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Seven Chowhounds got together for a very good meal at Xian Gourmet, sister restaurant to Panda Gourmet in Northeast DC. I do not know if there is any difference in the menu between the two restaurants. It fits nicely into the many choices in Rockville for the dedicated Chowhound. We ordered:
Shaanxi cold steamed noodles - liang pi
Shaanxi stir fried liang pi (the hot version)
strir fried pita with lamb and beef
xinjiang chicken (aka big plate chicken)
sweet potato pancakes
There was only one disappointment, the burgers were like what you'd get from a bad bbq joint, measly and surprisingly bland. Maybe we did not specify pork belly? These were nothing like Northwest Chinese Food in College Park. Plus, I found it weird that they don’t offer a lamb version.
The stir fried pita with lamb and beef remains a standout dish. Although this is served like a soup, not to be confused on the menu with the soup of the same name. Doughy nuggets in a sauce that is zesty and a bit delicate as well. The trotters were very spicy and extremely well done. Both noodle dishes were very good, with the cold steamed noodles being especially distinctive. The crystal napa is also another star, served in a liquid with tiny dried shrimp and jujube. The liquid alone with the shrimp and jujube would be the best item in many restaurants.
The xinjiang chicken, served on a bed of noodles, was good, though since this is a Uyghur dish, they don't get the spices right as a Uyghur restaurant would. Still, the meat and noodles were a hit all around the table.
Finally, the sweet potato pancakes, covered with sesame seeds and fried to a crisp, didn't have much sweet potato flavor, but remain a satisfying treat.
It's a huge menu, so a lot to explore, and definitely worth exploring.
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