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Peking Palace, Good Chinese in Germantown


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I was in the Germantown area today and remembered a post by James G on Chowhound about a year ago (he is known as PandaHugga on DR), about this Chinese restaurant there with good authentic stuff, so I set out to find it. It is called Peking Palace. James is known among those who know him as THE round-eye chinese restaurant expert. His original post is here.

I entered about 2:30 pm; nobody in the place. I asked for the real Chinese menu, and was shown a special page of the regular menu called "The Real Homestyle Chinese Meals" which listed about 60 items, all main courses, and all priced the same (one for $8.45, 2 for $16.60, and 3 for $24.75). Several had $2 supplements, but I could discern no pattern among those that were extra.

If you refer to James' piece you will see that he got the real deal whereas I got the OK, but not the real, menu.

Since I was alone and of limited capacity (tho my friends might laugh at that statement), I ordered but 2 items: # 30 Cumin beef ($2 extra) and #18 Eggplant with pork in hot bean sauce. The beef was excellent--a really good balance of salt, hot, and sweet flavors with just enough cumin, and cucumber chunks for cooling off. The eggplant was also good, tho not as good as the beef--the flavors were nice but not intense, and it was a bit oily. But still a good dish.

Afterwards I asked the waitress what are the most popular items among her Chinese clients and she replied #22 Spicy chicken Chinese style, #24 Spicy chicken with sour cabbage and long bean, #29 shredded beef with pickled chili, and #32 spicy braised beef shank in hot pot.

This place merits one or several return visits. It is at 12937 Wisteria Drive in Germantown (the Sugarloaf Shopping Center). I-270, Germantown Road exit (Rt. 118), exit 15 I think.

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I was in the Germantown area today and remembered a post by James G on Chowhound about a year ago (he is known as PandaHugga on DR), about this Chinese restaurant there with good authentic stuff, so I set out to find it.  It is called Peking Palace. 

         <snip>

It is at 12937 Wisteria Drive in Germantown (the Sugarloaf Shopping Center).  I-270, Germantown Road exit (Rt. 118), exit 15 I think.

This is a good example of why I value these boards. This restaurant is in the same shopping center as the first MoCo outpost of the reborn Roy Rogers. I'd have had many RR meals before I'd step into Peking Palace (if ever) without James G's post on Chowhound - and never know what I was missing.

Most recently I had scallion pancake and Five Flavor Chicken. The pancake was not the Peter Chang rendition, but the more authentic flat version and the Chicken was a great balance of hot and sweet. They must do as well with typical Sino-American fare because the booth behind me was equally delighted with their Sweet/Sour Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice. There's also a lunch buffet that's well attended...

It's a bit out of the way, but in a growing part of the county with a steadily increasing number of restaurants, both unique (French Quarter Cafe) and not (Five Guys and the usual suburban chains). post-226-1141440498_thumb.jpg

ETA: clarity

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I think the menu and perhaps even owners have changed since last posts on this thread. But intrigued by an ad in the Chinese yellow pages, I truly thank ol_ironstomach and gubeen for being good sports to accompany me on this venture. The cooking style here, to describe its authentic region, is Hunan homestyle. It's not flashy, nor is it well-presented as some other Chinese places in this area, but the flavors were there, even if the chef was a bit heavy-handed with the salt here.

There is now 1 full menu dedicated to Chinese dishes and had 4 to 5 pages of what I considered "comfort Chinese food." It is all in Chinese, with no accompanying translation, so if you go, make sure to drag someone who can translate. I was too shy to ask for recommendations but the staff was friendly and spoke English, so I am going out on a limb to say that they will probably help you pick out dishes to try if you do go.

We ordered the following items: scallion pancakes; scallion meat-filled pancakes; ants in a tree; chili-fried duck; stir-fried rice cakes and bean curd skin with pickled vegetables. The scallion pancakes were the best I've had in this area, and mostly eaten with approval by gebaby. They had a true scallion flavor to it and not a doughy flavor like I've had at some places. My favorite was the ants in a tree (or ants climbing up a tree?), made with bean thread noodles, ground pork, soy sauce and chilies. Even though there was heat, it didn't overwhelm the dish, so the meat flavor really came out. The noodles were done just right and not mushy too. The weakest dish was the rice cakes. Although the rice cakes were stir-fried just right, it was lifeless.

Overall, I would come back and try more dishes from the Hunan section of the Chinese menu, I think.

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