I'm here for my annual (sometimes semi-annual) visit with the parents. As usual, we eat a lot of Chinese, visiting favorites. What I've found over the years is that most of these chinese restaurants are fairly consistent in the quality of the food.
Every visit my favorite is Shanghai Taste in Rockville. This year, it remains number 1. What also remains consistent at this place is the poor service. Unlike other Rockville Chinese places, this place is consistently understaffed and they must have huge turnover in staff. Fave dishes include: Soup dumplings, fried scallions with noodles (dry), beef with longhorn pepper noodle soup and wonton noodle soup. My beloved pumpkin fried dumplings weren't as good this year. But, we tried a new dish, spicy salted pork chops, which were fantastic. Note, if you are coming from 270, there is a speed trap on the road as you go down the hill.
#2 remains the same - A&J on the Pike.Their suan la mien are really the best. For once, I remembered that I don't like their dan dan mien. Other favorites include the red oil dumplings and pork with snow cabbage noodle soup.
This year, after an absence of a few years, we re-visited Mama Wok (Rockville) and Michael's Noodles (also Rockville).
Mama Wok is still good homestyle chinese cooking. They were out of a lot of the seafood dishes but we were still happy with our meal.
Michael's Noodles was also good. More taiwanese noodles even though one noodle dish was Ma La tofu ban mien. It's essentially ma po tofu over noodles but it wasn't very hot or numbing. So, the taiwanese version of ma po tofu. Their weakness is that the noodles themselves aren't as good as A&J or Shanghai Taste.
Lighthouse Tofu - still one of my favorite soon dubu places. I love the mushroom one. My parents often visit this place without us and it's one of the few non-Chinese places they frequent.
Off the list this year is Nan Xiang. I still have hazy memories of the excess MSG.
We still have to visit Jin's Sichuan River or whatever it's called now in English. I know it won't disappoint. I also would like to visit Peter Chang's place across the street but my parents are dubious since they haven't heard of it. Their impression is that it is for non-Chinese eaters since none of their friends have been.