I almost never post on Chowhound, but today I momentarily pause my Chowhound freeriding ways to speak up about this great restaurant.
It's only got 3 reviews on Yelp, and the owner/chef was very surprised to hear that I found the place not by word of mouth in person, but on the internet. The place is very small -- I would say seats 40 max, and is cash only. It looks like the owner/chef and two assistants hold down the fort while one waitress manages the entire floor -- yes, all 40 seats.
I'm from San Gabriel in Southern California, so I've had my fill of Northern Chinese cooking both at home and eating out. One thing that Taste Good Beijing does better than anything I've had outside of Xi'an, China? Rou Jia Muo, or Meat Stuffed Chinese Muffins.
The muffin is particularly difficult to do well -- the exterior should be very dry and chewy, while the inside is slightly softer. Folklore has it that the armies of the various dynasties that passed through Xi'an would half bake the muffin (I honestly don't know what to call it in English - muffin or pancake or ?), then either stuff it with the stewed meat they cooked on the road, or soak it in steaming lamb soup.
While I wouldn't say that the muffin from Taste Good Beijing was just like the ones I grew up on in Xi'an, it is the best restaurant version I've had in California. The flavor of the meat is spot on - lots of cumin, cilantro, and spicy peppper. One bite gave you lots to chew on. At $2.95 each, this is more than enough to stuff you for lunch.
I also got their house dumplings to go in frozen form, which made me a little suspicious that this was just frozen dumplings for a package. Not so! The wrapper was chewy, and the filling was giant. Definitely the handiwork of someone who knows how Beijingers make dumplings. I just wish I didn't butcher them by overcooking them.
The owner/chef commented that he'd never seen me before, but really really really wanted me to come back again after taking my somewhat strange order. I will be back -- even if I have to drive 45 minutes each way.
76 S Abel St
Milpitas, CA 95035
Taste Good Beijing Cuisine
76 S Abel St, Milpitas, CA 95035