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Jan 19, 2011 04:47 AM

Sampan Cafe, Szechuan Star, Peking Gourmet make List of Top 100 Chinese Restaurants.

I thought Sampan Cafe was pretty decent; the dimsum was pretty weak. Have heard good things about Peking Gourmet in Frederick. Szechuan Star has been off the radar. Anyone have any experience with them?

Szechuan Star
6922 Bradlick Shopping Ctr, Annandale, VA 22003

Peking Gourmet
5732 Buckeystown Pike Ste 16, Frederick, MD 21704

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  1. Don't forget about Kings' Buffet in Sterling, logging in at #72.

    Mmmm, steam table......

    Oklahoma has pretty good representation on this list, with two places. Who knew?

    1. I'm not sure how much stock I'd put in this. Szechuan Star is a perfectly serviceable American-Chinese restaurant, quite good the few times I've been there (in the strip mall near my local Giant), but I'm not sure I'd call it Top 100. But, then, I tend to like Chinese restaurants that aren't mainly American-Chinese. (Though maybe Szechuan Star has a Chinese menu I've never seen...)

      In fact, after looking at the menu for Yang Ming (the #1) it appears that service and ambiance might be more important than food. And I can see how others might want that, but for me, I'll eat in dingy (but clean) surrounds with just enough service if I get authentic flavors I've never had before.

      Szechuan Star
      6922 Bradlick Shopping Ctr, Annandale, VA 22003

      6 Replies
      1. re: TheMatt

        The consensus seems to be that the Top 100 Chinese List is a pay-to-play scam. I've seen the posters in many of the bulletproof Chinese carryouts in DC. Some of the places were pretty dingy.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          I wouldn't put much stock in this ranking. These restaurants probably paid to be listed. Most of them are in out of the way places, and I don't see any of the really good places in NYC or LA listed.

        2. re: TheMatt

          Even if the list itself is unreliable, does anyone know if Sampan Cafe is any good?

          I am sometimes in that neighborhood and could use a decent Chinese/American Chinese place. Their menu looks interesting, in that they have whole fish, fried squid, and other non-American stuff. I usually go to Canton Cafe in Sprinfield but I am happy to try another place.

          1. re: KeithW

            The American-Chinese is competent but nothing special. Their dim sum used to be quite good, but they've cut back substantially on the number of dishes. The Hong Kong noodle dishes and the casseroles are quite good. Haven't tried any of the whole fish dishes, but they do keep the fish in tanks in the back so they're probably fresh.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              Only been there once for dim sum. It was okay, but I found that I had the usual dry mouth afterward, which is indicative of MSG usage.

            2. re: KeithW

              I'd put Sampan in the middle tier of the non-Americanized-Chinese places; the Hong Kong menu is pretty good, and while Canton Cafe is better, Sampan is the closest place to me that has vaguely authentic dishes, so it's become my go-to place if I don't want to trek to Canton or one of the Key/Kee restaurants. The dim sum isn't bad, although as monkey notes, it's been pared back a lot; they do a fine job on the things that I'm always craving when I seek out dim sum (fried taro stuffed with pork, rice noodles with pork, steamed gai lan), though, so I don't mind so much.

          2. I'm suprised Peking Gourmet Inn by Seven Corners isn't on the list. For me, they have the best chinese I've had in DC. The peking duck is worth the trip from Capitol Hill. The fried dumplings are excellent too, very delicate and not overly doughy.

            Peking Gourmet Inn
            6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041