The World Of Illinois’ Chinese-American Food; The Best Illinois Movies

July 06, 2018

Robin Linn/Illinois Public Media

On this encore edition of the 21st: Niala sits down with food writers and radio hosts Monica Eng from WBEZ Chicago and Louisa Chu from The Chicago Tribune at Lee’s Chop Suey to talk about the history of Chinese food in Chicago. Plus, we dive into the best movies in Illinois—at least, according to a poll by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Food writers and radio hosts Monica Eng from WBEZ Chicago and Louisa Chu from The Chicago Tribune talked with us about Chinese food in Illinois. Both co-host the podcast Chewing, and they also both grew up in Chicago in the world of Chinese restaurants.

Both Monica and Louisa’s families owned and operated Chinese restaurants, and both journalists recently wrote pieces about their food heritage for The Chicago Tribune. So, we wanted to invite them to sit down to eat at a quintessential Chinese-American spot to talk about different styles of Chinese cuisine, whether or not chop suey is authentic and of course - what makes a good egg roll.

We met at Lee’s Chop Suey, which opened in 1968 in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.

Plus—

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has put out a project called Top 200, to celebrate Illinois’ 200th birthday. They’ve created 20 top 10 lists for residents to vote on. One of the categories was, naturally, movies.

We chatted about Illinois' best movies—the top 3 of which, according to their poll, were The Blues Brothers, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and A League Of Their Own—with Chris Wills, communications director with the Lincoln Museum and Library, along with research historian Christian McWhirter.