The HITW Chinese Restaurant

You know that little hole in the wall (hitw) Restaurant that you go to and you know it definitely doesn’t get enough kudos? For me that place is Chiantown Express in Chinatown, DC.

I remember the first time I ever saw this place. There was this big old green structure sticking out of a building and I saw a Chinese man in a white chef outfit with these big old white noodles in his hands just stretching and tossing them, making them bigger and bigger. I was probably in high school and it was certainly intimidating but also fascinating. I could have watched him all day. 10 years later, you can still find chefs in the window pounding and stretching out the same hand pulled noodles in the window. And it brings back tons of memories of the old Chinatown, when you could walk to any corner and find delicious authentic Chinese food. 

Alright, I’m done being long winded, even today they consistently serve delicious handmade fresh noodles in soup or fried, with a variety of meats. You can also find your traditional American Chinese dishes and some dishes that are traditional Chinese dishes. Just about anything here is delicious.

But the soup will always be my first love and will always be the first thing I think of when I think of DC’s Chinatown.

Chinatown Express

746 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

(202) 638-0424

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Pho in Washington D.C.

So it’s not a big secret that there isn’t really many places to go for Vietnamese food in D.C. One of the most known places is Pho88 in Chinatown. At roughly $13 a bowl, it’s kind of on the steep side.

I took my girlfriend on her actual birthday, since she had been wanting to try it and she loves Vietnamese.


These are pan-fried dumplings. They look delicious don’t they? They could have been a little crispier but I was satisfied.


This is Pho #1. It has rare beef, well-done brisket, meatballs, tendon and tripe. Don’t be afraid for those of you who have never tried pho! The rare meat continues to be cooked by the broth as it comes to the table, causing it to be fully cooked by the time it gets to you! And tendon and tripe is delicious, try it!

For the non-adventurous people, they have less crazy toppings too.

Pho 88

608 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

202-735-5282

Celebrating a birthday: a restaurant and bakery

So, July is a special month because both my special loved one and I have July birthdays. We celebrated hers this past weekend by going to our favorite bakery, ButterCream to get a cake and having all our friends out for dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill.

 

Just look at this cake! Purple water color, red velvet in the middle, it’s delicious!


And a cream cheese filling too??? Oh yes, please! Needless to say, I am a huge fan of this cake. They’re also a favorite for the great way they handled an Interesting situation earlier this year. 

And their breakfast pastries! My partner I come here often come here on Sunday mornings for breakfast and cofffee!
Another place that is quickly becoming a favorite is Old Ebbitt Grill. Old Ebbitt has been around for years and is a well known restaurant in DC, being right across from the White House. Look at those beautiful Kusshi oysters, yum!


Being that this place pretty much specializes in seafood, I had to get the scallops and they were delicious. This is Maryland Dayboat Scalloops, with summer squash, zucchini purée, farro, tomato chutney, and salsa verde.

Old Ebbitt is quickly becoming our go to place to eat for both special and casual occasions.

ButterCream Bakery

1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

tel:2027350102

Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

tel:202.347.4800

East Pearl Chinese Restaurant

Today we went to East Pearl Restaurant in Rockville. It was a special occasion because my mother’s birthday is coming soon and she loves Chinese food. This means my sisters and I were paying!

When it first opened it was one of the most exciting delicious new places that all the Chinese people in the area went to. The food is still pretty good, but respectfully, when the Chinese people are slowly being replaced with others…the restaurant tends to go down hill. Or maybe it’s the restaurant going downhill that is bringing in all the non Chinese people?

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The food was all delicious. Except for the Sizzling Chicken in Casserole Dish. I never want to put something like that in my mouth again. But, I had to be adventurous and try something I had never tried before. Big Mistake! I will never do that again. This chicken dish was salty, had way too much garlic in it and was just not a tasty dish in the least. Unfortunately, since we didn’t want to take it home, nor leave it on the table, it was eaten until there was only a little left. My poor stomach is still complaining about the taste.

Come here for good Chinese food, but avoid the Sizzling Chicken at all costs.

East Pearl

838 B Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

(301) 838-8663

New Fortune Chinese Restaurant

New Fortune has been around since 1998 and my family has been coming here for almost longer as I can remember.  My first memories of dim sum are here and even to this day we still come here. I have seen the food here ebb and flow and unfortunately, this restaurant is in an ebbing mood as of late, but the food is still decent.

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Some of the dim sum that we usually get and the staples of any dim sum experience. There’s har gow or crystal shrimp dumplings, siu mai or pork dumplings and beef dumplings. The har gow and siu mai have been my favorites since my first bite of dim sum and it’s not a great dim sum experience without them.

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This is called wu tau kau or taro dumpling. It’s not for everyone, but it’s awesome and delicious. I say it’s not for everyone because the main ingredient is taro, and not many people like taro. These are my middle sister’s favorite. She eats one whole order just by herself and if I want any, I have to get another order to share with my family.

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 This is one of my favorite dishes, ha churn fun or shrimp noodle roll. It is shrimp wrapped in long rice noodles drenched in soy sauce. Delicious!

It’s not the best food, but I certainly love it. If you want good service, go with someone who speaks Chinese. It’s sad but usually true that you get better service if you know the language.

New Fortune

16515 S Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20877

(301) 548-8886

Bugolgi JunGol – Moa Korean Restaurant

Bugolgi JunGol - Moa Korean Restaurant

This is Bulgogi in a Spicy Korean Stew. It has tofu, rice cakes (not the american kind), bulgogi (korean beef) and noodles. There’s veggies and other stuff in there too. If you like sharing, this is a korean dish for you because it can serve up to 4 people. It costs about $30 too.

It made me sad though, because this was a farewell visit to this restaurant for a good friend of mine. She used to come here every week for two years, now THAT is loyalty! And it also means GOOD food!

Moa Korean Restaurant

12300 Wilkins Ave
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 881-8880

Iron Age – Korean BBQ

All you can eat (AYCE) Korean BBQ. Honestly, If you have never had Korean BBQ, it’s like a whole other world if you aren’t used to it. Even my parents, seasoned Asians, told me once that they felt like they were in a foreign country when I took them to try it (not this place though).

Iron Age is expensive for my “eat less than $5 if you can” bred nature. $18 for Set A AYCE and $22 for the larger set B. Your whole table also has to pick the same thing, you can’t have half-a-table set A and half-a-table set B.

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The Setup

You start out with Korean side dishes (banchan). Most Korean restaurants will have banchan. You also receive 4 dipping sauces, which you will need because most of the meat here is served unflavored. The exceptions being the pork belly and the marinated meat. Yes, that is a burner in front of me because the food cooks on the table.

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Raw Steak

The meat comes raw, but it cooks rather quickly.

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Cooked meat

And when cooked, inhaled quite quickly. The waiters will come cook the meat for you, but as a seasoned goer, I tend to cook my meat myself because I like my meat just right and not overcooked, which can happen if the waiter has many tables.

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Raw Pork Belly

The pork belly is my favorite. It comes in two different flavors, garlic and pepper paste. I like the pepper paste the best. The pork belly is so flavorful on its own that you can always request pork belly without seasoning too, if you like. 

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Pepper Paste Pork Belly and Cow Stomach

On the left, delicious spicy pork belly and on the right, not for the squeamish cow stomach. This is not tripe. It is actually quite delicious, I had never tried it before but the taste was delicious! The cow stomach is rather chewy though, so eat at your own risk.

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Cooked Cow Stomach

This is a much tastier looking picture. But there is a lot less meat there than in the raw picture because the meat was being devoured as I was taking the picture. It also shows what the grill looks like after you finish cooking. The burned black side is where we cooked the pork belly and the slimy brown side is where we cooked the cow stomach. I recommend letting the waitress cook the cow stomach and getting it with something else as it takes a long time to cook.

Iron Age
1054 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

(301) 424-1474

The Loving Hut – Vegan Vietnamese Food

My best friend (Z) just recently moved to Falls Church. I was extremely happy because this opens my area of restaurant visits to a much wider area. I don’t like traveling for food if there isn’t a good reason. My best friend is a vegetarian so she was quite excited that I found this place. She loves Vietnamese food and will sometimes eat pho even though the broth is not vegetarian. 

Golden Rolls

Golden Rolls

 The Golden Rolls have cabbage, carrots, taro, onions, mushrooms, bean thread, and served with sweet and sour sauce. I didn’t taste them but Z and her boyfriend seemed to like them fine. They looked very golden and very delicious. They were your classic spring rolls.

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Summer Rolls

The summer rolls vegan ham, vegan shrimp, lettuce, mint, and cucumber. It is served with almond hoisin dipping sauce. The sauce was to die for. I think it was the best summer roll dipping sauce I have ever tasted. The summer rolls actually tasted good and the shrimp tasted a little like real shrimp.

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Blissful Fried Rice

 It was fried rice. What can I say about fried rice? Apparently, Z’s boyfriend only ever gets fried rice when he goes to an Asian restaurant. I have promised him that I am going to take him to a restaurant where he will have no choice but to get something else.

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Sesame Eggplant Tofu

The Sesame Eggplant Tofu was kind of bland. I think I will try something else next time. I’ve been assured there will be a next time. My biggest complaint is that there was no meat. Yes, I’m quite aware that I was in a place that had no meat, but seriously, that is what this dish was missing. If it had meat, I think it would have been delicious. Pork or sliced beef would have rounded out the taste quite well. 

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Pho

Can’t forget the pho. It was the whole reason we came to this meatless place. Z went on this whole rant about how soy protein needs to be seasoned for it to have any taste. I wish I could have recorded it, but she just gave me a look when I told her to write it down for me. Basically, it comes to this, the broth was good, but the protein tasted like nothing. The pho would have been much better with tasty meat.

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Mango Bubble Tea

This was the best part of the meal. Mango bubble tea is my utmost favorite. The thing is, it was more like a smoothie. This thing was like pure mango puree. This was the real deal, not that nasty stuff they make with powder.

For a vegan place, the food wasn’t bad. I would come back here. But not without a reason, for example, having a vegetarian or a vegan with me. I’m just not a fan of meatless places. I adore meat too much.

Loving Hut

2842 Rogers Dr
Falls Church, VA 22042

(703) 942-5622

The Best Wedding Food This Summer

This past Saturday, I went to the last wedding of the summer. One of my good friends that I’ve known since I was a kid, got married. I cried, I laughed, I danced with my friends. Now, I’ve been to several weddings this summer and this one had the best food. It wasn’t the best because it was the fanciest or the most expensive, it was just well cooked and well received by the the guests. I don’t think anyone disliked the food.

ImageImageThe food before the reception was all meats and cheese. I have never been to a wedding that had this much spread for appetizers. There was a dry bar with soda and a fruit punch that was not overly sweet and quite delicious. They also brought out other appetizers but I honestly never found out what they were.

ImageThe salad was frisee, asparagus, red pepper and mushrooms. It was topped with salad dressing and we each got a piece of bread. I much prefer this type of salad to other more typical salads. This one just looks so much better than chopped salad thrown into a bowel with Caesar dressing.

I forgot to take a picture of the entree, but it was scallops sitting on a bed of mashed potatoes and spinach. Each person got a choice of steak or scallops and the sides were the same. The scallops were firm and perfectly cooked. Most of the time when I get seafood at a wedding, it’s overcooked. But the Hilton did a fine job of cooking the meat. Everyone seemed satisfied. We got a choice of champagne or apple cider for the toasts.

Edit: A friend gave me the pictures of the entree! Courtesy of Hannah C. –

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ImageThe dessert was a pastry with blackberries, strawberries and blueberries topped with vanilla bean ice cream. The pastry was flaky, the berries were sweet and sour and the ice cream was the perfect topping to hold the dessert all together. I loved it!

Overall, it was just enough food to fill you up, but after all the dancing (which for the most part I did the rest of the night), I got home and i was hungry again. On the other hand, I wasn’t overly full when I went to dance and that’s always a good thing. This was a really good choice for a wedding reception.

Hilton McLean Tysons Corner

7920 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 847-5000