A) Here in the Pacific Northwest. I have never ever received B while ordering chow mein, that would be a total disapointment. I grew up and still live on the West Coast.
I actually ordered some chow mein yesterday and I received more of a yakisoba style, stir fried - soft noodle (flour, flat, Japanese type) with chicken, onion, zucchini, carrot. Definitely not my idea of traditional chow mein.
While living in SF we learned of "Hong Kong" style chow mein, called Gee Mein (I am positive that is spelled incorrectly) It consists of a skinny-ier noodle panfried very brown & crunchy, very much like a noodle pancake, then they usually pour the daily offerings over the top. Very, very crunchy/yet soft - delicious. We love the Gee Mein at Great Wall out in the Avenue's. They also make wonderful Chow Fun, wide rice noodles, with beef, black bean, bean sprouts, panfried super dark and luscious. Do not miss their potstickers! Oh, man, they are a treat.
There is also that place on Broadway, rt side, going W, right before the tunnel (yet wah?) they make a great Steelhead Lo Mein.
Gosh, I miss eating in SF! Have you been to the Slanted Door? I read an article stating it was the best food in the country! They used to be out on Valencia and now they are high rent in the Ferry building. Too bad.
Do you ever go out for Won Tun Mein? That is the one dish that I absolutely miss the most. I can't remember the name of those particular restaurants but that was the most delicious dish. You are a lucky man to be living in that great city! My in laws live in Bernal Heights.