Pigs' feet fusion
Chop Suey Carry Out, a Formstone-covered rowhouse on a tough West Baltimore block, is an unlikely purveyor of fusion cuisine.
But the restaurant grafts old country China onto inner-city Baltimore to create a wildly popular dish: Pigs' Feet Yat Gaw Mein.
Many Chinese places serve Chicken Yat Gaw Mein. The Sun's Rob Kasper just wrote about dining at a Pikesville place that also serves roast pork, shrimp and beef varieties.
But here -- and perhaps only here -- the familiar dish with wide noodles and mild brown sauce comes with the offbeat addition of pigs' feet.
"It's always fascinated me: Who would think up something like that?" said the Dining@Large lurker who tipped me off to the dish.
The delicacy seems to appeal to people after a hard night of clubbing.
"Two in the morning, the place is packed," Lurker said. "It's just one of those late-night foods you eat to soak up the alcohol."
The restaurant has been serving the dish for at least 30 years, according to a couple I met when I visited the place, at Edmondson Avenue and North Carey Street, last night.
Charlotte Boyd said her late mother and grandmother, who'd lived in the area, had been fans of the dish. Now she and her husband, Darnel Boyd, drive across at least once a week to pick up a couple $4.95 orders. They know of no other place in town that serves it.
"This is the only Chinese restaurant that does that," said Darnel, 43, a carpenter. "I'm from East Baltimore and I come all the way over here."
Photo by math-hubby