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Jade Billows, Cabin John Mall in Potomac - Owner Tak Wong's Americanized Chinese - Closed


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I happen to enjoy Americanized Chinese fare for what it is, that shiny and not too sophisticated assemblage of dishes that are exotic enough for the typical American palate and alien to the typical Chinese palate. Bring on those red sauces and chow mein and General Tso. I have had many satisfying meals at Wu's Garden in Vienna and House of Dynasty near Kingstowne, and I will have many more. This is comfort food to me.

And so it is with Jade Billows in Potomac. Here is another pink-walled bastion of won ton soup and generous stir-frys, and I really enjoyed it. Our table of four split an appetizer of minced chicken in lettuce cups -- I can't tell if they copied the PF Chang's version or vice-versa -- and nicely fried chicken wings (middle sections only). Both were pleasant but unspectacular, and certainly didn't get in the way of the the conversation flowing around the table.

For mains, two of us each had the Jade Billows Shrimp and two of us each had the Steak Hunan Style. I'll go out on a limb here and say that both dishes were executed well, and that you an certainly get far worse steak and shrimp dishes in the DC metropolitan area. I really enjoyed the Hunan Steak -- big slices of tender, medium rare beef tenderloin, nicely cooked chunks of onion, red pepper, mushrooms, baby corn and water chestnuts, and a brown sauce that was no better nor worse than any brown sauce in any Americanized Chinese restaurant around. Overall, a pleasant and satisfying dish. I don't even care that I ate it with a fork and knife. The shrimp dish came out in an aluminum foil pouch, and was loaded with perfectly cooked large shrimp with vegetables in an otherwise forgetful white sauce.

I don't know where the name "Jade Billows" comes from, but I've had worse food for far higher prices in Potomac. Don't get me wrong, this isn't haute cuisine by any means. But I have to admit that I really enjoyed the meal.

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