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Foong Lin, Americanized Chinese on Norfolk and Fairmont Avenue in Bethesda

Bethesda Chinese Free Delivery (3-Mile Radius $15 Minimum)

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#1 Drive-by Critic

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 06:06 PM

It seems to me, even based on your own comments, you should try HE again only order right this time.  I don't know about Fong Li, but based on reputation it's hard to imagine you couldn't do better at HE with a little care.

There is no Chinese restaurant I know of where you can get reliable help from the staff, at least not until they know you.  Having been burned so many times in the past by non-Chinese ordering the authentic dishes (by accident or whatever) and then rejecting them, they just won't suggest the good stuff to a Westerner they don't know.  They assume (correctly most of the time) that Westerners just don't like the authentic dishes.  You're only real hope is to do your research before you go, such as here on this board.  Otherwise it's hit or miss, and too often the latter.

Foong Li is not great, but it isn't nauseating. We've been all over the menu at Foong Li, trying the familiar and the not-so-familar and while we have had dishes we didn't like, none were as bad as those at HEOTB. Are you telling me that we shouldn't order spicy shrimp wonton (and if so, why?) or that they are supposed to served in a greasy glop? Are you telling me that a dish that is supposed to have ginger and scallions, but has no ginger is the fault of the Westerner who ordered? Maybe I am supposed to know that authentic Chinese ginger is flavorless? Sorry - I really think this was bad cooking, not bad choosing.



#2 hm212

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 06:52 PM

APPLES AND ORANGES!

My office is across the street from Foong Lin. It is not the place for authentic asian cuisine.

It does have very good americanized chinese food. Many times I will pick up egg rolls, fried rice, lo mein, etc for my kids for dinner. I personally like their egg foo young and I will mix in fried rice. I would not call this the best be all to end all. No it is not "authentic". But it is a pretty good dinner that is in my neighborhood and I like it.

This is a very different meal than if I am going to HEOTB. Having been to HEOTB several times including the banquet hosted by John B, that is great dim sum. That is a great meal.

We need to stop comparing apples and oranges.

#3 johnb

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 07:07 PM

Foong Li is not great, but it isn't nauseating. We've been all over the menu at Foong Li, trying the familiar and the not-so-familar and while we have had dishes we didn't like, none were as bad as those at HEOTB. Are you telling me that we shouldn't order spicy shrimp wonton (and if so, why?) or that they are supposed to served in a greasy glop? Are you telling me that a dish that is supposed to have ginger and scallions, but has no ginger is the fault of the Westerner who ordered? Maybe I am supposed to know that authentic Chinese ginger is flavorless? Sorry - I really think this was bad cooking, not bad choosing.

Well, everyone's experience differs, but based on all I've read and my own personal experience at HEOTB, you are very much in the minority in your experience there. That's why I'm surmizing you just happened to order the "wrong" things; their cooking is certainly not "bad," tho everyplace has an occasional off night to be sure. To each his own. Every Chinese restaurant that goes after the round-eye trade has highly Westernized glop dishes for Westerners whose idea of Chinese food is glop. Most folks who post on food boards such as this one are not in that category, but they are still in the vast minority of Chinese restaurant customers. In short, Chinese places have glop and they automaticlly assume that's what you want. It's up to you to get the good stuff. That's just the way it is.

You say Foong Li is not great. Why not find some place that is great? They are out there, but even the best ones usually have a wide selection of glop. Diner beware.

#4 Drive-by Critic

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 06:28 AM

Trying again.
Food can be:
authentic and good
authentic and bad
unauthentic and good (except for pastrami)
unauthentic and bad

Foong Lin - unauthentic but always well-prepared. I never said it was flown in from China. I said it didn't turn our stomachs, as did the food at the restaurant over at the other thread. Any why Foong Lin and not other places? Convenience. Ironically, the place in the other thread is MORE convenient and even has some parking, but that doesn't trump bad food (authentic or not).

And by the way, my husband spent six weeks in the Yunnan province. I'm guessing that most of you who seem to think that authenticity is all that matters wouldn't get within a mile of a place that serves the kinds of foods he was served in those six weeks.

#5 DonRocks

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 04:11 PM

One perk of having a depression-era mom (who, to this day, genuinely appreciates "just having a roof over my head") is that she's a perfect excuse for me sampling carryout from Americanized Chinese restaurants, such as Foong Lin, thus affording me the luxury of not having to commit to an entire evening.

I've always agreed with the posts above - Foong Lin might not be authentic, but it does a good job within its genre (it blows away, for example, Meiwah). And what's not to like about a well-made Pepper Steak ($10.95) - stir-fried beef with onions, red peppers, and green peppers? The sauce was not too sweet and not too thick, and I'd happily order this for myself as a carryout dish if I was in the area.

About fifteen minutes ago, she left me a message, part of which said, ".... The Chinese food is, was delicious. I don't know where you got it, but it sure was ... and that meat was delicious in there. Nice and tender, and really tasty. So I've eaten some, and I'm going to eat some more tonight before I go to bed, and some more tomorrow morning...."

Granted, she's not the toughest critic in the world, but she really liked it. And I took a few tastes, and I did too.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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#6 Pool Boy

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 02:31 PM

Co-workers dragged me here today. The hot and sour soup was a decent example, but a bit thick and tasting of some char. Enjoyable though.

The pork in spicy garlic sauce that I ordered extra spicy was indeed extra spicy but not overly so -- good balance that. I do have to say that the dish was thrown out of balance a bit because I found a bit too much sweetness in the dish. MSG? Who knows. it wasn't bad, but it doesn't make me love americanized chinese food either. One could do far worse. And it is about 100 steps from my office.

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#7 hm212

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 03:36 PM

One could do far worse. And it is about 100 steps from my office.

I like their food and I work across the street too, so when working late it is easy takeout. I also want to add the owners and staff are very nice. I have never had anything but very pleasant service there with a smile.

These days that puts them way above many others.

#8 Pool Boy

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:47 AM

Glad Haandi will be finding a location. Last place in the building that Haandi will be moving from is Foong Lin. Then I am sure the wrecking crews will move in to redevelop....

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#9 DonRocks

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:29 AM

Is it Foong Lin still open? Thought it was supposed to be closed by now

"Foong Lin To Close After 25 Years" in Bethesda Magazine.


I called just now ((301) 656-3427), and an Asian lady answered the phone like this: "azuwngythnghta MayIHelpYou?" I just couldn't understand whether or not she said "Foong Lin," so I asked, "Hi, what time do you open?", and she said "We're open now."

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#10 daveo

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:07 AM

25 years. Damn, I was going there abt 25 years ago and doing a lot of take out from there, back then. back then I thought it had the best crispy beef around. but that was then and this is now. my time flies

#11 mtureck

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:23 PM


To be honest, the loss of Jade Billows was a much bigger blow than City Lights or Foong Lin.

 

Foong Lin didn't close...it took over the old Moon Gate space.



#12 dpamlin

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 10:05 AM

Foong Lin didn't close...it took over the old Moon Gate space.

 

d'oh, i knew that too!  oops!







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