Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mr. Chen's Organic Chinese Cuisine Food Review

General Tso's Chicken Dinner Special

It never ceases to amaze me how different Chinese food can taste. After all, the great majority of it (served here in the States) is fried, and that tends to level the playing field quite a bit. Tonight was my first visit to Mr. Chen's Organic Chinese Cuisine in Woodley Park. It's a modest, relatively old-fashioned basement location, but it sports a positive review from the Post's Tom Sietsema (not to mention a few awards from about a decade ago.) Let's see how they stack up.

For the record, my order was take away, and came with a $5 coupon courtesy of GrubHub. Coupled with Mr. Chen's already low prices (dinner specials = $11.99) my grand total came in at a neat & trim $8.19. Yahtzee! Ordering was a cinch; and pick-up was available less than half an hour after placing my order. There's no shortage of choices either: Mr. Chen's offers 20 dinner specials alone.

Hot & Sour Soup

Dinner specials come with your choice of soup (I opted for Hot & Sour) one Spring Roll, steamed rice and entree. In this case (as with most first reviews) I chose General Tso's Chicken: If you muck this staple up, you're probably not going to last long in the restaurant business. My order was ready when I arrived (neatly packed inside a big brown paper bag.) Service was friendly; and moments later, I was on my way home (bag of goodies in tow.)

My spring roll was mighty tasty, but came sans sauce (sorry, but I don't count a pack of soy sauce as sauce.) Luckily, the roll's built-in flavors were more than enough to compensate for the lack of something to dip it in. On the other hand, the Hot & Sour Soup was neither, tainted a greasy red and tasting like nothing I remember (at least not fondly.) At least the wonton crackers were nice & crispy.

Spring Roll

Even better than the wontons... Mr. Chen's version of General Tso's Chicken. In a word, yum. Sweet, not spicy, the meat was flavorful and plentiful. Steamed rice was perfect (that's a first, no?) and even the broccoli passed inspection. I'd gladly order it again, perhaps next time in house.

Overall, I couldn't be happier (save the dreadful soup.) I'd blame it on travel, but even 20 hours shouldn't change a soup's color (especially to red.) If the rice is this good next time, I may even become a permanent fan.

P.S. In case you're keeping track (and shame on you, if you are) my fortune read, "Great thoughts come from the heart." Take that Albert Einstein!