Friday, June 22, 2018

Everyday Noodles owner Mike Chen advocates for more regional Chinese restaurants in Pittsburgh.


Photo by Laura Petrilla.

Pittsburgh Magazine food editor Hal B. Klein talked with Everyday Noodles owner Mike Chen recently, in a piece that discusses his history in Pittsburgh and his experiences in the local restaurant scene. Speaking on the recent growth and diversification of Chinese restaurants in the area:
“The best thing to do is to offer your own style — real, authentic to where you’re from,” Chen, the three-time president of the 20-year-old Pittsburgh Chinese Restaurant Association, says.

Restaurant owners are doing just that. Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33 opened around the corner in 2016; Ting’s in McCandless Township now has a growing Taiwanese menu. How Lee, a Sichuan restaurant, is across the street, with Sichuan Gourmet and Chengdu Gourmet both a short distance away. Down the block, another establishment, Northeastern Kitchen, this one specializing in northeastern Chinese cuisine, opened in May. “Everybody is different, and so we all survive. We even help to bring people in,” he says.

That’s not to say that Chen and his colleagues don’t have work to do to get more Americans to take a seat at the table. “Some food still won’t sell to the majority of Americans. And Pittsburgh is behind cities like New York and Philadelphia. ‘Can I eat that?!’ they say,” Chen says.