A 1960s menu from a Chinatown restaurant

Ahh delicious… And so affordable.

Ephemeral New York

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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