East Coast vs. West Coast Chinese Food...
I've been amazed recently at noticing how different the styles are. The cooking, and even terminology of each coast is very different. It seems that West coast has a lot more Mandarin and Cantonese dishes, while the East has more Szechuan cooking.
We went to a famous Chinese restaurant just outside Boston last week, and asked for Potstickers. The waiter had no idea what we were talking about. We did eventually find them, but they are "Peking Ravioli". He had never heard them refered to as "Potstickers". We were aghast.
Noodle dishes seem to be different as well, with the East seeming to rely more on the crunchy, dried noodles that you can get from a can in the grocery store.
One theory we talked about was that the East Coast is actually behind the West coast in terms of how long this style of food has been around. Chinese were coming to the West coast, the San Francisco area since the Gold rush of California in the 1840's. Perhaps the East just hasn't caught up as much?
I probably shouldn't put the whole East coast as a blanket statement, I know New York City has good Chinese food. But it's interesting to make the comparisons.