Judging Restaurants – Mr. Chen’s Organic Chinese Cuisine

Whenever we talk about Chinese food, Mr. Chen’s, located at 2604 Connecticut Av, NW in Woodley Park, seems to pop up in the comments. So I figured it was time for a proper judging. Their Web site says:

“At Mr. Chen’s Restaurant, we use organic fresh vegetables along with a health-conscious cooking style to prepare delicious Chinese cuisine.”

You can see their menu options here.

Do the organic fresh vegetables make a difference? Any must order dishes?

I’m not quite sure what this “AOL” is but this seems promising:

38 Comment

  • Awesome.

  • I was really behind this place until I did their online ordering (where you really shouldn’t be allowed to screw up).

    I ordered veggie lo mein–got chicken lo mein instead. As a vegetarian, that was an expensive and irritating evening… never again!

  • my guess is mr. chen’s is organic in the same way that all dry-cleaners are “organic” today.

    it’s chinese food like any other. solid though.

  • I like this place okay, but something about their delivery always tastes funny to me. I think it is the containers they ship it in, because it only happens with the dishes that come in plastic…or maybe I am just weird!

  • Eh, I’ve found it underwhelming. Nothing wrong, per se, but nothing particularly great about it either. For the price, there should be something great (and the veggies being organic, while nice, doesn’t qualify in my book).

  • my favorite delivery in the area is North Sea DC.

    • +1

      I always used to order Mr. Chens, which isn’t bad, but I don’t think it’s actually organic. Fast Eddy is a better deal and good greasy American/Chinese. North Sea is just the best and by far the cheapest.

  • It’s good, but it was a lot better a few years ago, in my opinion. Their sweet & sour chicken is very good.

    • I completely agree with this. When I first began ordering from there in 2005 it really was good. However, in the past few years it’s gone dramatically downhill. I was told by someone that the lost their chef which, given the change in quality, is certainly believable.

      It’s at the point now where I won’t order from there again. There’s a great place on Columbia Pike in Arlington with a similar name: Mrs. Chen’s Kitchen. It’s certainly not organic by any means, but it’s delicious.

  • You don’t know what AOL is? Really? Were you in a coma during the late 90s?

  • This place was ok at first but has gone down hill. Tortillas instead of asian pancakes with the mooshi pork. And so obviously not organic. Is there a task force that legitimizes organic claims in restaurants?

    • Yes there is! Just check off that box on your tax form for an extra $100 to pay for us! And we are so on top of the whole flat bready/pancake thing! Tortilla-injera-crepe-pita-matzo etc. (damn peasants just won’t learn to use a fork)

  • The crispy beef is the best. They also have a huge delivery ‘bubble,’ which is great for those who live in the middle of a delivery drought i.e. in between N. Columbia Heights and Petworth.

  • I used to swear by Mr. Chen’s but they changed something a couple years go and haven’t been the same since. I find the food very underwhelming and agree that some of the dishes even taste funny. As a result, I haven’t ordered from them in a while.

    • I agree exactly. It was quite good when they started and I became a regular.
      I don’t know what happened along the same timeline.

  • It’s decent (i.e., passable on the cleanliness scale, which is always an issue for a Chinese restaurant) food and delivery (not much of a dine-in spot). They offer dinner combos, which some of the other decent delivery places (i.e., Meiwah) do not.

  • This place is awesome! One of the best in DC.

  • This place is inauthentic, not actually organic, and not particularly good. As a Chinese American, I have long since stopped ordering from Mr. Chen’s. The only Chinese places I feel comfortable eating at in the city are: Full Kee and Sichuan Pavillion. Otherwise, you’re better off in the suburbs.

    • Was it Full Kee or Li Ho that was shut down for sanitary reasons in the last year or two?

    • for chinese food, aren’t you kind of better off in the suburbs period? sichuan pavilion, joe’s, and a&j in rockville: are there things in dc that are close to being that good?

  • their chinese food is decent, and i was always a big fan of the online ordering when i lived in AdMo (hate hate hate trying to struggle through an order on the phone).

    however, i would NOT recommend eating in house. it’s always stinky – kind of a mix of industrial cleaner and god knows what.

    • Ilive and work near this place. I had a plumber who had just worked in their kitchen tell me to NEVER EAT THERE. I haven’t since.

  • So what’s a good place to order Chinese food from in that area, if Mr. Chen’s isn’t all that great?

  • I’m sure people here will rag on Eastern Empire (14th st. just south of CH metro) but I have to give them a shout-out. Just had a big carry-out order for visiting family and most everything was really good – sesame chicken, orange beef, combo lo-mein, fried rice. Their won tons are awful, and the spare ribs were a bit dry, but they have never otherwise disappointed. (For what you expect – Americanized Chinese standards.)

    Very nice people too. If this hole-in-the-wall was in NY people would be all over it!

  • I think its decent, nothing to write home about.

    I agree with Laura – North Sea on 18th is the best Asian take out in the area. And they have sushi, beer & wine as well.

  • Yuck. Their food is “squishy” and overpriced. Terrible rice.

  • Ordered once years ago, food was awful. Healthy perhaps, but inedible.

  • This place blows. Both times I’ve eaten there I got sick. One time I was literally dry heaving the entire night after I got home.

  • DEAR POP, I would love see a Judging Restaurants on O’Tasty on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan. It’s been there for a long time, but I’ve never built up the courage to try it and don’t really believe anybody who says they have.

  • Terrible. F.


  • LOVE Mr. Chens. I order one small chicken fried rice when I get off the train at Woodly Park and it’s ready by the time I get up there. No onions, bean sprouts, or any crap I have to pick out.

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