New to the area
I'm new to the DC area and looking for a good Chinese and a good Mexican place in the Alexandria area. Thanks.
As a fairly recent transplant from So. CA, I can tell you that this area is definitely deficient in great Mexican restaurants. For good Mexican, however, try Taqueria Poblano on Mt. Vernon Ave. in Alexandria and Guajillo on Wilson Blvd. in Arlington.
For Chinese, Full Kee in Bailey's Crossroad. Other 'hounds may know of others.
You might want to check out Tyler Cowan's website. He is a professor at George Mason College whose mission in life is eating at and writing about ethnic restaurants in this area. It's a great resource.
For Chinese I usually stick to my local takeout (New Good Taste on North Kings Highway) but it's nothing special, just reliable. Formosa in Crystal City just off Route 1 is also supposed to be good; my husband raves but I haven't had the chance to try it yet.
For Mexican we go for Baja Fresh (yes, it's a chain, but it gets the job done) when we're in a hurry or in the mood for takeout (there's one on Duke Street); Taqueria Poblano, or Taco House in Crystal City on 23rd St.