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Oriental Gourmet, Arlington - Northern Chinese in Lee-Harrison Shopping Center - Closed


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Sushi_zen is not that good, IMO. Surprisingly, Oriental Gourmet is not that bad for typical American-Chinese. It is our "go-to" Chinese food joint when we need the mu-shi pork, sweet and sour whatever, General Tso's, etc, etc..... If you want some decent Salvadorean food there is Las Palmeiras Dos, on Lee Highway, across from Prestons Pharmacy. It is pretty cheap (if you get pupusas, tamales) and definitely filling. Not great, but certainly not bad.

Have to agree with you on Oriental Gourmet. I am very surpised with the quaility and their offerings. Food is always fresh with quality ingredients. Also a little past Arrowwine on Lee is a La Union Grocery. They have great salvadorian food at great prices. A decent lunch will sent you back 6 bucks.

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Their Chinese menu isn't too bad either. On the weekends, they have a Northern Chinese menu, and I prefer their fried dough/crullers with Shaobing (flatbread) over some of the other places (ok, well, I also like the fried youtiao at the food place in Great Wall supermarket). Their XLB filling is a bit dry, but the dough is good.

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Best Chinese-American takeout that I've had in the area. I know everyone hates this style of food, but when I lived in that area it was my go-to for something to grub on when watching football and having a couple beers. The Pork Chow Fun and Sesame Chicken were staples. What I like about this place is that they do not overbread any of their items and all of the dishes have somewhat fresh vegetables, which is not something you can say for most of these types of places.

Anyway, certainly not a destination place, but if you live in Yorktown or the immediate area, it's well worth getting if you enjoy white-carton takeout.

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I no longer live in that neighborhood but when I did, I found the dishes listed in the "Healthy" section of their takeout menu to be quite tasty (and somewhat less guilt-inducing than the more standard fare). It's basically a plate of steamed mixed vegetables to which you can add either chicken, shrimp, or beef. Served with a separate container of brown sauce on the side, so you can season the dish to your taste. The brown sauce itself has a nice consistency (not gloppy) and adds a fair amount of spiciness.

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Their Chinese menu isn't too bad either. On the weekends, they have a Northern Chinese menu, and I prefer their fried dough/crullers with Shaobing (flatbread) over some of the other places (ok, well, I also like the fried youtiao at the food place in Great Wall supermarket). Their XLB filling is a bit dry, but the dough is good.

So the youtiao at Great Wall is better? I usually end up getting pig knuckles at Great Wall. They're really delicious. So there's no reason whatsoever for me to ever go to Oriental Gourmet given that I live out by Tysons and I can get to Great Wall/Peking Village fairly quickly.

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So the youtiao at Great Wall is better? I usually end up getting pig knuckles at Great Wall. They're really delicious. So there's no reason whatsoever for me to ever go to Oriental Gourmet given that I live out by Tysons and I can get to Great Wall/Peking Village fairly quickly.

No, you're getting standard (if better quality) fare here, and this is a place I would only order from if I was living in their delivery radius.

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So the youtiao at Great Wall is better?

It's a matter of taste. The youtiao here is bigger, a bit poofier and thus, slightly softer to the taste compared to the one at Great Wall, which is a bit crispier. The latter is the way my mom likes it, so she'll direct you to GW, but the other catch is that GW's food area doesn't sell the shaobing (flatbread).

Oriental Gourmet is worth trying, even if you're out in Tyson's.

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Anyway, certainly not a destination place, but if you live in Yorktown or the immediate area, it's well worth getting if you enjoy white-carton takeout.

This describes Oriental Gourmet perfectly. Tonight I had 'white-carton takeout' of Lamb with Fresh Hot Pepper ($9.15) and Spicy Pickled Cucumber ($3.50). The dishes worked well together, and were pretty much everything you could ask for from a neighborhood Chinese-American restaurant.

Hold on, I'm going to run and get my fortune cookie right now ...

"You will step on the soil of many countries."

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. I've alerted chaofun that Oriental Gourmet also has a weekend dim sum menu.

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I went to Oriental Gourmet to check out their brunch. I ordered a youtiao, a shredded daikon pancake, a scallion pancake, and a bowl of beef with tendon noodle soup. Their pancakes are smaller but thicker, which gives them a crispy crust but softer center. The scallion pancake was chock full of scallions, which I really enjoyed. I also liked the daikon pancake. The youtiao had that chemical aftertaste and the beef noodle soup just wasn't that tasty (the soup wasn't particularly beefy and the noodles were lo-mein noodles). The staff was lackluster in the morning and parking was a bitch.

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The staff was lackluster in the morning and parking was a bitch.

Parking is getting harder in the Lee-Harrison shopping center in the mornings. You are competing with family places such as the Jhoon-Rhee tkd place, JW Tumbles, Ballet class, Photo studio, Elevation Burger, Starbucks, and of course, Harris Teeter. On the other side of HT, they have a small, free garage to park, if you don't mind the walk.

I didn't not have a chemical aftertaste last time I ordered youtiao there, but this was back in the summer. It was, however, a bit lackluster, as it was greasier than normal, while my flatbread was staler than normal. I still think it's a good option for northern dim sum in a pinch. Staff/service has always been low/lackluster, so carry out is a better option.

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Not much to add, but I was trying to find Aladdin's, the Bangladeshi place and gave up, so I saw this in the strip mall.

Quiet place, not too many people in there, friendly service.

I had the spicy pork dumplings and the lamb with fresh hot pepper.

I really liked it! I usually hate Chinese-American, but this was really good. I'd go back and try more stuff there.

Sorry for the not particularly detailed reviews! It was just comforting and good food.

Simul

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Not much to add, but I was trying to find Aladdin's, the Bangladeshi place and gave up, so I saw this in the strip mall.

Quiet place, not too many people in there, friendly service.

I had the spicy pork dumplings and the lamb with fresh hot pepper.

I really liked it! I usually hate Chinese-American, but this was really good. I'd go back and try more stuff there.

Sorry for the not particularly detailed reviews! It was just comforting and good food.

Simul

I got the Lamb with Fresh Hot Pepper today (dinner portion $11.50 including tax) based on this post. I'd had it once before, a few years ago (Edit: Oh, I even posted about it in post #8!), and this was *exactly* what it was like the last time - I remembered this dish very well. I didn't even finish half of it, and I'll have a nice lunch tomorrow as well.

For Americanized Chinese, Oriental Gourmet has been a consistent stalwart for me over the years - thanks for reminding me to try it again.

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I don't really go for that authentic shit, so i was intrigued by the previous posts touting good ole' Americanized fare. I must say that I rather enjoyed my takeout from here the other night. The dumplings are the large and doughy variety, that can be cut into 4 equally satisfying bites. The crab rangoon, triangle shaped (I prefer the clutch purse fold), were amply stuffed. Egg rolls were what you'd expect. The Hot & Sour soup was full flavored, had a good kick to it, and was very tasty. For mains, we had Imperial Delicacy Shrimp and Crispy Shredded Beef. The shrimp were lightly breaded and fried, set atop steamed broccoli, with a side of gooey ginger and sweet pepper sauce. I appreciated that they kept the sauce separated from the shrimp, which allowed the dish to travel and not turn into a mushy mess. The sauce was a bit too sweet, but it did have a good flavor. The beef was fried hard, but that was good, because it too maintained its crunch throughout the meal. A tasty sauce and not overly sweet. I thought it was a good version of that dish.

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I don't really go for that authentic shit, so i was intrigued by the previous posts touting good ole' Americanized fare. I must say that I rather enjoyed my takeout from here the other night. The dumplings are the large and doughy variety, that can be cut into 4 equally satisfying bites. The crab rangoon, triangle shaped (I prefer the clutch purse fold), were amply stuffed. Egg rolls were what you'd expect. The Hot & Sour soup was full flavored, had a good kick to it, and was very tasty. For mains, we had Imperial Delicacy Shrimp and Crispy Shredded Beef. The shrimp were lightly breaded and fried, set atop steamed broccoli, with a side of gooey ginger and sweet pepper sauce. I appreciated that they kept the sauce separated from the shrimp, which allowed the dish to travel and not turn into a mushy mess. The sauce was a bit too sweet, but it did have a good flavor. The beef was fried hard, but that was good, because it too maintained its crunch throughout the meal. A tasty sauce and not overly sweet. I thought it was a good version of that dish.

I've been enjoying #S28 on their carryout menu: Fish Fillet and Bean Curd in Hot and Red Bean Sauce ($13.45). While this might sound odd, it has the flavors (sans pork) of a very mild Ma Po Tofu - a lot of Ma Po Tofus are just too numbing for me, and while this has some of that, it's just a hint, not a dominant feature. There is a *lot* of fish in this dish, and it's an excellent value for the money - I've ordered it twice in a row.

If you like dried-fried beef, sometimes knows as Szechuan Beef Proper, get #F20: Crispy Shredded Beef ($13.95). It's a massive amount of battered, fried, bite-sized strips of steak, and if you know this dish, it's a very good rendition, with a few thinly shredded carrots thrown in so you can lie to yourself and think it's healthy. Highly recommended.

Actually, I recommend both of these dishes in tandem - since they're so utterly different, they play off one other well. You'll need a green if you get these in order to balance your meal, so order something steamed from the "Healthy Choice" section, or one of the sautéed beans, snow peas, or spinach entrees - you'll have yourself a really nice carryout meal for two, with leftovers for lunch the next day. Yes, the beef reheats pretty well in a microwave - and although you already know this, I want to end in a rhyming couplet since I'm reading Shakespeare:

leave the steamed rice unopened, sealed tight,

and outside of the icebox overnight.

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This dish is amazeballs.

It is, but the last time I had it, late at night on a frigid weekday (I got the feeling they might have been trying to wrap things up early), it was still cold in parts. At such a low price, the fish is obviously frozen, and this dish must be served piping hot; otherwise, no amazeballs. :(

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It is, but the last time I had it, late at night on a frigid weekday (I got the feeling they might have been trying to wrap things up early), it was still cold in parts. At such a low price, the fish is obviously frozen, and this dish must be served piping hot; otherwise, no amazeballs. :(

They must have read your post because both our recent takeout entrees were served almost too hot...I couldn't eat like the pig that I am :wacko:.  In addition to the great fish dish, we also got the Chicken with Garlic Puree, which we enjoyed. It's basically a General Tso's-like dish, but drowning in garlic, which helps to cut the sweetness. I mean this as a total compliment, by the way. Oh, and all portions continue to be huge. If you're in the area and enjoy Americanized Chinese food, this has to be your go-to place.

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They must have read your post because both our recent takeout entrees were served almost too hot...I couldn't eat like the pig that I am :wacko:.  In addition to the great fish dish, we also got the Chicken with Garlic Puree, which we enjoyed. It's basically a General Tso's-like dish, but drowning in garlic, which helps to cut the sweetness. I mean this as a total compliment, by the way. Oh, and all portions continue to be huge. If you're in the area and enjoy Americanized Chinese food, this has to be your go-to place.

I don't typically love these types of dishes, as they tend to be a little sticky and cloying (which is how I found the Crispy Shredded Beef, just too sweet for my palate).  This dish is a garlic lovers dream, as it burns right through that sweet tastes really sings with a bit of chili oil dumped on top.

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A few days ago, I was reading over this thread, and combining its general tone with my own experiences, I made the hypothesis that this might just be the best "white-carton," Americanized Chinese restaurant in the area.

I decided to take some people's favorites, add my own into the mix, and then change up the meats and sauces, coming up with this:

P5 Pork w/ Black Bean Sauce ($10.95)

S27 Fish Filet w/ Black Pepper Sauce ($14.95)

V8 Spinach Stir-Fried w/ Garlic ($8.95)

Patting myself on the back, the combination of flavors, ingredients, and balance was just right - more importantly, this meal was fantastic as far as Americanized Chinese meals go. At Oriental Gourmet, you're not going to get the lip-curdling, palate-numbing flavors of a Hong Kong Palace Szechuan crippler, nothing of the sort - this is straight-on, full-bore, unapologetic Chinese food for American palates. But, the ever-important difference is that it's done well!

How well?

Well, well enough to have another go at it.

A few days later, I went as soon as they opened for lunch, and got the exact same order, the only difference being that I got the lunch-sized Pork w/ Black Bean Sauce ($7.95, and a noticeably smaller portion than the dinner version).

The only difference was one you might expect: the prime-time dinner meal was more perfectly cooked. In particular, the onions that accompany the stir-fry were ever-so-slightly undercooked, producing a slightly crunchy texture (which, in turn, doesn't release all of the sweetness); other than that, the fish could have seen another twenty seconds of wok time - it was hot, but not *piping* hot. These two things would not have been noticeable unless I was doing an active comparison. But I was, so I noticed.

Regardless, my hypothesis - that Oriental Gourmet may just be the best white-carton Americanized Chinese restaurant in the area - stood the test of two versions of the exact same meal at dramatically different times.

Raised to Italic in the Dining Guide, and elevated several notches to where it should have been all along.

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As I was walking out the door with my order, the lady at the counter thanked me for my business because they are closing tomorrow! It appears the current owners have sold the restaurant. I was nearing the door with hot food, and so didn't ask to see if it was re-opening under new ownership or closing for good. Anyway, tomorrow night may be the last night to get their excellent fish dish! The fact that I now have to find a new Chinese food place is a major disappointment. Boo!

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As I was walking out the door with my order, the lady at the counter thanked me for my business because they are closing tomorrow! It appears the current owners have sold the restaurant. I was nearing the door with hot food, and so didn't ask to see if it was re-opening under new ownership or closing for good. Anyway, tomorrow night may be the last night to get their excellent fish dish! The fact that I now have to find a new Chinese food place is a major disappointment. Boo!

Hats off to Oriental Gourmet for an extended run being one of the best "white-carton" Chinese restaurants in the DC area.

Retired in Italic in the Dining Guide.

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