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TNR Cafe (Tea, Noodles, Rice Cafe) - Surprisingly Decent Chinese on Wilson Blvd and N. Courthouse Rd, Courthouse

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On 8/25/2016 at 12:29 PM, DaveO said:

TNR virtually never fails.

When it is good it is very, very good, and when it is bad it is horrid.  My experiences with TNR take-out delivery:

  • 1st time:  pan-fried meat dumplings, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour pork.  Everything top-notch
  • 2nd time:  pan-fried meat dumplings, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour pork.  Pork meat tasted very old and off
  • 3rd time:  pan-fried meat dumplings, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour shrimp.  Rationale:  they can't give me old shrimp.  Guaranteed fresh.  I was so wrong.  Apparently, they had taken some old sweet and sour shrimp, re-battered it and fried it again.  Disgusting big lumps of old shrimp and tons of old and new batter.  Had to throw out.
  • 4th time:  pan-fried meat dumplings, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour pork.  Keeping fingers crossed pork will be fresh.  Pork was indeed fresh but full of gristle I couldn't eat.  Oh well, better than old meat, right.
  • 5th time:  everything good again.

I haven't given up but wish I knew how to get them to give me better consistency with sweet and sour pork.  Dumplings and beef/broc always great.

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4 minutes ago, hopsing said:

Apparently, they had taken some old sweet and sour shrimp, re-battered it and fried it again.  Disgusting big lumps of old shrimp and tons of old and new batter.  Had to throw out.

Eeeeeww-weee! You know, it's not impossible that the old shrimp had been served before (why else would they have old, battered shrimp?) This is one of the nastier things I've heard recently.

I'm wondering just what possessed you to make that fifth order.

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9 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I'm wondering just what possessed you to make that fifth order.

I don't know.  Desperate for a good Chinese carryout, I guess.  It worked that time, but every order is a crap shoot.

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18 minutes ago, hopsing said:

When it is good it is very, very good, and when it is bad it is horrid.  My experiences with TNR take-out delivery:

  • 1st time:  pan-fried meat dumplings, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour pork.  Everything top-notch
  • 2nd time:  pan-fried meat dumplings, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour pork.  Pork meat tasted very old and off
  • 3rd time:  pan-fried meat dumplings, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour shrimp.  Rationale:  they can't give me old shrimp.  Guaranteed fresh.  I was so wrong.  Apparently, they had taken some old sweet and sour shrimp, re-battered it and fried it again.  Disgusting big lumps of old shrimp and tons of old and new batter.  Had to throw out.
  • 4th time:  pan-fried meat dumplings, beef with broccoli, sweet and sour pork.  Keeping fingers crossed pork will be fresh.  Pork was indeed fresh but full of gristle I couldn't eat.  Oh well, better than old meat, right.
  • 5th time:  everything good again.

I haven't given up but wish I knew how to get them to give me better consistency with sweet and sour pork.  Dumplings and beef/broc always great.

And I've been told I need to diversify my meal choices and try different things.....;)   LOL

Possibly I'm not that discerning, or possibly because I invariably pick up take out orders, or possibly both, I don't have problems with their takeout. or its probable I don't order beef with boroccoli and sweet and sour pork. (shrugs)

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7 minutes ago, hopsing said:

I don't know.  Desperate for a good Chinese carryout, I guess.  It worked that time, but every order is a crap shoot.

It seems you can avoid the crap shoot by not ordering sweet & sour 😀

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33 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

It seems you can avoid the crap shoot by not ordering sweet & sour 😀

True, but that is my husband's favorite.

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

Possibly I'm not that discerning, or possibly because I invariably pick up take out orders, or possibly both, I don't have problems with their takeout. or its probable I don't order beef with boroccoli and sweet and sour pork. (shrugs)

Can you tell me what you like there?  I'm willing to try different dishes (although it will be a fight with my husband).

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36 minutes ago, hopsing said:

Can you tell me what you like there?  I'm willing to try different dishes (although it will be a fight with my husband).

Some of the dishes I like include:

Some of the noodle soup dishes I haven't tried the pickled one.

From the specials I like the two casseroles, with favoring the shrimp one.  They are both good, and I think the shrimp one was applauded by someone else upthread.  I generally always like triple delight.  Their's is good, not remarkably special.  I'm also favorably disposed to their crispy beef.  For some reason I've never had the Peking duck.   I tend to order chicken rather than other proteins.  I like the chicken with asparagus, with garlic, and the eggplant one.  I order the chicken with eggplant a lot.  Large pieces of eggplant. 

Obviously though it all depends on taste.    It could well be I'm either not that discerning on takeout or the orders for takeout come out fresher when you pick them up.  I wouldn't know.  It is a rare day in hell when I get an order delivered.  I have this "thing" about picking up food.  (call me old fashioned or cheap). 

When I walked in the other day the guy (I think one of the owners sons) and I started chatting.  I didn't recognize him but he had taken our bartending class a couple of months ago  (I guess he was preparing for their new bar).  He knew I ordered the shrimp casserole dish.  Imagine that!!!

For a local Chinese takeout I favor it.  OTOH I wouldn't travel miles to go there.  I'd go to Rockville for far better and more special Chinese or Falls Church

 

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4 hours ago, hopsing said:

I don't know.  Desperate for a good Chinese carryout, I guess.  It worked that time, but every order is a crap shoot.

Why don't you Grub Hub Hunan Gate?  I think they likely have a better record.  The Chinese menu has some interesting things, but Hubby is always pretty satisfied with the beef and broccoli and etc.  I have never had off pork or re-used shrimp.

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We tried them a couple of times (long ago, right after Hsian Foong closed).  I liked it (esp. beef/broccoli) but my husband didn't like it.  Don't remember why and he probably doesn't either. Perhaps we ordered the lemon chicken which we loved at Hsian Foong and it was not good.  I think it is time to give them another try.  Thanks!

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Never had the lemon chicken, so it could be a bust.  I like the dumplings with sour napa, the other dumplings, the hand pulled noodles (soup or entree), mapo tofu.  Over the phone they aren't great with giving me actually spicy stuff, but they recognize us sometimes when we go in, we will have to work on this once we move.  I never order off the American Chinese menu, but Hubby has had hunan something, kung pao chicken, cashew something, cumin lamb, general tso.  He gets their egg rolls, I am not crazy about those either, I would rather have the pan fried dumplings, but he seems to like it well enough to go back somewhat frequently instead of getting delivery from other places.  It's right next to our house so he goes a lot when I am gone.

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22 hours ago, hopsing said:

We tried them a couple of times (long ago, right after Hsian Foong closed).  I liked it (esp. beef/broccoli) but my husband didn't like it.  Don't remember why and he probably doesn't either. Perhaps we ordered the lemon chicken which we loved at Hsian Foong and it was not good.  I think it is time to give them another try.  Thanks!

Ah, I still miss Hsian Foong a lot. Especially the Hsian Foong chicken and the sesame broccoli. Haven't found another place with sesame broccoli.

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Since it expanded into the adjacent space and built out a new restaurant TNR has added more authentic dishes to its menu.  The additional menu is printed in both Chinese and English.   A local foodie raved about the expanded menu and I tried the Shrimp with two spices (Shrimp with salt).  I thought very tasty.   Additionally, having been going there for years either to eat in or take out, they do treat me very well as a regular and it is appreciated.   I still think TNR is an excellent local takeout option...and its expanded menu and more attractive decor make it a better dine in choice.   Lastly it is remarkably inexpensive for good quality food.

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TNR as an excellent neighborhood joint

I've enjoyed TNR as a local Chinese restaurant and an excellent take out alternative for many years.  Now that it has doubled in size, completely redesigned the restaurant and added a bar it is additionally a fine neighborhood joint.  On Sunday I met a friend to eat Chinese food, drink a bit, while watching some of the football on TV.

So there we were;  two locals somewhat breaking in the bar (which had certainly seen many customers in the last two months) with a wide screen TV and some sound, and a variety of dishes and drinks.

Hot and sour soup, egg rolls, moo shu pork, salt and pepper seafood, a couple of beers;  a competitive playoff game, and very few customers in the late afternoon.  The game went into overtime and so did we.  TNR added some Americanized desserts plus coffee...and that is where we "broke in the bar";  adding a sampling of Irish Coffee type drinks:  Coffee and Jamesons, Coffee and Kahlua, Coffee and Bailey's with some of their desserts.  We christened the Bailey's which had yet to have been opened.  The Irish coffee drinks were completely new to them and we gave them simple directions:   Coffee and 1.5 ounces of the booze,  Skip the lump sugar and whipped cream, but add some milk or cream for the coffee. 

Admittedly the desserts and coffee were incongruent, but the liquor negated the incompatibility and we got to mutually enjoy a game while eating good food in relative peace and quiet, with we being the "noise makers", not some other yokels. 

Oh yeah...The Saints were robbed.

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