gnatharobed

Peter Chang Really HAS Been Found!

276 posts in this topic

OK folks- here's what I've been able to find out, none of this is confirmed but I hear Peter Chang's new restaurant will be called China Gourmet. It's gonna be at 9901 Lee Highway in Fairfax and is scheduled to open March 15th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know exactly where that's at, but it has been open for years if I am not mistaken. I didn't think it was Schezuan, but maybe now it will be. I will be there next week and check it out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK folks- here's what I've been able to find out, none of this is confirmed but I hear Peter Chang's new restaurant will be called China Gourmet.  It's gonna be at 9901 Lee Highway in Fairfax and is scheduled to open March 15th.

That would be consistent with what I was told during my final visit to TemptAsian, when it was confirmed that he was gone from there. IIRC, they said he would be at a place on Lee Hy., far out somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That would be consistent with what I was told during my final visit to TemptAsian, when it was confirmed that he was gone from there.  IIRC, they said he would be at a place on Lee Hy., far out somewhere.

LOL everything is relative, I guess. This "far out somewhere" location is just west of Fairfax Circle on 50/29, in the vicinity of local red sauce favorite The Espositos'.

For us boondockers this is good news. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had lunch in his new place today, in the company of a knowledgable Atlanta chow-head. We had a few of the old standby's and one off-the-menu item he did up special: crispy eggplant cut like french fries and salt fried with scallion greens, a hint of cumin, and hot pepper. To die for!

The menu, which is actually printed pretty well this time and with only a few typos, would look familiar to any of his fans, but has a few new departures (at least that I don't remember) such as lemon grass in some dishes. There are 170 named items (the "good" menu). You can safely skip the buffet. :)

We sat and talked for a while; unfortunately, I was having trouble with the translated English I got, but he seems happy and apparently is a partner. His wife is still with him of course, doing the appetizers. Apparently he will be concentrating on dinner this time, and the restaurant has hired another expert chef to help, especially with lunch. Note to PandaHugga: he still has your card in his wallet.

Due to concerns down there about too much information getting out while the place is still ramping up, I won't be specific about the name or location in an open forum; let's just say it's in the Atlanta area. I respect the concern, not least in light of the Szechuan Boy fiasco. If anyone wants to know more just PM me.

2.5 hour drive from my new digs. Not too bad--could have been Ohio! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woo hoo! My niece just started her internship in Hotlanta, another reason to visit! :)

I hope he sticks it out this time, at least until I can get there.

Crossing my fingers and my toes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John--you've become to Chef Zhang somewhat like the people who used to follow the Grateful Dead and the Phish around the country, attending all of their concerts. And so familiar with the material that the slightest nuances of change were celebrated. And here I was thinking that driving to Fairfax for dinner was a big shlep! I presume that you told him that James has moved to Beijing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John, this is the first restaurant that doesn't want customers since, well, since Ray's the Steaks. Has the new place been reviewed? Do the Atlanta papers know about the soap opera that went on here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John, this is the first restaurant that doesn't want customers since, well, since Ray's the Steaks. Has the new place been reviewed? Do the Atlanta papers know about the soap opera that went on here?
Is anyone able to give us newbies some backstory? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is anyone able to give us newbies some backstory? :)

If you read this thread about TemptAsian, you will get some idea of Chef Chang's history in restaurants here. From the Chinese embassy to China Star to TemptAsian to China Gourmet . . . before he dropped out of sight. He created a cult following among some Rockweillers and, as you can see, some of us will go to great lengths to get at those baby wontons in chili oil and cumin laced fish again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you read this thread about TemptAsian, you will get some idea of Chef Chang's history in restaurants here. From the Chinese embassy to China Star to TemptAsian to China Gourmet . . . before he dropped out of sight. He created a cult following among some Rockweillers and, as you can see, some of us will go to great lengths to get at those baby wontons in chili oil and cumin laced fish again.
I just read the TemptAsian thread...thanks to you (and Lydia!) for the directional arrow. Now, how quickly can I get to Atlanta? I'm awfully hungry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John, this is the first restaurant that doesn't want customers since, well, since Ray's the Steaks. Has the new place been reviewed? Do the Atlanta papers know about the soap opera that went on here?

Well, the idea among my Atlanta friends seems to be to not have that happen until the staff are ready for the onslaught that may ensue.

Almost nobody outside the Chinese community knows about the restaurant yet, and AFAIK the only non-Chinese person in Atlanta who knows Chang's history is the friend I had lunch with (and any of his buddies he may have shared it with since), because I told him all about it--he had no clue until we met at the place and I asked to see "the chef." BTW, until I got there I wasn't sure it was really going to be Chang in the kitchen--I had only pieced some bits of information about the restaurant together and concluded that he surely must be there; I walked in and immediately looked around for the famous picture on the wall, and sure enough there is was, right behind the cash register. Bingo!

Anyway, my friends feel that, once the restaurant, especially the service staff, is ready, it will be more appropriate for word to get into the non-Chinese mainstream. They want to hold off until then. The Chinese community is already tuned in to the place, so there's no issue of the restaurant having enough revenues to chalk it up as a success.

Zora--I don't really want to think of myself as a Chang-head, but admittedly I have had a little bit to do with promoting him around town in the past. My excitement about this is obviously intertwined with the fact that I recently moved to Western North Carolina. All my friends were wondering what I'd be doing around here for good eats, especially of the ethnic variety. Having this guy show up so close certainly takes the edge off that. But I must add that Atlanta has an astounding degree of ethnic diversity. Indian, Chinese, Korean, Mexican, Vietnamese, you name it, it's here are there are good examples of all those cuisines. Not only that, many of the places I liked to shop at are there too. The Super H is bigger and has more stuff than the one in Fairfax. Same for Restaurant Depot. And there are dozens of little ethnic stores of all kinds. All within easy day-trip range. Also, in fairness to my new home state of NC, you can eat well here, especially the fresh veggies etc. that are everywhere. Too bad there's no good Q this far west; sigh.

And yes I told him James had moved to China, tho it took him a bit of time to absorb it---he obviously thought he was getting a wrong translation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, BUT, how many people are there in the Atlanta area who are as interested in eating "Authentic" Sichuan food as we were?

I ask this as someone who will be going down that way next summer for my Aunt's 100th birthday (yes, that's right: 100) AND will be accompanied not only by Dame Edna, but with my other Aunt who likes "spicy" food as much as I do.

Please, please, please let Chef Chang last long enough down there so that I can taste his food once again. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update! Next time you see Chef Zhang, be sure to tell him I have relocated to Beijing in order to be able to guarantee my supply of Sichuan dishes, now that he has left the DC area!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone who may be interested, or have the opportunity to visit Atlanta, my friends there have broken radio silence and decided to post about Chang's new place. So I can now be more specific.

Tasty China

585 Franklin Road SE

Marietta, Ga. 30067

770-419-9849

Marietta is NW of Atlanta, just outside the "beltway." The restaurant just off I-75, at the exit for "Loop 120." It is in a strip mall of course--some things never change.

Chang is cooking mostly in the evening, AFAIK. To my knowledge the restaurant doesn't have a web site.

Here is a link to the chowhound post:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/334616

The menu descriptions will sound very familiar to many. I will be adding some DC back story to the thread shortly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For anyone who may be interested, or have the opportunity to visit Atlanta, my friends there have broken radio silence and decided to post about Chang's new place. So I can now be more specific.
Thanks for breaking radio silence. I was thinking about sending you a PM because I am contemplating a trip back home to Louisiana later this month, and of course would swing through Hotlanta just for this restaurant. My sister was there this past weekend, and I offered to ask you for her, but she's not at all an adventurous eater. If I don't go later this month, in November, for sure. Hope he's still there! :)

Surprised at the comment on "factory wrappers" for the won tons in chili oil. The wrappers at China Star were like gossamer, not so at Tempt Asian and China Boy. What's up with that?

Also, what is the deal about BYO? What, if you know, is legal in Atlanta? BYO beer, wine, hard liquor? Pay a corkage fee? I have no experience with this. But I do consider beer to be an essential element in enjoying Chef Chang's cuisine.

Either beer, or a fire extinguisher. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if this should go on the Atlanta topic or here but...

I took the family for food at Peter Chang's new restaurant in the suburbs of Atlanta, Tasty China. The restaurant was packed and only 2 servers spoke some English which I took for a very good sign. We asked the owner to bring us a couple of appetizers and some main courses that he would recommend.

We started with the baby wontons which were packed with flavor and in a delicious broth full of tiny shrimp. Along with this dish we had the numbing beef with chili. The beef was dried beef with tons of chilies and cilantro. Amazing. The next appetizer were fiery tiny fried whole fish, crispy and delicious. Finally to cool our mouths we had the 5 spice pancake which was doughy and tasted of roasted corriander and cinnamon.

Then the entrees started arriving....

First was the szechuan beef, thin slivers battered and fried with chilies, then the sweet fish with rice noodles and greens, a sweet, spicey and sour diced chicken, pork ribs with fried? batter bits??, another beef with vegetables and a tangy citrus sauce. I can't tell you how full and happy we were. My mouth was still tingling later that evening :)

I can't wait to go back with all the reviews I found today. (We were moving my dad into his new digs, hence no computer.)

I have never had Chinese food like it. When the owner found out I live in NYC, he gave me the name of a place in Flushing. He wrote the name in Chinese so now, I am going to try and find it...

Can't wait to go back to Atlanta to eat more szechuan...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was at the restaurant again yesterday. The carryout menu now has a little bio on Chang; it talks about the televised contests he won in China and his time at the Dynasty Hotel in Beijing, his time in Washington starting in 2000, and goes on to say that he went to Atlanta because it was a chance to have a piece of the action--it said he had been offered "many head chef jobs" in the DC area but apparently not with partnership. We talked for a moment, and he did say he misses his many friends in Washington.

The restaurant's business is picking up. Apparently you can barely get in on weekends because the entire Chinese community is there.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution is now aware he is in town. They did a little video clip that stars Chang and his sidekick Wong, and talks about Sichuan peppercorns (it's basically entitled "Ma La"). Here is a link:

http://www.ajc.com/news/mplayer/m/6224

I think you can just click, but it may require signing up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some information has come my way that Chang may have returned to the Va suburbs to partner in a new place. I will update when and if I learn more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some information has come my way that Chang may have returned to the Va suburbs to partner in a new place. I will update when and if I learn more.

I certainly hope so. (He is a flitabout.) Keep us informed, John.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some information has come my way that Chang may have returned to the Va suburbs to partner in a new place. I will update when and if I learn more.
Nooooooooooo! I was planning on an Atlanta run in May.

Well, on the other hand, if he really is coming here, YES! YES! YES!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Peter comes back, perhaps we can get pandahugga to come back as well. hmmm... anyone ever seen them together? In any event, based on past performance, we have a 6-9 month window before he moves again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now