Golden Chow Mein: St. Paul bastion of food-world democracy

Beloved chow mein joints fuel American neighborhoods as surely as public works or supermarkets. When the second wave of Chinese immigration began in the mid-20th century, the cuisine the newcomers brought was a boon for wary American palates. Cantonese food was marked by simple steamed and stir-fried proteins and vegetables with little spice and mild flavors. It still reigns supreme as the go-to Chinese for America. So while trendy restaurants come and trendy restaurants go, chow mein restaurants remain staunchly the same. They hunker relatively unnoticed to tourists or passersby, but for the denizens of those neighborhoods, they are essential. Golden Chow Mein on West Seventh Street is such a place. Like much of the neighborhood, it's a time capsule. Read our full review here. Photos by E. Katie Holm.