Thursday, June 22, 2017

Chinese food at Forbes and Meyran: Oakland's Bamboo Garden.


Via Dr. Young Suh Kim.

The corner of Forbes and Meyran Aves. in Oakland still doesn't have its noodle place---the Asian Noodle Bar has been "coming soon" since November 2014---but that spot was the home of a long-running Chinese restaurant for more than 50 years. Bamboo Garden occuped 3531 Forbes Ave. from July 22, 1935 to the 1980s and advertised Chow Mein and Chop Suey to appeal to American tastes. According to 2005 a letter published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, it was the favorite restaurant of Dr. Jonas Salk.
There he would think out the problems in his research and fortify his inspiration while relaxing over a bowl of wonton soup, egg roll, rice and chicken chow mein made with homegrown bean sprouts -- all for $1.35.

John Troan was a science writer with the Pittsburgh Press during the 1950s. Whenever he needed more information on the progress of the vaccine, he would invariably find Dr. Salk at lunchtime, dining on his favorite Chinese dishes at the Bamboo Garden.

Jewish Criterion from May 22, 1936.

The restaurant family tree from the proprietors and their progeny would include Chang's Inn in Oakland and The Peacock Restaurant in Mt. Lebanon. Bamboo Garden would be replaced by Himalayan Tibetan in the early 1990s, a Middle Eastern restaurant named Cleopatra in 1999, another Middle Eastern restaurant named Baba D's, and finally Pittsburgh Pretzel Sandwich Shop in 2011.

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