And now, onto my third and final entry on my Asian-food packed Saturday! I was strangely not bursting at the seams as I met up with friends Adam, Stephanie and Calypso to visit Peking Gourmet Inn in Falls Church. The restaurant has been around for some 30 years, and is a favorite of the former President(s) Bush.
When we got there at 7 pm on Saturday, the place was packed (a lot of families). And I don't just mean every table in the massive restaurant was taken up - I mean both the waiting area and immediate outside vicinity were crammed with people waiting for a table. Thankfully, Stephanie and Adam had been there before and knew to make reservations ahead of time. We were quickly led through the almost labyrinth-like dining area, through rooms with walls crammed with photos of famous (and not so famous) patrons, as well as kitschy Chinese decor.
We ordered a lot of things, including some mouthwatering vegetarian dishes, but Adam and I were there for one reason, and one reason only, the Peking duck. All around the dining room, we spied tables opting for the house specialty, which comes complete with tableside carving. The gentleman pictured below arrived at our table soon after we placed our order and silently - and with almost scary efficiency - got down to the business of breaking down our fragrant duck.
I'm not even sure we let him finish carving the whole bird before we dug in. And MAN, is the restaurant aptly named. The Peking duck was as good as I've ever had it, with the crispy, fatty, salty skin perfectly seasoning the juicy meat underneath. The duck was carved into thin slices ideal for eating with the moo shu-style pancakes and plum sauce which accompanied the bird. Adam and I were stuffed, but we managed to eat the entire thing (plus a couple of bites of Stephanie and Calypso's dishes) between the two of us, because we are eating champions.
I can't believe I managed to have THREE fully successful Asian food outings in one day without my stomach exploding. But successful they were. If you are a fan of Peking duck (or just delicious northern Chinese cuisine in general), Peking Gourmet Inn is worth a visit - just make sure you make a reservation ahead of time.