My first posting, so forgive me in advance for any errors or if I step on any toes with my first (negative) comment. I have perused this board for years and have been generally in sync with the many postings BUT my recent experience at Mark's Duck House in Falls Church dissapointed me to the degree I had to register to make my opinion public.
I have been to MDH in Bailey's Crossroads, VA once before, for dim sum and found it palatable - then again, I've never been a great fan of dimsum. However, when I recently had a craving for Peking duck, I decided to give Mark's a try over my usual choice, Peking Gourmet Inn, a mile or so away.
I was alone, about 9pm on a Friday night and I ordered a hot and sour soup and a half duck. The soup was bland and starchy to the point I had to ask for hot peppers. The rather taciturn waitress pointed to the container of red chili oil on the table (without the dispensing spoon) and reluctantly brought me a small plate of dried out (as opposed to intentionally dried) small green hot peppers.
Dissapointment enough, but nothing compared to the order of duck that came plopping down on my table. (The duck was not sliced in front of me, as usual at Peking Gourmet Inn). The duck was taken off the bone, skin and fat and meat all in one, and the resulting slab was sliced. That was it. The skin was not crispy, was fatty, and the meat dried out. It was obvious that the plate was from a duck that had been sitting prepared under a heat lamp for a while.
I tried to finish the meal (since I was paying for it anyway) but couldn't bring myself to do it and ended up taking most of the meal home (made a decent stir fry out of it the next day) and made my way to Peking Gourmet Inn where I got the usual friendly service, perfectly prepared Peking duck sliced (and fat scraped off the underside of the skin) in front of me.
I don't mean for this to sound like a commercial for Peking Gourmet Inn but I was just astounded at the lack of service and the horrible duck at a restaurant called Mark's DUCK house - especially when all posts I've read here on chowhound are so complimentary.
So... a little counter point to the usual accolades, I suppose.