I’ve been coming to the famous Peking Gourmet Inn housed in a strip mall in Falls Church, VA for 28 years. If you’ve never ventured out to it, I highly recommend at least going once. The walls are adorned with celebrity pictures plus some General’s you’ve never heard of. There are rumors that one of the private rooms have bulletproof windows which is why so many presidents have felt comfortable dining there. I’ve had almost everything on the menu and have some first timer tips below.
Tip 1: Make a Reservation. This is the kind of restaurant you need to have a reservation for because it’s such a staple in the DMV area. Without one, it’s almost impossible to get in.
Tip 2: Expect to Wait. Expect to wait even if you made a reservation. They tend to overbook reservations so expect to wait at least 20 minutes. On the positive, the staff are great about not rushing patrons while dining. If they ask me to wait, I grab a zombie at the bar. I don’t ask what’s in it because I don’t think I want to know but for 10 bucks, you get your money’s worth.
Appetizers: 1 egg drop soup, 1 order of egg rolls (2 to an order) and 1 order of fried dumplings (6 to an order). We ate all of it and ate the soup before I could take a picture. I think that speaks for itself.
These bad boys aren’t your standard, thin, mediocre tasting egg rolls that you get for free when ordering Chinese. You know what egg rolls I’m talking about. These babies are monstrous, crispy, over-filled egg rolls with the most delicious pork filling you’ve ever had. I also recommend getting the pan-fried dumplings. The mini steamed dumplings and hot and sour soup are also great but I didn’t order them this time.M
Tip 3: Order cucumbers with your duck. Whenever you come here, you have to order the duck. You can also get a half order if a whole duck seems like too much. Make sure to ask for the cucumbers to go with the duck (small up charge), total game changer. If you’re adventurous, ask to keep the carcass and you can use it for making stock (they usually do not give them to you).
Tip 4: Get More than Duck. Always order another main that isn’t duck. Even if it’s only 2 of you, make sure to grab another option for variety. Better to have leftover Chinese than craving something else. Some excellent options are the Lamb Chops Peking Style, Singapore Rice Noodles and the Szechuan Beef Proper.
Tip 5: Birthday? If it’s your birthday tell them. They’ll bring you a cheesecake while all the staff sing “Happy Birthday” in Chinese!
If you’ve never attempted to come to Peking Gourmet Inn, I can not stress enough the importance of checking it out at least once. Between the authentic ambiance and the incredible food, you can’t go wrong. I wouldn’t have gone back for this long if it wasn’t worth it.