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Oct 25, 2006 02:57 AM

Help me find good chinese food!

hey everyone,

new to the DC area, just beginning to chowhound my way across Rockville...

my aunt, uncle, and cousin are coming over to the east coast for a visit. i'd like to take them to a chinese/taiwanese place, given that we're chinese.

only thing is, i haven't seen them for 2-3 years. i'd like to find a nice place, both in terms of taste and atmosphere. i'd have gone to joe's noodle house or bob's but it seems just a tad informal for me.

help would be appreciated!! thankss


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  1. Well, food-wise, you are not going to do better in this area than Bob's Noodle 66 for Taiwanese...if you can, I definitely want to know about it...

    1. If you're willing to drive a bit, Peking Gourmet Inn in Virginia is excellent! Went there on my birthday, and was blown away.

      1. Great food at Peking Gourmet Inn. And a nice setting. Not a tough drive from Rockville.

        Try to put politics aside for this...
        When George H. W. Bush returned from two years in China (74-76) as head of the US Liaison office (we didn't have formal diplomatic relations yet), this is the restaurant that he and Barbara and the family visited often for their fix of Chinese food. He had been in China well before it had been open to the West so he probably knew a bit about decent Chinese food.

        The restaurant still has a faithful following after more than 30 years in business because it has good food. Your parents should enjoy it. And it's got a nice touch of Washington history. Pictures of famous people hanging on the walls, etc.

        4 Replies
        1. re: MakingSense

          And George and Barbara were at Peking Gourmet for dinner again just a few days ago.

          1. re: MikeR

            I cannot in good conscience as of Chinese ethnicity to recommend this place to take your parents. The staff wouldn't even speak Chinese to me, which I found insulting.

            The food is more American Chinese than authentic and this includes their peking duck. :(

            I was really sad, as I've heard good things about this place...

            1. re: orangemix

              I have to disagree to an extent, I have really enjoyed my dinning experiences at Peking Gourment Inn. As a bit of background, I am Chinese and my family has been in the restaurant business since I was very young. I love authentic Chinese restaurants and I can't stand restaurants that just serve the standard Americanized fare.

              So in terms of Peking Gourment Inn, I think their prices may be a bit high in terms of Chinese, but I find that their quality of ingredients is very high. Their menu may not have as many "authentic" or exotic dishes as some others, but they do offer quite a few dishes outside of the Americanized #1 kung pao platter. The garlic sprout dishes are excellent and the Peking duck is what they are know for.

              I also had a very interesting experience there once. I had asked for a side of fresh chopped peppers with my meal (as I always do). The peppers were wonderful and they where brought out by the chef (who was definitely Chinese). He was very proud of his peppers and explained to my wife and I how he grew them in his garden and how the different variety of peppers have subtle taste and heat differences. He was very genuine and very nice. The peppers were excellent with a wide range of spicyness. Very cool experience.

              I didn't try to speak chinese with the wait staff, so I can't comment on that, and I will agree they may not have all of the authentic dishes as Bob's or Joes, but the dishes that have to do well with good quality. Between that and the interesting historical notes on the placem I would recommend it at least from an experience stand point.

              As a bit of a side note, I would also recommend China Garden in Roslynn in terms of something a little more upscale than Bob and Joes.

              1. re: rcheng

                I wonder if some of the varied opinion is due to the origins of the Chinese who have reported differing experiences with the same restaurants. Are they from Hong Kong, ROC, or PRC?
                The foods are different and the enormous regional variation within the PRC is generally ignored by American generic Chinese. We end up with "noodle shops" or "dumpling places" or Chinese restaurants that serve sushi or pho. The US is such a melting pot that most of us just lump it all together. Everybody knows a few Sichuan dishes, a few other standards, but not the regional connections. Some isn't seen often on menus - who eats Cantonese these days? Then there's chop suey.
                I was told that old style Chinese food traditions were continued in Taiwan but almost disappeared under Mao on the Mainland. Hong Kong was part of the British Commonwealth until 2000.
                So perhaps those born since 1949 or reared in Hong Kong would have different ideas of Chinese foods and restaurants in the US depending on where their families lived.

        2. Good Chinese food combined with a "better" atmosphere can be had at (in MD) Hollywood East on the Boulevard in Wheaton, New Fortune in Gaithersburg, and perhaps Mama Wok also in Gaithersburg (I think), or (in VA) at Jasmine Garden at Rt. 50 and Gallows Road, China Garden in Rosslyn, or possibly Good Fortune near Seven Corners. These are all fairly good places, but in terms of food quality few would put them on a par with Joe's or Bob's, or possibly several others too such as China Star, Sichuan Village, Hunan Palace, etc.

          2 Replies
          1. re: johnb

            Good Fortune in Wheaton used to be good though I haven't been for a few years now.

            "Joes" is Joes Noodle House. Search for it on the board, sit down for a couple of hours to read through and take notes (LOTS of notes - a cheat sheet before you go). Google it to find the menu, and then be ready for some seriously good food.

            1. re: Dennis S

              The OP mentioned Joe's NH (and Bob's) but feels they are too informal for his purpose.

              My mistake on Fortune in Seven Corners; it is just plain "Fortune." Good Fortune is indeed in Wheaton, directly across from Hollywood East on the Boulevard, but lately seems to have slid downhill according to some posts I have read; I too haven't actually been for some time.

          2. there's a really good authentic place near the rockville/gaithersburg border but I totally forgot the name. Peking something?