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More Authentic Chinese in Northern Virginia?

Peking Gourmet is the last place I think of as "authentic" for Chinese food. Go for the Peking Duck and to say you have been the restaurant where Presidents go. It is Americanized Chinese food.

This is a thread for "more authentic" Chinese food, not Chinese restaurants you happen to like.

For example, we ordered the Gong Bao Gi Ting (Chicken) and it was lacking the basic hot peppers and other spicing and seasoning requisite for the name. The dish was well-prepared but not authentic tasting at all--unless you want to say it is authentic Americanized Chinese food.

A new, clean H Mart grocery in Annandale

Thanks for the heads up. I wonder if this will take business from the other H Mart not far away in Falls Church.

WSJ: "Why Chinese Food Isn't Hip"

The author is asking "why hasn't Chinese food made it as an elite expensive fancy cuisine in America?" He tries to answer the question, but the attempt is shallow. He doesn't discuss anything about great Chinese chefs coming from the mainland to America. A good answer would examine Chinese cuisine in Japan.

Sep 13, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

Go Right Now to HK Palace in Falls Church

let us know the results of your experimentation! someone should build a factory and make this idea into snack food.

Go Right Now to HK Palace in Falls Church

I went with a friend for lunch after all the reports here.

We ordered the fragrant crispy chicken, the home preserved pork, and the peppered bamboo shoots.

The pork was okay and skimpy on the quantity. If I cooked bacon at home short of crispy, that's what the pork at HKP would taste like. (My last good Chinese pork was at China Star a few weeks ago.)

The peanut-sesame stuff peppers is definitely a tasty novelty. Ironically, my Chinese-born friend found the peppers too hot to eat.

I liked the bamboo shoots the most for the simplicity.

Rec near Omni Shoreham

Both Open City and Lebanese Taverna can probably flexibly accommodate seating for 6-12 diners. You can have breakfast at Open City too.

Open City
2331 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008

Lebanese Taverna Restaurant
2641 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 02007

SOS--indian burnout

That sounds awesome. Their regular menu fare sucks. When are these special dinners?

Chaps Pit Beef - Not Impressed

i almost went after seeing it featured on guy fieri's show but after reading henry hong's criticism, i stayed away.

Where to buy ginger beer?

Trader Joe's, Whole Wallet, Shoppers Food Warehouse.

SOS--indian burnout

Indian food in this area is definitely a polarizing subject. The food may have changed but you might also be getting bored and it is either time to move to city with higher quality Indian or rotate to another cuisine for a while. Or change your eating patterns: for instance, I was out in Minerva, Herndon, and noticed the tastiest things on the menu were the sweets and chutneys, so for my second pass through the buffet, I dumped all those yummy things on the plate for intense sweet, sour and spicy flavors.

Sorry, I'm not impressed with Passage to India at all. Maybe those who like it can tell us what to order on the menu.

Punjab Dhaba is cheap. Aside from the sweets, that's all it has going for it. It's convenient when you shop at Loehmann's or see an Bollywood movie in the same mall. Otherwise, I don't think it is worth a special trip.

I like Minerva in Fairfax on the weekends. Also like Udupi Palace and Tiffin. I eat those places for the buffets. Have eaten at Minerva and Udupi off buffet and it was quite good.

Indian Ocean, if it is the one close to the subterranean Giant supermarket, was "light" Indian, eg not so greasy. Some people like that, some don't.

I have heard good things about Ageetha? in Herndon on Elder Ln.

Lalibela Arlington - Ethiopian Buffet Lunch???

Wayne, where are the "much better Ethiopian" just a mile or so away? I've seen one or two Ethiopian places east of Lalibela II on Columbia Pike near the Pentagon. Are you referring to those? I tend to eat Ethiopian on U Street, but wouldn't mind trying good restaurants in Arlington too.

Lalibela Arlington - Ethiopian Buffet Lunch???

A few months ago, I stopped in for the lunch buffet after seeing the sign. I took a quick look at the food and took a pass. Most of the clientele during the day seemed to be cab drivers on their breaks. That would be fine if the food were compelling but it didn't seem to be. Maybe ordering from the menu is the thing to do. I haven't the chance to try yet.

No Reservations - Tokyo [SPOILERS]

I took "unfortunate" to mean that Bourdain's effort to be sincere or profound got rewarded with a somewhat flippant answer.

Aug 15, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

No One's Watching Emeril Green?

> Emeril Green doesn't make me think "OMG Emeril is all environmentally now!".

Exactly my point. Why is he on Planet Green?

> Do I think WF is best for that? No, but it's easily the most accessable place for the average american to make a change to more responsible shopping and eating.

You think the "average american" can afford to shop at Whole Foods? Maybe the average american in your part of La Jolla.

Aug 15, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

No Reservations - Tokyo [SPOILERS]

If you have read an old Ruth Reichl's review of an omakase in NYC for the NYT, you sense a dynamic of the customer being enrapt at the offerings of the sushi chef. I think having Morimoto tag along would spoil that dynamic. It's probably less real for Morimoto to be in awe of a fellow sushi chef than for Bourdain and friends to be in awe of Thomas Keller at the French Laundry.

What was being brushed on the sushi by chef each time before serving? Soy sauce?

Aug 15, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

No Reservations - Tokyo [SPOILERS]

MagnumWino, you must not have experience with Asians in the family speaking less than perfect English. :-)

One interesting thing from Morimoto was his reverence for tradition, expressed at the soba restaurant. More or less he said, "You may think respect of tradition sounds funny coming from me, but a foundation must be built before you go in other directions."

Fascinating show for so many reasons. I appreciated the reverence some parts of the culture still has for the the complete animal killed for the meal, eg the monkfish served by Morimoto and particularly the chicken served at the Yakitori place.

Did anyone understand what the bartender said at the end of his segment? Bourdain wondered aloud whether the bartender had a moment of epiphany in which he understood how cocktails were to be made, and a translation was made of something the bartender said. I didn't understand the response.

Aug 15, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

No One's Watching Emeril Green?

He is the green chef aka Emeril Green on the only green channel on cable TV. Somebody dubbed him something even if he doesn't claim it.

Aug 14, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

Grocer that carries Philippine mangoes?

I think my last case of mangoes, which I am still eating, are Philippine. They are smaller than the usual variety found in American marts and yellowish in color? I got mine at Great Wall, which usually stocks at least two or three varieties of mangoes.

No One's Watching Emeril Green?

the delivery seems canned. if you watch Emeril enough -- and i do watch Emeril -- you see the "seams" in his act. you see him saying the same schtick over and over again, and you see him aware of this.

i have no problem with Emeril as he was before on FoodTV. I have a problem with Emeril being the culinary face of "green." green to me means freshness and innovation. i don't think either when i see Emeril.

FoodTV did dump him from the main channel! They replaced him with brand new faces and personalities.

Emeril has been drafted to play a transition role on the Planet Green. That role is to draw his fanbase to the new channel. Who wants to bet that in twelve months when the Green channel's viewership has grown that Emeril won't be there anymore?

Aug 12, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

Passage to India

I have a databank of tastes that includes thai curry and curries at Minerva, Udupi, Woodlands, etc., not to mention that at great indian restaurants in NYC. The flavors at Passages sucks compared to these places, and it is one of DC's supposed top 100 for 2008.

The point of my mentioning my own Thai curry is that one might be impressed by the mere combination of curry and pumpkin on a restaurant menu; however novel the combination might be, it is quite easy to make, and if a restaurant does it, it better be damn good.

And I don't make tamarind shrimp. That also sucked at Passages.

So my question to Jeserf, are you impressed with their execution of the pumpkin curry or the mere novelty of the combination?

Passage to India

Bethesda. Unfortunately, I make pumpkin curry too, with a Thai leaning, and I thought Passage's would be much better. Their curry was itty bitty cubes of pumpkin in anemic curry. I'm not so much bothered by the price as I am about the combination price AND underwhelming flavors. If this were a $10 hole in the wall restaurant, I would not think of complaining.

Passage to India

I'm just trying to figure out by extrapolating from the two dishes we ate in what reality that restaurant can be considered one of DC's top 100. I checked, it is top 100 for 2008. It certainly is possible that Chowhounds know their way around the menu. I didn't do research; didn't think I had to with such a glowing ranking from the Washingtonian.

I would rather move up bracket and eat at Rasika or down bracket to where I will find Indian customers than give this place another try.

The Great Wall on 14th St., NW - Report

Thanks for the report on Great Wall. After having eaten a bit more Sichuan in this area, in both MD and VA, I will add that while Great Wall has a limited menu, the ma la flavor there is almost model in execution. I still remember finishing a tongue tingling plate of ma la chicken by myself. Oh so good! Has the white rice improved??

Passage to India

I wanted a nice place to take my friend out for a dinner so I took the suggestion of the Washingtonian, which lists this place as one of the areas best 100 restaurants.


Everything came in tiny portions without any marvelous flavor to compensate. The dishes were neutered and bland compared to my meals at Minerva, Upudi, Woodlands, and even Raaga, at 2x+ the price. The only highlights were the whole wheat layered mint naan and condiment tray.

Our entrees were tamarind shrimp and black peas with white and red pumpkin in curry.

Sure, they may have specialties, but nothing was highlighted as such and everything on the menu should be decent right??

Somehow the owners think that serving everything in fine dining style makes the food tasty. Not. Perhaps it does if it selects for an audience with poor taste. Remind me once again not to trust the Washingtonian. Always start with Chow for criticism.

DC/ NOVA Help with Chinese Food

FoodieGrrl, we should definitely set something up before the end of August. (Btw, I saw DSM yesterday.)

I have been eating a lot of Chinese lately, a lot more than usual, including meals at HK Palace, TemptAsian, A&J in Rockville.

At HK Palace, I had a number of items from the special menu on the wall including eel with rice vermicelli and the chicken with potatoes. I think the ma la spicing here has better "body" than at TemptAsian, however, my major complaint at HKP is the stinginess in meatiness, eg the duck in tea duck is bony with little meat and the eels in the eels with vermicelli are tiny pieces.

TemptAsian has racheted down their spiciness A LOT since 3 or 4 years ago. It was inedibly hot to me (perhaps normal to Sichuanese folk); now it is slightly too tame.

A&J is perfect in everything served, except perhaps the beef noodle soup, which needs more bite. The savory warm soy milk is oh so perfect.

I would like to try China Star again. (Tried once, when Peter Cheng was there.)

I ate at Full Kee last night, nothing fancy but everything good: fishball and cake noodle soup, pig knuckles, and mushrooms with spinach. there's much more to try on the menu.

How about Halal Chinese before the end of August? Also I've been hearing good things from Chinese sources about Shandong dumplings up in Rockville.

KT, have you hit minibar yet?? let's hear a report!

ask aida = adam gertler's next foodnetwork show?

I think the format for Adam's pilot was an arbitrary vehicle to test his tele-worthiness. Though Adam presented the idea, we don't know how much Gordon Elliot was already thinking about the idea. In any case, it's not totally original and Adam can't claim to own it. Guy Fiery is doing stuff on Food TV that was never discussed during his competition process, ie the contest is about selecting talent and then customizing shows for them later. Anything in the contest is artefactual.

Also, maybe FoodStar4 validated the concept of the internet interactive show and they felt Aida was a better host for it, while they didn't have another unique angle on the channel for for Adam. (While for Aaron, they have something else specific in mind for him.)

Aug 02, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

Ted Allen's New Show on The Food Network

I haven't seen Ted Allen's new show yet, but my reaction is the opposite of yours. I find Alton Brown totally pompous. Pompous in the sense of knowing it all and being too didactic. If Jacques Pepin were to explain the same things Alton does, you would feel he has *mastered* what he is explaining. With Alton you get the feeling that he is merely regurgitating what he researched therefore claiming a sort of false authority with his heavy style.

Ted Allen strikes me as knowing from experience and sincere.

Aug 02, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

Lisa Garza

I felt the Food Network undercut the gravity of the long competition by not sharing with the viewers their real thinking in the final decision. What they did say about the finalists sounded like feel good PR BS.

My guess is that not only did the winner have to be able to work the next day, but she had to fit their unspoken programming aims. I thought for sure Lisa or Adam would be the winner. Congrats to Aaron. I hope great opportunities come to both Lisa and Adam as consolation.

Aug 02, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

No One's Watching Emeril Green?

I love the building projects on Planet Green. I don't like Emeril at all on that channel. Emeril needs to tone down his schtick several notches for the new format. I found the schtick tolerable on his previous show with the big audience because people expect the character and the interplay with the audience: this is dynamic with Letterman or Conan on their late night shows. In the new format, Emeril seems like a has-been and fake. (For example, he was cooking broccoli rabe, and mentions how his mother would put garlic into the hot oil at the end. Then he makes some other Emerilisms. Sounds totally canned. Would be fine in front of his cooing studio audience but insincere at the market with his tiny audience of ordinary folk.)

Green is about "fresh." Emeril is *not* "fresh." I don't know why the management at the networks thought Emeril should be the face of green cooking. Even with the Stepford persona, the likes of Nathan Lyon can much better represent theme of renewal and change. Each time I see big Emeril, I wonder what happened to the young skinny guy who saw the cameras with Julia Child. He became the embodiment of excess; that is his marketing position. It works for the middle America crowd that probably also enjoys Paula Dean. Now he is supposed to represent green cooking to yoga loving afflluent tree huggers? Get a clue.

When Emeril's show comes on, I totally tune it out and change the channel. The choice of Emeril makes no sense at all.

Aug 02, 2008
Minger in Food Media & News

Cold noodles in D.C. area

I ate Chinese cold noodles recently at TemptAsian in Annandale and A&J in Rockville (also in Arlington).