David Leong, creator of Springfield cashew chicken said: “When I moved here in the 1950s, people kept telling me about fried chicken,” Mr. Leong said. “I did what they wanted. I gave them fried chicken with Chinese oyster sauce and cashews.”None of the original restaurants are still open, and Leong family that started it all is retired from operating their own Chinese restaurants, but you can still get amazing cashew chicken at a number of places. My favorite is Hong Kong Inn, on Sunshine. It was on my way home from work when I lived in Springfield, and was a weekly staple in my healthy southern/midwestern diet. I also really like Yen Ching, in Ozark. The family has daughters living in San Francisco, so we always chat about that a bit. They do a take on cashew chicken that I adore when it's on the menu. They remove the gravy and add an apple gravy-like sauce, take out the cashews and add apples in, and use the same crispy fried chicken. YUM. Seriously good. Hmmm...I'm kinda scared to go home now. I'll probably gain 20 lbs on the visit.
Anyway, read the NYT article. Not often that Springfield makes it big. :) Well, not since Brad Pitt, anyway.