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36. Shandong Restaurant, Portland
Shandong offers “a new look at classic dishes” in a pleasant though simple dining room.
The ginger-infused, hand-rolled pot stickers are large and one of the best-selling items. There are also freshly hand-pulled noodles and a unique deep-fried pork dish cooked in a cherry and ginger sauce.
Cheap happy hour appetizers, such as pan-Pacific wontons, Chilean rock crab and shiitake dumplings, are available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Is this the cutting edge of Chinese cuisine? A growing number of devotees think so.
3724 N.E. Broadway, Portland, Ore.; +1 503 287 0331; www.shandongportland.com
37. Wong’s King Seafood Restaurant, Portland
Wong’s is an authentic dim sum joint in an Asian strip mall where you can get the whole carts-piled-with-steamed-buns-and-dumplings experience. Dim sum hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the weekends.
No reservations available during dim sum hours and Sundays tend to be packed to the brim.
Despite the long lines, servers are friendly, the food emotes pure Hong Kong goodness and there’s no rushing you out the door, an unfortunate practice in too many popular dim sum places.
The pork shu mai and steamed buns are customer favorites.
8733 S.E. Division St., Portland, Ore; +1 503 788 8883; www.wongsking.com
38. Han Dynasty, Philadelphia
The glaring red of Han Dynasty’s storefront suggests tongue-numbing spice and the place definitely doesn’t disappoint heat-seekers.
Dan dan noodles are a customer favorite. They’re silky and soaked in flavorful pork broth.
Most selections are drenched in chili oil or fried with Sichuan peppercorns. Approach with caution.
Han Dynasty, 108 Chestnut St., Philadelphia; +1 215 922 1888, www.handynasty.net
39. Yangming, Bryn Mawr
In Bryn Mawr, Yangming is an Asian-fusion joint, catering to a mostly American crowd.
That’s not a complaint. The golden crabmeat purse appetizers, shrimp coconut soup and lemongrass sake shrimp are all noble and tasty twists on Chinese cuisine.
Chocolate-covered fortune cookies come at the end of every meal. How’s that for Asian fusion?
1051 Conestoga Road, Bryn Mawr, Pa.; +1 610 527 3200, www.yangmingrestaurant.com
40. Red Orchid’s China Bistro, Charleston
Red Orchid is an Americanized Chinese restaurant, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. The barbecue pork buns are fantastic and the dumplings are one of the most frequently ordered times.
Matching the expertly crafted and presented food is a pleasing ambiance and contemporary decor.
1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Charleston, S.C.; +1 843 573 8787
See also Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in the California section.
41. Asia Cafe, Austin
You know you’ve stepped into an authentic place when the menu on the restaurant whiteboard is completely in Chinese.
Don’t let language barrier or its location in an Austin strip mall deter you. Asia Café serves remarkable Sichuan, such as spicy fish soaked in oil and pepper flakers, and the best mapo tofu in Texas.
8650 Spicewood Springs Road, Number 115, Austin, Texas; +1 512 331 5788; www.asiamarketaustin.com
42. First Chinese BBQ, Austin
Leave it to Texas to have a top-notch Chinese restaurant that centers around barbecue dishes. You’ll know you’re there when you see a row of roasted duck carcasses hanging from the ceiling.
This Texas chain serves authentic Chinese, with marinated meats as the specialty. Roasted duck and barbecue pork are reliable bets for first-timers.
10901 N. Lamar Blvd., No. 401, Austin, Texas; +1 512 835 8889; www.firstchinesebbq.com
43. Little World Chinese Restaurant, Salt Lake City
Cheap food, big portions, fast service. As the name suggests, the restaurant is small, cramped and doesn’t have more than a couple of tables. But the flavor eclipses the hassle.
The pork and eggplant hot pot is heavenly, with a large serving of eggplant and finely cut strips of pork. The eggplant is flash fried before being transferred into a pot with broth, scallions and cabbage.
1356 S. State St., Salt Lake City, Utah; +1 801 467 5213
44. Red Maple Chinese Cuisine, West Valley City
Great service and good dim sum often don’t come hand-in-hand, but Red Maple is one of those rare places where they do. Dim sum carts are filled with the usual fare and there’s a decent seafood selection.
You can’t go wrong with Singapore noodles and honey-walnut shrimp.
3361 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, Utah; +1 801 747 2888, www.redmaplechinese.com
45. Single Pebble, Burlington
Single Pebble’s specialty is a $10 mock eel: shiitake mushroom braised in a ginger sauce.
Owned by Chiuho Duval, a Taiwanese photojournalist-turned-chef, Single Pebble is all about authenticity and flavors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and regions of China, including Sichuan and Chengdu.
The eight-course Chef Tasting menu is well worth a long dinner event with a group.
133 Bank St., Burlington, Vt.; +1 802 865 5200; www.asinglepebble.com
See Washington, D.C.
See also Dintaifung in California section.
46. Chiang’s Gourmet Restaurant, Seattle
Chiang’s is a pure Chinese joint in Seattle located in an awkward spot off the freeway. We can’t rave about the service or location, but the food is authentic and cheap, with most dishes under $10.
The restaurant has a vegetarian menu (rare for most authentic Asian places) and a Sichuan menu, catering to those with a spicier palate.
The stinky tofu is the real thing here, a pungent offering that divides any table into lovers and haters.
7845 Lake City Way N.E., Seattle; +1 206 527 8888; www.chiangsgourmet.com
47. Facing East, Bellevue
Facing East’s Taiwanese pork burgers are simple. They’re made with a large piece of fatty pork sandwiched in a bun with salted vegetables, chopped nuts and cilantro. They’re also the reason why there’s always a long line at this authentic Taiwanese joint.
You can get two for around $4.
There’s good shaved ice for dessert.
1075 Bellevue Way N.E., B-2, Bellevue, Wash.; +1 425 688 2986
48. Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon, Seattle
Get the hand-rolled noodles.
Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon was started up by none other than Judy Fu, an immigrant from the northern Chinese city of Tsingtao. Her noodles are rolled and cut upon order and you can get them sautéed or served in flavored broth.
The dumplings are another customer favorite that you can also buy frozen to make at home.
Judy Fu’s Snappy Dragon, 8917 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle; +1 206 528 5575; www.snappydragon.com
49. Harmony Café, Washington D.C.
A vegetarian cafe, Harmony is a homey Georgetown place that offers Chinese food with delicious fake meat. They have an awesome lunch deal for $5.95 that comes with salad, spring roll, white rice and an entrée.
Customer favorites include the crispy shiitake mushroom and mock chicken with cashews.
3287 M St. NW, Washington, D.C.; +1 202 338 3881
50. Peking Gourmet Inn, Falls Church
It’s not every day you can dine in a restaurant visited by generals, diplomats and presidents. Peking Gourmet Inn has an impressive clientele list.
As the name suggests, the star attraction is the Peking duck.
The duck comes out perfectly bronzed and crisp and is hand-carved in front of you. Complimentary pancakes, cucumber strips, scallions and hoisin sauce are provided.
Reservations strongly recommended.
6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Va.; +1 703 671 8088; www.pekinggourmet.com