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Judy Fu Snappy Dragon

what are your thoughts?

Snappy Dragon
8917 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

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  1. I've had a wide range of meals there over the years from great to terrible. Love the dumplings and the green onion pancakes.

    1 Reply
    1. I didn't care for the food (but this was many years ago). I thought the dumpling wrapper was too doughy.

      1. they serve what would be considered decent american-chinese food if bought in lincoln, nebraska - for seattle, it is rather a disappointment especially as the excelllent chiang's gourmet (15th avenue/lake city way) is so close

        2 Replies
        1. re: howard 1st

          I've never had a good meal at Chiangs.
          What do you order?

          1. re: JayDK

            i am generally at chiang's with vegan friends who live nearby and we very much like the "tofu of strong odor" (aka 'stinky tofu') and the faux spareribs from their seperate vegetarian menu. when dining carnivorously i like the tea-smoked duck and the mustard greens with pork

        2. Seattle may set a relatively low bar for Chinese food, but one can certainly find much better fare elsewhere. As mentioned, Chiang's is close by (though the experience at Chiang's depends highly on what you order there).

          On a side note, some years ago, they did do some nice handmade dumplings at Snappy Dragon.

          1. "Inconsistent" is my word for Snappy Dragon. I've had great meals there, and ones that should have been returned to the kitchen. This inconsistency is beyond the chef A-team vs. B-team problem at a lot of Chinese restaurants--including Chiangs. Snappy's housemade noodles are pretty good, as is the Haka-style green onion pancake.

            Snappy Dragon
            8917 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

            1. thanks everyone. I found the noodles to be lots of fun and the texture to be rustic, kind of like the ones I make it home. I could see how they could be inconsistent but it was a great experience for me. I wasn't expecting too much though.

              1. I was totally underwhelmed. It's been a few years, but after a couple of tries I haven't had any interest in going back. I had some of the most gristle-y, inedible beef there I've ever been served.

                1. Agree with many other posters -- I've never had a great experience eating at Snappy Dragon, only several mediocre ones. The dumplings are underwhelming, IMO.

                  Snappy Dragon
                  8917 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

                  1. I'll add my, 'rather be at yu shan' to the list. Inconsistency isn't the game I want to play with my food.

                    1. Snappy Dragon.... a few time the food was great and a few other time i went there with friends the food was just ok. i hate the hit or miss places. there really is a low bar for amazing chinese/asin food in seattle.

                      Snappy Dragon
                      8917 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: mikeeatsalot

                        We can't believe a Seattle Chowhound recommended this place to us, however, I do realize that some like this style of food for what it is... Afterwards, we are amazed that this restaurant has seemingly received accolades and awards! There was a short wait for a table. There was a packed entrance, with people waiting outside when we arrived (on this Friday night at 7PM).

                        When seated, what we saw were large, piled-high, home-style plates of food. I think most people were eating noodle-based dishes; apparently because the noodles are homemade. The noodles looked a lot like spaetzle on steroids... We did not try them. If the pan-fried vegetable potstickers were an indication of the noodles then you can keep them, too. The potsticker wrapper was very thick, tough and chewy. This is not how a dumpling should be... I could barely cut into them with my fork. The filling was flavorful, but just pedestrian, finely chopped frozen spinach from a bag as its base.

                        The "Sliced Cod" was battered and fried. The menu does not state this! The batter on the fish, like the potstickers, was thick, heavy and tough. The fish itself was good. I did not get it with black bean sauce. At the time, I did not realize that I did not get it with the correct sauce, as I had asked for.

                        Our very plain "chicken with garlic and vegetables in Szechwan sauce" was very salty, smothered in sauce and there was no garlic to be found or tasted. Did they get this order wrong, too? That would be two orders wrong! Many pieces of bell pepper (in both our dishes), were too big to be bite-sized. In contrast, the fish dish had a few peas and small cubes of carrot; again, as if out of a frozen food package from Sysco.
                        For both our dishes, we found the food floating in a sea of sweet and salty reddish goo.

                        The only positives about this meal is that the portions are large and the ingredients were fresh and of good quality.
                        My first glass of red wine was absolute plonk! I sent it back and the replacement wine was OK. It seems they opened a new box for me. My hubby played it safe and drank Tsingtao beer.

                        This is not real Chinese food as we know it. It is the over-sweet, over-salty, over-sauced, heavy-handed Americanized version, that many have come to know from all the corner dives that sell it. Kind of like pizza places...
                        It is popular with families. The restaurant is very noisy. The walls of this former house are hard and bare. There were no Asians here that we saw, except for employees...

                        Service was acceptable. Our waitress wore a Snappy Dragon T-shirt with holes in it.
                        If you are into take-out, large portions for a fair price, think Sweet and Sour Pork is the pinnacle of Chinese food or have never eaten where Asians eat, then you will not be disappointed!

                        Snappy Dragon
                        8917 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

                        1. re: ardelle

                          Hi, ardelle:

                          If you read the thread before going, you know you were warned that this place is inconsistent. I stopped going when it became apparent that every other or every third time there was going to be mediocre. All I can say is that when the A-team there is doing it right, it can be good.

                          Have you tried Chiang's which is nearby? Lowbrow atmo, but the food's so good I drive there from downtown about once a week for lunch. Their "stinky tofu" is kinda famous, and it's the kind of place where the large Asian parties are served plates that are off-menu. The dinner menus are extensive.


                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            I think they're calling it Chiang's Gourmet. That looks like the real deal! My hubby (dogracs), WILL go there for lunch and test the waters. I think we want to try Bamboo Garden and Seven Stars Szechuan, too.

                            BTW, I took a Chowhound recommendation for Snappy D without looking further. Had I done any homework you would have not seen me set foot in there.

                            Seven Stars Pepper Szechuan Restaurant
                            1917 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA

                            Bamboo Garden
                            202 106th Pl NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

                            Chiang Gourmet Restaurant
                            7845 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

                            1. re: ardelle

                              I second the recommendation for Chiang's Gourmet! That's our default take-out place for North Seattle.

                              1. re: Brunhilde

                                I've asked this before and never gotten an answer, but I'll try again--what do people recommend at Chiang's? On my 2 visits I was not impressed with the food at all. We drive to Bellevue for Szechuan but Chiang's is so much closer to my house, it would be nice if I knew what was good there. I can't imagine it could really compare to Bamboo Garden/Spicy Talk/Spiced, but I'd take something not quite as good for those weeknight cravings. (And yes, I ordered off the Szechuan menu at Chiang's).

                                And Ardelle, I'm really surprised that people here recommended Snappy Dragon. Did someone really say it was authentic? It's in Maple Leaf for god's sake--absolutely it is standard Chinese-American fare.

                                1. re: christy319

                                  As I said, I did not investigate it, so it's my own fault. I don't know my way around the town or what areas are known for what, or density of ethnicity, other than a few basic areas.

                                  1. re: christy319

                                    Hi, christi39:

                                    I'm fond of their Kung Pao Chicken, but I ask them to do it with cashews. If the A Team is working, the Mongolian Beef is outstanding. I've probably had 20 other things there, and all but one has been good. The zonker was the pork off the lunch menu.


                                    1. re: christy319

                                      Just went to Chiang's last night, and I go often. Highly recommended. My favorites are the pan-fried shanghai noodles and the spicy fish fillet with roman lettuce, both off the 'chinese' menu (it's in English). There are also the larger sized 'American' chinese food menu and the green vegetarian menu. I recommend sticking to the Chinese menu, most stuff on there is the real deal.

                                  2. re: ardelle

                                    Yeah, I remember Snappy Dragon getting thoroughly (and deservedly) scorched here in the past - similar to what happened with Wild Ginger. I was going to write a warning here but got distracted by something else. Sorry you had to go through that.

                                    With Chiang's - the key is to stick with their Chinese breakfast menu. Most of their other stuff does not pass muster. And with their Chinese breakfast menu, stay away from any dumpling items and you'll be fine - they do a pretty terrible job with dumpling items. Their "Homemade Pan Fried Noodles Shanghai Style" is an exceptional item - it's a very simple item with thick noodles stir fried with pea vines and pork, but it's done just right. But keep in mind that even their Chinese breakfast menu items can be quite inconsistent at times.

                                    If choosing between Bamboo Garden or Chiang's for Szechwan - Chiang's doesn't really even come close to Bamboo Garden.