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Found 188 results

  1. This restaurant is in soft-opening mode still with little web presence and a limited menu (not all the items on the printed menu are available yet)...that being said I think it is a game changer for the miserable state of dumplings in Alexandria. We went on a Sunday morning and had the following: Pork Soup Dumplings(XLB) --- I thought these were better than the XLB at all the Rockville joints. Great flavor to the soup--perfect mix of fat and meat. Thin delicate wrapper, yet sturdy enough not to tear when removing it from steamer basket. Steamed shrimp (har gow)--crisp shrimp, well made tapioca wrapper, held up without becoming mushy Scallion Pancake--were fine--Ive had better--less flaky and more flat Pan Fried Buns with egg and Chive--these were deep fried and tasty with fresh chives Pan Fried Buns with shrimp and Chives-- These were in a har gow style wrapper but pan fried with crispy bottoms--excellent Vegetable Stir Fried Noodles--these were a bust--we wanted something with the hand pulled noodles and these were the only veg option--noodles were good but sauce tasted like it had tomato sauce or ketchup in it--very weird This place is a franchise from NYC and is well reviewed there. I am excited for the full menu and will definitely be back. I think this place is going to be mobbed once fully opened and reviewed in the press. No website yet-- so I am grudgingly putting the yelp link here.
  2. 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.
  3. Peking Gourmet Inn is out in Falls Church/Bailey's Crossroads. IIRC It was a favorite of Pres. Bush (41). I have mostly had lunch specials there, which are usually not too bad. The Kung Pao is not too oily and not overly sauced. We do carryout for lunch from there fairly oftent - Some of my coworker's favorites include the Szechuan Beef Proper, Jade Chicken, and Fresh Garlic Chicken. Based on my semi-recent meals at both City Lights and Meiwah (neither one was very good - City Lights was horrible), Peking Gourmet is the better choice. That being said, I prefer Full Kee (Bailey's Crossroads location).
  4. Convinced DH to drive to the H Mart in Wheaton, only to discover that they were out of the main thing we came for (Laoganma’s Spicy Chili Crisp). But I have jury duty tomorrow and probably Wed, so I figured I’d search for it in Chinatown if there were any Asian markets left. Any recs (positive or negative)? In other news, Bantam King and Red Apron have joined Oyamel (at the bar) on my great juror lunch spots list! Which is handy since I got stuck with both DC and fed summons almost back-to-back.
  5. Hunan Number One in Clarendon has been doing this for quite a while, and their "happy hour" lasts all day long. The food's not bad, either, for Americanized "Chinese" food (though, the quality can vary, depending, I guess, on who's manning the wok).
  6. Did a quick run through here for lunch yesterday. They've just opened, so not everything is available, and there's still a bit of chaos in the place. No website yet, but photos of the menu here. Note: this is the location where Lola, the Argentinian cafe used to be. Same shopping plaza as Pita Hut. Parking is limited, and the put up a gate like the RTC across the street (my guess is people were trying to park there and walk across the street.) Two hours free with validation. I had the lunch special with "pork and shrimp" dumplings. Similar in style to China Bistro, but the wrappers were thicker and more doughy. Also, the filling was ground much finer and more dense - it was almost a meatball in the wrapper. Also, for the "cold side" they tried to push a green salad, but I pushed back and they relented with what I think was the chinese-style potato salad, which is shredded potatoes and carrots in vinegar. Tasty, but a strong advantage to China Bistro at the moment. The menu is very extensive for dumplings - almost 40 different stuffings. Also "kabobs" - will have to check that out in the future. Drinks are either bubble tea or sodas from the cooler - they didn't even have hot tea when I was there. Worth keeping an eye on, but nothing compelling yet.
  7. Guess some of you will be headed down my way now. http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2013/02/14/broker-new-fredericksburg-restaurant-likely-to-draw-from-no-va/
  8. It was the kind of meal where the more we ate the less satisified I felt, resulting in eating too much yet still alking away wanting a good dim su meal. The tarts, fresh out of the oven and still hot were a treat. Service was spotty.
  9. I have not been here yet, but I know there are spicy food-, especially Szechuan food-lovers on this board. So I wanted to bring attention to a new opening of another Szechuan-style cooking in Rockville. Around the corner from the nail tech and nearby Bob's 66 is this new place, with a recent review in the Duowei Times, suggesting to try the "Twice Cooked Pork" because of its twist. Apparently the head chef used to head the kitchen at Joe's Noodle House and is also from Szechuan. If you go, the recommended dessert is the "Taro red date with glutinous rice." The sub-heading relates to the restaurant's Chinese translation. Sounds like a good TMB Rockville or TDT opportunity. 巴山蜀水 Sichuan Pavilion 410 Hungerford Drive Rockville, MD 240-403-7251 M-Thurs: 11:00am-10:00pm F: 11:00am-10:30pm S: 11:30am-10:30pm Sun: 11:30am-10:00pm
  10. As a Hong Kong native, I'm pleased to report that dinner at Tiger Fork was a satisfying taste of home for me. The combination of technique and ingredient quality accounts for much of the positive experience. Cantonese food in East Asia (and, for that matter, in Vancouver, Toronto, SF, and NYC) is represented across the full price spectrum. In the DC area, I feel that most Chinese cooking available to us is clustered around a relatively low price point. The Source comes to mind as an exception, but I've always found their interpretations to be too muted in flavor. In interviews, the team behind Tiger Fork talk about research trips to Hong Kong and the menu reads like a collection of their favorite finds. Nothing wrong with that. There's a focus on dai pai dong (street-side food stalls) classics, with some dim sum and HK BBQ thrown in. They really did their homework; I think the flavors and textures are pretty spot-on. Cheung Fun with Shrimp and Flowering Chives and the "Kowloon Buns" showed expert dough technique: chewy but not tough. The cauliflower part of the Chinese Cauliflower dish was unremarkable, but the star was copious stir fried flowering chives which were crisp and fragrant and just the right amount of oily. The BBQ Plate of pork belly, char siu (why do so many restaurants, including this one, spell it "char sui" on their menus?), and soya chicken showed textbook preparation, but was elevated by use of high quality cuts. Minor nit: the char siu marinade tastes exactly like the jar of Lee Kum Kee I have in my fridge right now. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they happened to have perfectly reverse-engineered it for their house-made version! We didn't try any of the (heavily hyped) baijiu cocktails, but the Hong Kong Milk Tea was good: properly strong and not too sweet. We wanted to try the Coconut Rice Cakes for dessert, but they were already sold out at 7pm. The HK Style Egg Tart is, according to the Washingtonian piece on the restaurant, out-sourced to Maria's of Rockville. It's not a great egg tart. (Tiger Fork: if you're reading this, please in-house the next version. I suggest studying the Portuguese egg tart from Fat Rice in Chicago.) Front of house was run perfectly--there were no signs that it was opening week. By the time we left, the bar and dining room were packed. This is a great addition to the local scene and I'm looking forward to trying more of the menu (especially the announced dim sum brunch expansion).
  11. With Rockville a bit of a hike for this father of a one year old, I'm still trying to get a grip on the level of excellence the DC crowd expects from their Chinese cuisine. My education on the finer details is somewhat lacking, but I have spent a LOT of time eating in China (to the tune of 40+ trips to Hong Kong and Shenzhen), so while I'm sometimes fuzzy on the details of how the good stuff got there, I like to think I recognize it when I have it. So I figured I'd share a little place that some of us Charm City Hounds have been frequenting for the past couple of weeks, and see if any of the Chinese fiends here have had a chance to check it out. Crackers and I have been organizing dinners at Grace Garden in Odenton as of late (and who could ask for a lovelier and more capable co-host than Crackers?), and we've been truly impressed by what we've had. It's a completely nondescript strip mall joint that seems to be subsisting on its Americanized carryout menu for the Army base across the street, but they have an authentic menu as well that focuses on the chef's native Cantonese, but also includes some Sichuan and others. We've had tender fish noodles in a velvety, subtle ginger sauce. We've had complex, fiery Sichuan fish with rice powder and crispy fried bones. We've had a sticky rice stuffed steamed duck that redefines the word comforting. We've had sliced pork belly stir-fried with toban djan, pristine baby bok choy with salted fish, salted egg shrimp with a crispy fried exterior and a volcanic head gush, mixed seafood with a superbly balanced hot/sweet XO sauce... I could go on. If it isn't bad form, here's a link to a more complete post with photos: http://www.skilletdoux.com/2008/05/grace-garden.html I'm inclined to think this is a diamond in the rough. Anybody else been there? Grace Garden www.gracegardenchinese.com 1690 Annapolis Rd. Odenton, MD 21113 410-672-3581 Mon - Thu 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM Fri - Sat 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM Sun Closed
  12. What can I say? I love dumplings. We went up to NYC for four days of dumplings and dumplings and general walking around. We had some excellent dumplings and some tragic ones. On the excellent side: Sheng jian bao: So far, I have not found any in the states better than the ones at 456 Shanghai at 69 Mott Street. The reality is that sheng jian bao are best from a standalone shop that is making 50 of these at once, and as far as I can tell I'm only going to get that in shanghai. but in the meantime... I can make it to 456 in nyc when I have a craving. Xiao long bao: for convenience and reliability, Shanghai Cafe at 100 Mott is pretty much my gold standard. Cash only. We did find a better xiao long bao... but it was a big trek. You have to balance your craving against the effort. Diverse Dim Sum, in the New York Food Court in Flushing, has much better XLB. But they only have disposable plastic spoons and forks. So if you trek out to Flushing, I'd advise bringing your own spoon and chopsticks and chili in oil (for the wonton below). Wonton in chili oil: White Bear, 135-02 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing. (the shop entrance is actually around the corner on Prince St.) Cash only. Three tables. There is a long menu but you want the #6. The wonton are pillowy and subtle. The chili is flavour, not heat-- if you go in expecting spicy, you will be disappointed. Although, there is usually some spicy chili on one of the tables, if you must. Or bring your own. We started and ended our Flushing trip here. Delicious. Pan-fried pork and vegetable dumpling: Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, 1 Doyers St. Cash-only. The dumpling were fabulous. So were the pan-fried knife peeled noodles, as were the hand-pulled noodles. No air conditioning, tiny, cramped, delicious. (Not a Dumpling): Roast pork sesame pancake sandwich, Milk tea boba: Vanessas Dumpling House, 118 Eldridge. They also had tasty pan-fried pork dumplings and wonton in chili oil, but while very good they were not as excellent as the examples above. ---- Calories I ate so you do not have to: Nan Xiang XLB in Flushing. Maybe it was a bad day. If so, it was a bad day for everything we ordered here. the XLB were inedible (meat was... stale.) The scallion pancake was fried well but I think may have started life as cardboard. And the sheng jian bao were essentially just taiwanese bao that had been soaked in oil and given a very little pan fry at the wrong heat. no soup, too doughy and oily. edible- but no reason to actually eat them. Lao jia, or old street dimsum in queens crossing mall, flushing. The sheng jian bao were utterly tragic. They had been sitting under a heat lamp, they hadn't been fried enough, and the meat was not good. The guo tie otoh had just come off the stove and were pretty good, but not sure why you would otherwise find yourself in queens crossing mall. --- The New York Food Court and the New World Mall were both hopping shanghai-style food court malls, with tons of great smells. If I hadn't been on a dumpling mission, I know I would have found a lot more to inhale. There are also a couple of cute asian bakeries around town. I can definitely make the case for taking the 7 train out to flushing, starting at white bear, and then just eating your way through those two food courts before stumbling home.. possibly with a final stop at white bear before you go. Also the bathrooms at New World are some of the best public bathrooms I've been in. --- other note: Yes, we went to Joe's on our previous trip. Huge tourist trap, long waits, and the XLB were... fine? I like 100 mott better, and it's cheaper, and much less crazy. Joe's did have the best scallion pancake I'd had in years, though, so I might try to figure out how to just get one to go? Maybe.
  13. I rarely go out for lunch as I'm not a fan of most of the options in the Rio Center (think chain dining). So was surprised to learn that this place opened recently. There are guys in the front pulling noodles - really cool to watch. Have been twice and have tried both thin and knife cut noodles in stir fry. Really good. The bao and dumplings are delicious and fresh. It's fast casual - you order, get a number and they bring your food to you. Very busy at lunch. Glad to have an independent place near my office that I can walk to and enjoy.
  14. Thinking of going to the Rockville location of Peter Chang this evening before being sequestered at the Courtyard Mariott for a weekend of everything the Catholic Church wants us to know about being married. Would this be our best bet for Chinese food or would Sichuan Jin River, China Bistro, Bob's Shanghai or Shanghai Taste work better?
  15. 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.
  16. Liu Chaosheng - who dat, you might ask. Well, he's the guy who opened Hong Kong Palace and Uncle Liu's Hot Pot, and he's now opened Asian Origin, in the old Panache space on Pinnacle Drive as noted in this McLean Patch article. When I first received a menu, I noted its Sichuan dishes and instantly decided to compare it to HKP (not knowing at the time they're sister restaurants). The beef, tendon, and tripe dish is $9 at HKP and $12 at AO. Spicy wontons are $6 at HKP and $8 at AO. Dan Dan Noodles are $7 at HKP and $8 at AO. So the prices are higher at AO, presumably reflecting a higher rent as well as fancier décor. Now I have to decide whether to drive a little farther to HKP or stay in McLean.
  17. I wanted to post this in case anyone had a chance to check this place out tonight and report back. The advertisement and initial report in the Chinese newspaper made it sound wonderful and a great replacement for what Bob's 88 Shabu Shabu could have been. The newspaper reports that this place is opened by Mr. Liu of Chengdu Xiaoguan (Cheng du little cafe), but I can't recall if this is the chinese name of Hong Kong Palace right now -- could someone verify? Anyway, the newpaper reports that all the stocks are homemade and there are various stock options to choose from (chicken, fish, red meat-based). Also lots of spiciness involved. The hot pot is from 3:00pm onwards, but no price is given in this report. The newspaper also reports that the owner went back to China last year for two month and ate at various hot pot place in Chengdu and Chongqing. Chinese name: Old Liu's Hot Pot City (Lao Liu Huo Guo Chen) English name: Uncle Liu's Hot Pot 2972 Gallows Road Falls Church, Virginia 703-560-6868 Buffet from 11:00am to 3:00pm Hot pot from 3:00pm to 12midnight *Don - if this is posted anywhere, could you merge it? Thanks.
  18. 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.
  19. Hong Kong Palace has been a wonderful source of Hong Kong-style Chinese food for the last couple of years. But the restaurant of last week is no more. In its place is Hong Kong Palace, a place of the same name but with some major changes. The kitchen is now staffed with a pair of Chengdu-trained Szechuan chefs (part owners!) who seem to know what they are doing. Yes, the restaurant has some rough spots that might be expected in any place that has just changed hands in the past week, but it appears to be very promising. We stopped by last night expecting typical HK fare, but were surprised by all the new faces for the staff. The real change came we asked for the Chinese Menu, and we were handed a total different menu from the one we had seen in the past. It was brimming with all manner of Szechuan-style dishes. Speaking with our waiter then made things clear. The previous owners had sold the restaurant and the new owners were heading in a different direction, cuisine-wise. As we continued to speak with the waiter we considered that this new place might have promise. We decided to share the Chengdu Spicy Cold Noodles for appetizer and ordered the Ma Po To Fu and Sliced Pork with Dried Bean Curd for dinner. What we received were very fine renditions of classic Szechuan fare! If there were any complaints they centered around our inability to convince the waiter (and chef?) that we wanted the food spiced authentically. While there was some heat and numbing character in the entrees, it was just a little short of what we had come to expect from the best of the local Szechuan restuarants, such as Joe's Noodle House (in Rockville). We will be definitely be going back, and I suspect that with a little effort we will be able to get the kitchen to pull out all the stops and make the dishes with the bold flavors that is the hallmark of classic Szechuan food. I would be interested to hear reports from others. Vince
  20. I don't know if I went on an off-night, but I thought Kee was terrible. Or I ordered the wrong stuff - seafood - I felt like I was chewing on rubber.
  21. LaoMa SPicy 110 Odendhal Ave Ste 108 Gaithersburg, MD 20877 99 Ranch Market was a staple in my life in LA. But, I have not been in in one since moving to the DC area in 1999. I found out about one here in Gaithersburg from the board and I put it on my list of things to check out. So this week, in preparation for our last duck dinner, I decided to go there an see what was on offer. Looking for a place for lunch before, LaoMa spicy popped up sand is located inside 99 Ranch so off I went. This is a food court stand with two refrigerated stations, one for veggies and the other for meat. I ordered a meat lovers and was watching as the cook started to assemble the raw ingredients. They had duck blood and gizzards on the meat side so I asked him if I got those in my bowl and he looked surprised at my interest in the 'odd' stuff. He said yes (Unfortunately ,there was none in the bowl I got) The cashier to led me to take a seat and she would bring it over. What I got was a metal bowl with a pretty huge portion of stir fried meats and veggies swimming on a spicy soup broth. I later realized that I could have added noodles which I probably will do next time. The meats included 4 large meatballs, a bunch of tripe, lots of shreds of pork and more, with the veggies leaning to green onion, nappa cabbage. There was a smattering of glass noodles. All were tasty and not overcooked. It definitely skewed meaty. But the star of the show was the broth. Brilliant red from chilies and chile paste, this was a very hot soup indeed, richly flavored from simmering the ingredients in it after they were quickly stir fried. I picked up the bowl in the end to slurp down every drop and my mouth burned for a good while after. Looking at the online menu, I see that they have a bowl for two where you pick 8 veggies and 6 meats for $25.99 and a few other dishes. Dumplings as well. I was too full to try anything else from the food stands: the BBQ looked good, the dimsum servicable and he cooked dishes not so good. Just wish it wasn't so far away. It is part of a chain based in New York City and associated with a chain in China. 99 Ranch has incredible produce and seafood but it is not as large as Super H in Fairfax City. Well worth the trip especially if you toss in a meal at LaoMa
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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?
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