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Found 183 results

  1. I've been meaning to try 101 Noodle Express for a while, since it specializes in some of my favorites items in Chinese cuisine - noodles and dumplings. I had passed it over in favor of trying other places because the flagship item, the Shangdong-style beef roll, isn't my favorite. BIG MISTAKE. Turns out I didn't like them as much at other places simply because they weren't as good. Here, they are the highest expression of the snack, consistent and omnipresent at every table for a reason. The crepe-like bing is thin, flaky, and rich, but not oily. The beef is high-quality and sliced uniformly thin. There is just enough cilantro, scallions, and salty-sweet bean sauce to bring balanced flavors and textures. In case you aren't familiar with the beef roll (I think A&J recently put a version on the menu, but I never tasted it there), here's a nice description. The balance and uniform thinness of the layers, as well as tight wrapping, is key. We ate most of our roll at lunch and promptly ordered another to go (they travel really well!). We also got some dan dan noodles, which had a tiny kick but weren't particularly spicy (which we were expecting, since this is decidedly not a Szechuan place) and the hand-torn noodles were pleasingly chewy. We didn't have room for dumplings, but the many plates of pan-fried dumplings we saw scattered about the room were plump and had golden, crunchy-looking bottoms. We were at the Alhambra location, which is a casual strip-mall spot serving budget-friendly, simple, snacky food until late night (1 AM). They have a few other locations in Arcadia, Culver City, and Irvine. I learned one thing about their operations from their website that I find very promising for visiting other locations: 101 Noodle Express boasts a central, factory-like kitchen to secure quality control of its franchises.
  2. Thought people might be interested to hear about Chef Guo, a new restaurant featuring Chef Guo Wenjun's take on Chinese banquets. This is probably the closest the DC area has had to Chinese fine dining, and I'm interested to see how it fares. The chef serves a selection of two tasting menus, the Banquet of Eternal Bliss Hot Pot ($68 lunch, $98 dinner), and the Banquet of Peace and Prosperity ($158 dinner only), both of which feature 10+ courses in the style of imperial cuisine. Scroll through the website to see the full menus, pictures of the dishes, and a press release detailing the overall concept. So far there hasn't been much buzz about this place outside of the Chinese community, but some friends who have gone reported it to be luxurious, visually and conceptually unique, and a lot of (too much?) food, mostly very good to excellent. There seems to be a mix of traditional cuisine and modern/Western techniques. If I understand correctly, the dinner they attended was a special event combining dishes from both menus, with all of the guests at a shared table and Chef Guo himself coming out between each course to explain the concept behind the dish (in Chinese); it's not clear to me how different the experience will be once the restaurant gets settled in, but from their website it seems like they are definitely interested in catering to non-Chinese clientele as well.
  3. Facebook page. Read about this place on Chowhound so I went to check it out today (a Thursday). They do in fact have carts on weekdays but the selection wasn't great. I didn't see any turnip cakes. On the other hand, the dumpling soup (ordered off the menu) was a good deal for about $5 - lots of tasty hong kong style wontons or dumplings. The dim sum quality was good, not great. I tried their chicken feet, lotus wrapped sticky rice, fish balls, and fried yam dumpling. Their seasoning are on the light side, and not oily at all. Now you have even more options for Cantonese food around 7 corners.
  4. Mama Chang is supposedly a celebration of the culinary contribution of the Chang's female relatives. I think that's all PR b.s. Nevertheless, it's a bright and airy restaurant with the currently popular cement floors. The staff is bilingual and generally young. So how is it they can completely botch a menu description? Cumin duck wings and legs turns out to be wings and feet. Duck feet that's fried is very difficult to eat - the skin is tethered to the bone and hard to gnaw off. If you like chicken feet and you like to work hard for tiny morsels, this might be worth a try. I think the flavor is good but you'll have to eat with your hands and don't mind ending up with a plate of gnawed bones in front you. The Chinese description simply said "parts" so no way to know that you're getting some webby fried feet. Even the wings are scrawny - not much meat at all (certainly not as much as chicken wings). The pan fried fluffy vegetable bao is fine - note there're lots of sesame seeds on the bottom. The filling is mostly leeks and shitake mushroom. You can buy shen jian bao of equal quality in the freezer section of Chinese markets. The pan-fried noodles with vegetables was a let-down for me. They don't use egg noodles like at Cantonese restaurants. The veggies consist of mostly snap peas - something not really used in traditional Chinese cooking and which I don't particularly like. The thick noodles were okay, the saucing nothing special. This restaurant could be good. I just need to order differently next time. If anyone's interested in going as a group - post here or shoot me a message.
  5. From the owners of Northwest in College Park, this place is essentially Cava or Chipotle with awesome tasting Chinese ingredients, made into a "burrito" in a pancake or as a rice bowl. I can't find a website but this Diamondback article describes it pretty well. "College Park's Latest Chinese Restaurant Has Build-Your-Own Meals" by Julia Lerner on dbknews.com My lunchmates and I covered 3 proteins and 6 "side" ingredients, and other than general agreement we would skip the raw garlic next time, all were tasty. I had lamb, spicy sauce, eggplant, and bean sprouts. The lamb here is "lamby" (don't say gamy) much like it is at Northwest; I don't know what cut but it's awesome. They also have a Jones Soda fountain, which I haven't seen before. I don't drink much soda but Green Apple Jones from the tap? Sure.
  6. I just had fresh lily bulb in a dish for the first time and loved it. Does anyone know where to find these locally? Or have any tips on preparing them? And I’d also be very interested to hear if anyone has tried to grow them— I grow a lot of lilies anyway, so I’m wondering if I could grow these and get a twofer of a gorgeous flower plus delicious bulb
  7. I haven't eaten at Peking Duck in ages, but I'll try it again soon, on your recommendation. It's really hard to find good Chinese food in this area, although we have other decent choices for food. The places I've tried in the last year (China Cafe, Top's China, China One, Green Olive, Chef Huang's (decent lunch buffet), & Great Wall (under new management & not as good) are sub optimal.
  8. Update on the Bethesda Fine Dining Location, which reports a May opening (credit--Bethesda Magazine)
  9. Yunnan by Potomac is a new place in northern Old Town (according to google maps, it's outside the actual boundary of Old Town), that opened in early February. I went there a couple weeks ago for lunch and enjoyed it for the most part. They are a Mixian Noodle place from the Yunnan Province. Here's the blurb from their website: MIXIAN: SOUL FOOD Yunnan is a beautiful diverse region in southwest China, offering a variety of unique flavors and textures in its distinctive cuisine – not your typical Chinese food. The soul food of Yunnan is Mixian - delicious rice noodles - which are prepared with braised meats, rich broths and sweet, savory and spicy sauces. Mixian bowls are at the core of our menu and are complimented by a variety of unique small plates. They have (or did) a limited menu at this point with promises for more to come. The menu in the restaurant has more options than the one currently posted online. I ordered Pork Belly Lotus Leaf Bun and the Braised Beef Lu Mixian soup (at least I think that's what I ordered. I just asked what's their best dish/specialty). The pork belly bun was good, but not great. The meat was fine, but the bun tasted like a mass produced Wonder bread version. That may be an unfair assessment, as I'm no expert, but I was underwhelmed by taste/texture of the bun. The soup was good, but again I don't think the broth was as deep and rich as my memories of Daikaya or Momofuku's versions of broth. Like I said before, I'm no expert on this, so maybe my memory of those other soups are better than they actually were?!!? I'd love to do a side by side comparison of all the ramen/mixian broths that's probably impossible. The service was understandably a bit rough as they are brand new. When I sat down I was greeted by a server who came up to my table and said, " ". I said, pardon me, and she said, "Drink?". This time it was an audible question. Barely audible, but audible! I asked what they had and she said, "Soda, water, tea" so I just got water. I saw repeat performances of the super quiet interaction with other guests, and lots of repeat questions. The woman working the register and taking the orders was much more on the ball however. Interestingly, I didn't see a single Asian person working there, but I never saw into the kitchen. Also interesting perhaps was my second "visit" to this place. I happened to park in front the other evening for a class, and a group of 4-5 Asian people were entering and none were speaking English. I took that as a good sign, but it's likely that was their first visit (it took them a few seconds to figure out where it was along the block), so who knows if they'll return? I'll definitely go back when I'm in the neighborhood and I'm happy to have a new cuisine on the scene. Photos of the menu and my dishes below.
  10. Today, after discovering that Myanmar was locked and dark (I'm 0 for 2 on my lunch attempts this week), I remembered this post and set out to find Miu Kee. I ended up at Vinh Kee, on Route 50 at Graham Rd. (same shopping center as Pho 75, but facing 50). We started with steamed dumplings, and although the dough was kind of tough, the dumplings were tasty. I had shrimp with Chinese broccoli and my husband had shrimp with spicy salt. Both were so good my husband is already talking about going back.
  11. Xi'an Gourmet, opened in the ashes of the former Bob's space. Tim Carman wrote about it in the Post today and seems to like it. Has Anyone tried it yet?
  12. Could it be because it was St. Patrick's Day and the usual customers were out and about with the wearing of the green? I was at dimsum at Tony Cheng's for the first time (not bad by the way) yesterday at 12:30, also pretty empty.
  13. Would anyone be interested in meeting up at Xi'an Gourmet in Rockville to explore the menu? http://www.xiangourmetmd.com/menu.aspx I'd prefer a weekend because this is a bit of a drive for me in weeknight traffic, but could maybe do a weeknight if it were a bit on the later side. This coming weekend (March 9-10) is totally open for me, but after that I have a moderate preference for Sunday evenings.
  14. I encourage others to visit and see if they agree or not -- there may be a new king of dim sum in MD, and it's...Far East?!? Yes, not a typo. The one that's been around for 45 years and whose website says that it specializes in "Szechuan and Mandarin" cuisine. My family and I moved to Montgomery County 40 years ago and I don't recall having been here more than a few times before. But on the recommendation of their friends, we went with my parents yesterday and (pardon the cliche) it was a revelation. There's a certain richness and freshness in the shumai and the shrimp dumplings that aren't present anymore at Silver Fountain or Hollywood East. The radish cakes actually taste like radish, and the taro dumplings have way more filling than fried outer shell. The items tend to cost $1 more here than at the other dim sum joints, but I suspect that's a function of better ingredients, portion size, and execution. The place was packed at opening, and when we left around 12:30, there were still tons of folks waiting in the lobby. This is our family's new dim sum destination in the foreseeable future.
  15. The Dim Sum thread has spawned our latest DonRockwell.com eating group: The DonRockwell Dim Sum Die Hards. The inagural meeting will be held Sunday, September 25th at Good Fortune. If you are interested in joining in please let me know. Prepayment will not be required since you will determine the menu and it will change with each meeting. The goal is to hit a variety of different restaurants who offer dim sum and then discuss the results on the Dim Sum thread. The thread will be used for planning only. PM me if you would like to join in or have any questions and/or suggestions.
  16. I was invited for dinner at Sichuan Pavillion couple nights ago. Prior to my visit, I searched on the web to check out some reviews...there was almost none. Despite the fact that I probably passed by the restaurant thousands of times, it never struck me to check it out. The restaurant has a "traditional chinese/sichuan" menu on the last page of menu...the remaining of the menu is what you would see at a typical Chinese-American take out joint. We ordered from the traditional menu and we were pleasantly suprised at the authenticity of the dishes. We ordered the husband and wife beef tendon/tripe appetizer, sweet and sour cabbage, ma po tofu, steamed flounder, noodles with meat sauce (chinese take of spaghetti bolognese), chicken with dried red peppers, steam beef with red sauce and sauteed pea shoots. All of the sichuan dishes definitely had a kick and numbing sensation. Compared to Peter Chang, I would rank it lower but compared to Hong Kong Palace, the Szhechuan place on 14th Street and China Star, Sichuan Pavillion fared better. Can't wait to try out more dishes with a larger group.
  17. My parents sold their home of 40 years this past spring, exchanging the hassle of maintaining a 2,000 sf house for the simple life of a 2 br rental at Leisure World. Over the decades, they had not done a good job of curating their possessions, consequently, they were overwhelmed by the decision of what to do with their mountain of stuff. I helped them figure out what to keep (my 8th grade report on the Mayas, with a picture I drew showing how they formed a baby’s head into a point) and what to donate (3 flour sifters). Of course, the final home for the majority of stuff was the MoCo dump on 355. Over the many trips there, I had time to contemplate “Big Wang Cuisine” on the east side of the road, just south of the dump. I speculated a restaurant with a name that, in English, is quite amusing, would be hardcore. The majority of contributors to Yelp confirmed this. Young SB and I went there last week. The restaurant specializes in dry hotpot, which, from what I can tell, is a Szechuan stir-fry. You select what you want from four categories; the categories are priced from $2-$5. We chose beef, pork belly, dried bean curd, bok choy, wide vermicelli, and Tribute vegetable (a hollow-stemmed vegetable that had been dried) and asked for extra spicy. We also got House Special Beef Noodle Soup, a lamb skewer, and a beef skewer. All the dishes were excellent. The hotpot, served with rice, had a lot of chili peppers, Szechwan peppercorns, and oil. The items were cooked well and there was a nice contrast of textures. There was plenty for two. The skewers were juicy; both were spiced with hot pepper and cumin. The lamb was quite fatty and gamy. The soup had a very nice flavor. The restaurant is clean, bright and the service was fine. They give a 5% discount for cash. I’ll go back for the hot pot. Some other diners had ordered the fried pig feet dish and that looked tasty.
  18. From the 9/14 food section. Has anyone been? It's 2 minutes from us and we didn't even know about it. I may have to go on a fact-finding mission today.
  19. I was totally unsure of where to post this, so @DonRocks wave your wand and move it to whichever forum it suits. So every year I set a goal, or a resolutions of sorts. I have always been fascinated by linguistics, and have wanted to learn a new language since college. For 2019, I have declared that I want to learn Mandarin. I love going to places like Mark's Duck House, and just listening to rounds of guests talk. I have no idea what they are saying, but am fascinated by the emotion as to which they connect. For all I know they could be complaining about how their children drive them to drink, or chatting about the suspect neighbor who moved into the rickety house down the street. I am a voyeur into peoples lives through wanting to learn about their cultures. So any suggestions or resources of best to navigate how to learn Mandarin are greatly welcome! Never stop learning, kat
  20. Lao Xi Noodle House is a small, strip-mall joint somewhat off the beaten path in Arcadia that serves wonderful hand-made noodles in a no-frills setting. China's Shanxi province food heavily features noodles, potatoes, and vinegar. The menu is short and mostly features different noodles (fried, cold, soup, buckwheat, jelly, etc.), a few types of boiled dumplings (for there or to take away frozen), an assortment of "cold-plate" appetizers, and a few meat/vegetable entrees. We tried the House Special Fried Noodle with Fried Boiled Pork, Daoxiao-Style, which had plump, pleasantly chewy noodles in a tasty, vinegar-laced sauce, stir-fried with chunks of tender pork and lots of leeks and wood-ear mushrooms. We all loved this dish and almost ordered another plate to go (and only restrained ourselves because we were going back to a hotel, not home). The beef noodle soup had a clear, clean-tasting broth that mostly highlighted the long, thin noodles (kids loved it, adults thought it was bland, but noodles were good). Cold dishes were fine and fresh but otherwise ordinary. We would absolutely go back but mostly be interested in revisiting the fried noodles, trying the odder noodle shapes and lamb dumplings, and then taking away frozen dumplings (GREAT price) if they taste as good as they looked.
  21. In a fit of hubris... I left the map at home figuring that I knew exactly where Fortune was and, having read the map quickly, could get us there. At the risk of alienating all northern Virginian's, we were stuck in Dante's 8th level of hell (reserved for those stupid enough to drive in Virginia on a Sunday, or during rush hour, or during not rush hour, or, say, any time except 3:25am and 3:27am on certain Tuesdays when there is actually only a small traffic jam at every light) we spent an hour getting from 495 to Bailey's crossroads. Wound up at Peking Gourmet, which isn't. Maybe tonight is a two negroni night as well. Ah well...
  22. I read the WaPo article about this place Friday and, since I was working from home that day anyway, and am on the hunt for Shaanxi-style food, ran there to get carryout before the storm hit. The place is brand new (the sign for the old eatery is still up), and although not fancy is clean and looks nice. The menu isn't that large, it seems mostly the "burgers" rou jia mo and noodles. The service was very friendly, and we quite enjoyed the food we had. The noodles were all strongly flavored (a good thing, imho) with noticeable heat without being too spicy. the texture of the noodles themselves was average, not particularly chewy, and the noodles had less vegetables in them than the pictures in the post. We had: --Liang pi noodles--different than the ones I remembered from Xian (which seemed to have a more sesame based sauce, and more vegetables) and even from the picture in the Post-- these were noodles coated with a red/orange spicy, slightly creamy sauce, with a few things that looked like croutons tossed in (they were soft and chewy). spicy and flavorful. --Hot oil noodles--These are quite similar to Peter Chang's grandma noodles, but--and I can't believe I'm saying this as I love the grandma noodles--these might be even better. the slightly chewy texture of peter chang's noodles is better than texture of the noodles here, but the flavor here was stronger, with a slick of vinegar or some dark sour sauce at the bottom that was great. --mung jelly in spicy sauce--these were broad noodles of mung bean jelly tossed in a not-too-spicy but flavorful sauce. the texture of the jelly was great--the ribbons were much more noodle-like and flexible than most of the jelly I've had, but they still absorbed the flavors and retained heat beautifully, which was perfect for a snowy afternoon --pork rou jia mo--I didn't try this but heard it was less strongly flavored than the noodles and quite greasy, but still good overall. One nice thing--many of the noodle dishes can be vegetarian, and they even have a vegetarian potato burger. Overall we really enjoyed the food and will definitely be adding it to the carryout rotation.
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