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Yen's Cafe, Yukon Drive in Ashburn


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It can be hard to find Yen's Cafe if you don't know where it is. Go out to Broadlands (I jumped right off the Greenway on my way to work, versus my usual avoidance of the nearly $5 in tolls by taking 28). Go past Giant, the Thai place, Red Robin, and it's over by Subway.

I heard about it in Todd Kliman's chat this week ( http://www.washingtonian.com/chats/restaurants/18987.html - to quote: "Also in Ashburn: a very good Chinese restaurant, called Yen's Cafe.") I realized some coworkers and I had almost gone there a while ago, but at my boss' insistence we ended up at Red Robin.

They do have a website: www.yenscafe.com

Anyways. I pulled in and made my way in. It's a rather small space, and I ended up in a booth next to a small group that was speaking Chinese with a woman who appeared to be a manager or some such. My waitress was not Asian, rather a somewhat quiet, terse, unsmiling lady.

After perusing the huge juice list (with their listed "efficiacy" (sp?)) and thumbing through the menu, perusing the various posted signs ("If you damage the tea sets, you will be charged for them - $150"), I ordered the business lunch.

My usual Ashburn Chinese lunch at Chin-Chin Cafe is hot & sour soup and kung pao chicken with fried rice. Here I got the kung pao, but with the Taiwan-style wonton soup instead.

First out: soup.

Delicious. Lots of stuff in the broth, I believe like cabbage, and delicious wontons. I could have had a gallon of it. I gobbled it right down.

Out came lunch: a large plate with four sections.On one, a spring roll (with chicken, I believe) on a bed of cabbage. A salad with ginger dressing, a scoop of fried rice with lots of egg, and the kung pao chicken.

In short: it was all very good. The spring roll, something I normally don't get enthused about, was very good. The salad wasn't bad, well, I can't really lie, I love that ginger dressing. The rice was solid and the kung pao chicken wasn't as good as the best I've had but was up there.

Total: $11.45 with a diet Coke (I really needed two Cokes, they advertise no MSG but I like lots of beverage).

It wasn't the huge mound of food you get at Chin-Chin, but it was very good, and now I have two places I can go to for Chinese while at work! Next time I'm going for the Mongolian beef - I have to be honest, the pictures of it looked fantastic to me, but I wanted to compare apples to apples to start with (which is why I always order kung pao chicken the first time I go somewhere new like this).

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