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Old Town Alex Chinese

bucknell Jul 2, 2009 02:40 PM

For Chinese food I go either to DC Chinatown or Dynasty Restaurant in Hayfield; but there must be something good in Old Town.

Since China Kind closed a few years ago the only Chinese Restaurant I know of is the carry out in the old little tavern at the north end of Washington street. I've heard positive things about it but it is basically carry out.

Is there any [good] sit down Chinese [not Thai, not Vietnamese, not Korean] restaurant in Old Town?

  1. w
    weezycom Jul 2, 2009 04:04 PM

    I haven't tried it, but there's a new Chinese restaurant that has opened in the new building at Patrick and Pembleton Streets (the LA Boxing is in the same building). I think that is dine-in and carry out.

    2 Replies
    1. re: weezycom
      sweth Jul 2, 2009 07:31 PM

      I was going to say that there's no such thing as sit-down Chinese in Old Town, but Googling, it appears that weezycom is right; Shanghai Peking does appear to be a sit-down restaurant. The menu on their website makes it seem like a generic Americanized Chinese place, although they do distinguish between chow ho fun and chow mei fun, which is a good sign. Has anyone tried it yet?

      1. re: sweth
        bucknell Jul 3, 2009 08:36 AM

        Thanks for the tip on Shanghai Peking; With the name I found a few reviews [both sitdown and carry out] at:


    2. m
      milocat Jul 3, 2009 05:00 PM

      I tried Shanghai Peking based on reading these posts. I have had the menu on my fridge for weeks. I ordered delivery and had the orange chicken, broccoli with garlic sauce, and the vegetable chow fun. The chicken was spicy but not too hot with peppers and orange peel in the sauce. The broccoli garlic sauce was sweeter than I am used to but quite good, the vegetables were fresh and crispy. I love chow fun and this was good. The servings are quite large (dinner portion) and afforadble. I have ample leftovers. They are on N. Henry Street in Old Town where I live so delivery was quick, maybe 20 minutes from when I called. It's been a while since we have had good Chinese food delivery so I am happy they are here.

      1 Reply
      1. re: milocat
        sweth Jul 4, 2009 06:47 PM

        I just tried S.P. out as well; got spring rolls, the szechuan chicken, and the broccoli w/ garlic sauce. The latter was meh--generic americanized overly sweet garlic sauce on broccoli--but the other two were pretty good. The szechuan chicken may actually have been an attempt at authentic szechuan dish--it was basically a very large bowl of chicken (with a bit of cabbage) simmering in a thick (and pretty spicy) red sauce, and very reminiscent of a few dishes I've had at places like TemptAsian. Like a lot of dishes at TemptAsian, though, it was little too much burn with too little depth.

        The interior is nice, although for some reason they had a TV on showing some cartoon on Nickolodeon and cranked up super loud; service was OK but not great, and they give you almost no rice w/ each dish and then charge you for extra bowls, which was a little annoying. As milocat says, though, the portions are very large.

        But given how mediocre the Chinese food options in Old Town are, I'm happy to have Shanghai Peking around.

      2. monkeyrotica Jul 4, 2009 05:05 PM

        For carryout, we go to Magic Wok in Belle View, just south of Old Town. They do a nice salt and pepper squid, but we always get their chicken wings and mambo sauce. They're one of the few places that I've found that still does the old school Chinese American classics shrimp toast and crab rangoon.

        If you're willing to go a bit further out to Franconia, Sampan Cafe does some interesting hot pot casseroles, tripes, and Hong Kong style specialities. They also do the American Chinese standards, but if you dig on Cantonese duck or spicy intestines and sour cabbage, they do it pretty tasty-like.

        6 Replies
        1. re: monkeyrotica
          sweth Jul 4, 2009 06:50 PM

          How long have you been sitting on this info, monkey? I've been ignoring menus for Magic Wok and Sampan Cafe for a while now, apparently to my own detriment...

          1. re: sweth
            monkeyrotica Jul 5, 2009 03:21 PM

            I'd avoid the dim sum as it ranges from mediocre to just bad. I hear their lobster dishes are quite good (they have a fish/lobster/crab/eel tank in back) but I haven't tried.

          2. re: monkeyrotica
            tommyskitchen Jul 5, 2009 11:25 AM

            Their shrimp Toast is too greasy when I try it, but I always do delivery, maybe that is why. The rangoon is good and my Wife's favorite - She also always orders the Sesame Chicken - I love crispy beef, but it sux here.

            Thanks for the squid tip, We'll try that next time.....

            1. re: tommyskitchen
              monkeyrotica Jul 5, 2009 03:19 PM

              Yeah, the shrimp toast can be greasy as all hell. But when it's done right, it's shrimpariffic. I ordered it as part of the puu-puu platter; the springrolls were alright, the wings divine, the rangoon tasty, the beef-on-a-stick almost jerky-like, but the pork ribs were better than what I've found at some BBQ places, which isn't saying much really.

              For a carryout, Magic Wok is not bad at all.

            2. re: monkeyrotica
              sweth Jul 10, 2009 04:09 PM

              OK, I tried Magic Wok. The s&p squid was passable if you've got a real craving for it, but it's not nearly as good as at some other places in the area; I'd probably make the drive to Full Key if I really want some. As monkeyrotica notes, the Chinese American classics there are actually done pretty well.

              Next up: Sampan Cafe...

              1. re: sweth
                tommyskitchen Jul 11, 2009 05:09 AM

                LOVE Full Key - I haven't found anything on the menu there I don't like! Their shrimp rolls are simple yet amazing...

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