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  1. Everyone has one. A go-to Chinese food place that you go to whenever you have the urge for good Americanized Chinese food. I had one once but it closed 13 years ago. The old Sampan café, back when it was run by Brian. My family went there for 25 years. I haven't found anything close since. Sure, I still by Chinese food, but it is more for simplicities sake. I am generally not happy afterwards, but when you have a bunch of kids, and no time to cook, Chinese food is in the rotation. Flash forward to last night - I had some of the kids playing at an indoor playground while mulling over what to get for dinner. We just did Café Rio and I couldn't stand to have Chick Fil e again. We hadn't done Chinese food in a while, and I wasn't in love with the place we normally go to so I pulled up tripadvisor and searched for restaurants near me. The number 1 restaurant in town, according to the wisdom of the massed happened to be this place. Higher than Ford's. Higher than Thai Basil. I was intrigued. I placed my order and headed over to Airline Pkwy to go pick it up. The place was not that busy but the staff was very friendly and attentive. I ordered: Triple Delight Soup with house made noodles, combination fried rice, governor's chicken (kung pao), and smoked tofu with pork. The food had to travel home for 20 minutes but at the most part it ranged from good to very good. I want to eat there in person sometime and there are a number of interesting things on the menu that I want to try. Something noteable that the meats in the soup and fried rice were actually really good. They actually tasted like meat. Upon completing our meal, my wife commented "Why don't you go here from now on." I agree, I think I will forego any of our other carryout places for this one. I put this out there because I know many of this board's denizens live in the South Riding/Chantilly area. If you do, I encourage you to give them a try and let us know your opinion.
  2. I tweeted this yesterday afternoon, having a terrible craving for raw seafood - raw bar or sashimi - yesterday at around 3:15 PM. I really tried: Makoto, closed Kotobuki, closed Murasaki, closed Yosaku, closed Blacksalt, closed Black's Bar & Kitchen, closed Clyde's, open but no raw bar (!) I was shocked to walk in and find this out Sushi-Ko, closed Hinata, closed Satsuma, not answering their phone with weird recording on it Freddy's, closed Kanpai, closed Tako Grill, closed I mean, that is *really* trying - I tried *all* of these places, to no avail. Giving up, I saw Maki Maki on my right, heading northbound on Wisconsin, and it was OPEN! :) I walked into a completely empty restaurant, ordered a Pot of Green Tea ($1.99), and gratefully placed an order for sashimi. You simply have no idea how grateful I was to have found this restaurant open - can you imagine having gone through all that rigmarole? I ordered 3 orders of sashimi, and a maki roll: Salmon, Yellowtail, Octopus ($4.50 for 3 incredibly generously cut pieces for each order) and an Alaska Roll ($4.50) which was salmon and avocado. The plate came with standard ginger, powdered wasabi, and the fish was sitting atop shredded daikon radish (a guilty pleasure of mine is dunking this in a little soy sauce and enjoying it, rather than treating it simply as a backdrop). As I was finishing my shocking good sushi (all three items were above-average in quality, and only $1.50 per thick slice), I ordered a fourth order of sashimi, Red Clam ($4.50) to have before I finished my maki roll. The fish was no doubt frozen - in fact, one of the gentlemen brought out a plastic-wrapped cylinder of octopus that was as hard as a brick, in order to let it thaw for the upcoming dinner hour. So I bear no illusions in terms of freshness, but I don't care - the octopus, salmon, and yellowtail were all *very* good, and only the red clam was mediocre (and stingily portioned). The maki roll was okay, but not as good as the first three orders of sashimi. With tax, I got out for $25.95, and considering how strong my craving was, I was happy to pay it. I've never before worked so hard to find raw seafood. Maki Maki is worth knowing about, especially on Monday afternoons at 3:30 PM. Thank you, my friends, for being open. Note the delivery options, and with the takeout menu, they have $5 off of dinner delivery with a minimum order of $50. I'd load up on sashimi, although I suspect that with a mass order, you won't get near the same thick cuts that I was fortunate enough to receive. They also advertise that they serve brown rice, although I don't see that as a particular asset. Cheers, Rocks
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