fast food. Lately I’ve been having questions relating to what I remember as a kid, such as why Chow Mein is different on the East coast (bean sprouts with thick white sauce; aka Chop Suey) than on the West Coast (stir fried noodles; aka Lo Mein). Well took me hours on Chowhound to figure it out and I was still confused hours after, but basically Cantonese style Chow Mein is like the Chop Suey. Chow Mein (non-Canton style) is like Lo Mein, which makes more sense since Chow Mein translates to “Fried Noodles” and the Canton style I grew up on isn’t noodle based, but does have those crispy fried noodle snacks to top it off.

Now I don’t know if this book tackles issues like my Chow Mein conundrum, but it sounds like a good read. So I went online to apply for a NY Library card and tried to have the book sent to the closest branch, which was the Library for the Blind. Well, the site told me I was an error and to speak to a librarian. Instead I just went to the library in midtown that carried the book. Good reason to finally try the famous Vendy Award winner Biryani cart for their kati rolls. They were delicious. It was wrapped in a roti pancake similar to Kung Fu Bing, but with Halal style chicken or lamb in them. Two for $6.

So back to getting the book. I went into the library and it was an interesting scene. As I was standing in one of the three lines to get a card, it was funny seeing people checking out the hugest stack of DVDs and books and people unknowingly cutting in line and people trying to not let them cut. I don’t remember the last time I was in a library. Must’ve been at least 9 years. I almost forgot you can borrow books, music & movies. Amazon usually first comes to mind.

Got the card and stood in a long line to check out the book. Then one of the library employees came straight to me and asked if I had a library card. He didn’t ask anyone else. I felt like I was singled out. Do I really look like I didn’t belong there? Did I look like I didn’t know how to read? Then a few minutes later a different employee came up to me and asked me the same thing. Literacy Profiling?

Biryani Cart – 46th St and 6th Ave New York, NY 10036
01 Kati Rolls from Biryani Cart NY

About The Author

Jason Lam

Food blogger since 2008. Hair model since 2003.

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