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Found 13 results

  1. Nine hungry Rockwellian dim sum addicts descended upon Mark's Duck House at noon today. After disappointments at our two previous NoVa outings (China Garden in Rosslyn and Fortune across the street from MDH), we were delighted at the consistently good tidbits pouring out of this kitchen. Our feast consisted of the following: scallop dumplings roast suckling pig baked roast pork croissant (flaky triangular pastry filled with char sui) sui mei har gow shrimp cheong fan roast duck BBQ spareribs spareribs in black bean sauce tripe with ginger shrimp in seaweed shrimp/taro cakes baby cuttlefish clams in black bean sauce braised chicken feet sticky rice in lotus leaf potstickers salt & pepper head-on shrimp Chinese broccoli baked char sui bao stuffed bean curd skin tofu with some unspecified roast meat on top some sort of fried shrimp dumpling with a shrimp tail for decoration fried roll with shrimp and fake crab pineapple buns custard tarts sesame seed balls There might have been another dish or two in there as well. There were a few misses here and there, but the quibbles were minor - overall, the quality was consistently good. Service was outstanding compared to other dim sum places. My minor quibbles... The tea was much weaker than its color would have indicated. Perhaps the leaves were a bit stale? Sesame balls are usually filled with red bean paste, but MDH used something we couldn't quite identify. I think shredded coconut was a component. It wasn't really creamy or flavorful, and the balls themselves were loaded with oil. Not horrible by any means, as it still tasted nice enough, but it was not at the same level of quality as the rest of the offerings. The cheong fan sauce wasn't as rich as one normally finds - it was more like lightly sweetened soy sauce. I was surprised that the roast duck was the weakest meat platter we got at a place called Mark's Duck House. The fat wasn't fully rendered, so the skin was a little too limp and the meat a little too greasy. OTOH, the roast suckling pig had wonderfully crisp skin, and the BBQ spareribs were a major highlight of the meal. For me, the best dishes were the BBQ spareribs, the clams in black bean sauce (oh dear, did I really end up eating half the platter?), and the baby cuttlefish. Oh, and the triangular char sui pastry - I think Hollywood East On The Boulevard's version is a touch better, but it's a close call. (MDH had better pastry, HEOTB had better char sui) The restaurant is quite small for a dim sum crowd - I can't imagine it seating more than 150 people. Must be a heck of a wait on Sundays. Unlike, say, China Garden, MDH seems worth the wait. Cost per adult: $18 including a generous tip
  2. 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.
  3. 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...
  4. www.bangkokgolden7corners.com 6395 Seven Corners Center Falls Church, VA 22044 Tom Sietsema did a piece on this small Thai place back in November ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/18/AR2010111805045.html ). I am happy to report that the secret menu is secret no more. When we entered the small place this afternoon, we were handed two menus, one Thai and one Laotian. I never had Laotian food before, it was like Thai, but more rustic. Like other southeast Asian cuisine, Laotians make heavy usage of fresh vegetables and herbs as evident by the numbers of salads on the menu. We ordered the Laotian sausage, orm beef, crispy rice salad, and an order of chicken satay for the kiddo. My favorite dish was the crispy rice salad, consisted of herbs (probably cilantro and lime leaves), coconut, onions, scallions, julienne pork skin, ham, peanuts, and crispy rice in a refreshing spicy lime dressing with large lettuce leaves served on the side. You are suppose to eat it like a bulgogi by wrapping the salad inside the lettuce leaves. It was a prefect balance of savory, sour, and spicy, with bites of crispy rice and peanut for textural contrast. The flavor was incredibly complex and words do not do justice in describing this dish.
  5. For those who are not a fan of Mark's Duck House but are a fan of Cantonese cooking in the Falls Church area, there is a little, hidden alternative pretty much right across the street. Open since February of this year, XO Taste has the hanging poultry & ducks, roast pork, and other familiar Cantonese dishes on an expansive menu, BUT in a much, much cleaner and brighter setting. Today's Pipa Duck was the highlight of the evening, nicely roasted, although slightly fatty still, crispy skin, with great juice and marinated flavor. The bonus was that it was not too salty or dry, as served at some places. They also had a great array of congee, so my friend and I went with the traditional Thousand year old eggs with pork congee. Again, not too salty, but not as thick as other Cantonese restaurants--this dish was every bit as comforting as good congee should be. The pork had a nice salty kick to it, but not overbearing. The only miss of the evening was the Seafood in XO sauce, since they didn't use a lot of sauce, and the kitchen used too much yellow chives and onions, and not enough seafood. But it's XO sauce! All this came to around $32, which is probably a bit pricier than some of its Cantonese counterparts, but for the atmosphere and complimentary sweet red bean soup dessert, I'd come here again. Especially to explore more parts of the menu. And those little swimmers in the water tanks towards the back of the restaurant. Most of tonight's diners were Asian families, in case you were wondering. Someone on one of the area chats asked if the reviewer had gone before, so it's on some people's radars. Hopefully it'll be on the area food critics' radars soon too. 6124 Arlington Blvd. Falls Church, VA 22044
  6. I walked into Troika Gastronom today, and noticed about a dozen different Russian beers for sale, most of them in single, 16-20 ounce bottles or thereabouts. I can't vouch for how long they've been sitting on the shelves, but I can vouch for the selection. If you're in Seven Corners, or around Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church, the little-known Hillwood Avenue (one of the "seven corners"), VA Route 338, is your secret pathway. Look at the tweet (is "tweet" capitalized?), and you'll see that cake, carrot mentioned that Halalco, a large Halal grocery store next door, is the best source for goat in the NoVa suburbs - I haven't been, but I trust Jake's palate. The two of these stores, in such close proximity, make this worth a detour, and New Grand Mart - putting three interesting ethnic grocery markets in a one-mile diameter - makes it worth a journey.
  7. My favorite pho shop in the VA area- Pho Ha Tay. It's in the guitar center plaza between 50 and Wilson Blvd, behind the Benigans, across the street from the Eden Center. Me and my special lady friend go there whenever we hit up the Target. It's right next to the Quiznos. If you aren't looking for it, you will miss it- which is a shame, because it has some great Pho. The owner makes it all himself with his family, and they use no MSG. They only make Pho, and they have six vats of it in the back cooking at any time. Instead of using a mix, they actually use the meat bones and spice it themselves. The Broth is very tasty, and the meat is pretty good. Nice chunks of tendon, plenty of fat on the fatty brisket, and the skirt flank has a nice crunch. The price is like Pho at other Pho joints and they bring it out in rapid fashion. If you are looking for lots of fancy stuff, then pass on this place. But if you want some great Pho, stop here and give it a try.
  8. Thanks everyone, we opted to eat somewhere on the way home instead since it was halfway between lunch n suppertime. We went to Pistone's in Falls Church on 50 & 7. They liked it, hubby's veal was good, mine was not... well... that's all I'll say about mine. The salad bar was superb and you could have an appetizer and soup and that for a meal or just one or the other and that. Anyhow thanks for the suggestions.
  9. Friends and I went to Eden Kitchen this past Friday night. The portions were nicely-sized for the price, but found the taste was along the lines of some of the heavier-handed kitchens in Eden Center. I guess I'm spoiled by Rice Paper. They have a very extensive menu, which is nice. Little man seemed to enjoy his pho and egg rolls.
  10. I went to Kobe Pho and had just that, chin. It was good but not great. The meat was nice and fatty but the broth was bland in my opinion. Spring rolls were good and interesting...appeared to have a hotdog in them and something crunchy. My son said "it's very red". We won't be back...even a 4 yr old knows good from bland pho.
  11. I was heading down Route 50 from Arlington Landromat picking up my $1/pound Wash-and-Fold, and thinking I'd find some Pho. Instead, I turned right into what I believe is Willston Center (please PM me if I'm wrong), thinking I'd find something Latino (posole) or Vietnamese (Pho) for a medium-heavy, late lunch after a workout. I saw New Orleans Cajun Seafood (in the same general area as Mark's Duck House, and figured, well, why not?) This is a stark operation, dominated by an extremely long counter, and a loquacious, friendly order-taker who seemed as excited about this business as she could possibly be. She explained to me that Orlando customers come up and give her hugs when they find out this is in Seven Corners, and that they serve the best Cajun food in Orlando - this being their second outlet (I'm not sure if it's a branch or a franchise, but it might not really matter). I asked her what's best, and she named about five things ... oysters, shrimp, po boys, jambalaya, and a couple of others - this was enough for me: I combined two of them and ordered a Shrimp Po Boy ($8.50) and a Diet Coke ($1.00). I could tell the service is extremely anxious to get "the word" out, and my kind server was going out of her way to show me where everything was - the setup station, the hot sauces, the coffees for sale (which I may buy and try - how *is* Cafe du Monde?). When my sandwich arrived, she carried the foil-wrapped sub over to the setup station, grabbed me a fork and plate, and came over and served me. She could not have been more enthusiastic and wonderful - showing genuine excitement over this foray into Falls Church from Orlando. If only everyone in the industry was this enthusiastic! The po boy was large, and cut in half for manageability. After one bite, I could see it needed hot sauce (the choices are Louisiana Hot Sauce and Sriracha), and I went with the former which woke up the sandwich quite a bit, previously consisting of surprisingly good French bread, frozen deep-fried shrimp, mayo, lettuce, decent tomato, onions, and pickle. While eating the second half of the sandwich, I noticed something was missing, and it's because I forgot to add the Louisiana Hot Sauce, so there you have it. I finished every crumb, and the bill, with tip and tax, came to exactly $10.00. I left happy, sated, but not necessarily ready to race back. However, in the local Cajun trend, New Orleans Cajun Seafood is holding its own, and I suspect it would benefit from some bulk weekend orders in order to survive this fickle market. How was the po boy? It was a very good shrimp sub. Has anyone eaten at the original Orlando location? Prices seem to be about 5-10% lower there, but that's of course to be expected. Would I come here again? Sure.
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