47 Comment

  • PDleftMtP

    Anybody have any luck getting them to deliver to Mt Pleasant? I keep hearing conflicting things but have been dissed the couple of times I’ve called.

  • clevelanddave

    One of the few old time good values, good food on 14th left. One of the few decent Chinese downtown (Full Key, Sichuan on K St, where else downtown?). Very good ma pu tofu, eggplant, spicy, yum!

    • justinbc

      Panda Gourmet (not exactly “downtown”) is solid too. Slightly different presentations than Sichuan Pavilion and Great Wall, but worth checking out.

      • Justin, how would you compare the two? Just tried Panda Gourmet and loved it, but haven’t tried Great Wall yet. Taking location/convenience out of the equation, which did you prefer?

        • justinbc

          Overall I prefer Great Wall, I just think their execution is a little better. They also use significantly more Szechuan peppercorns in the dishes where they should be prominent, and the service if you dine in is much better than Panda Gourmet’s hands-off approach. Having said that, I think fans of the cuisine should definitely check out both because they do each offer unique dishes which they specialize in.

  • Best ma po tofu ever! (And I’ve been to China six times)

  • Love this place. Wish their delivery was a bit more consistent and in a larger area or I’d order them more often! 14th St is too much of a circus for Sichuan.

  • Seems like they’ve been here for such a long time and they’ve managed the transition to the new 14th St. well too! 🙂

  • One of the few places that has dishes I actually crave (like the wonderfully spicy three pepper chicken). Delivery is very erratic from they are knocking on your door before you hang up to 45+ minutes. Also, the restaurant has gone from mostly empty 3 years ago to actual waits on occasion now (the recent interior renovation certainly makes it a more attractive place to sit down).

  • I ate there once and had one of the worst meals of my life. It was thoroughly disgusting. Everything was excessively greasy. I have lived in China and can say that this restaurant is authentic only in the sense that a country of a billion people will inevitably have a lot of bad restaurants.

    • As a Great Wall-vengelist I encourage you to give it another try, this time limiting your order to only the Ma-La menu. With that rule in place I haven’t had a bad meal there in about two years with almost weekly ordering.

      • HELP! What’s the “Ma-La” menu? Just a little bit of an explanation, pls. I’m anti-hot/spicy (thanks for the genetic aversion to spicy, Dad).

        • justinbc

          It’s the menu of Szechuan specialty items, as opposed to the generic Chinese food that Americans typically think of (General Tsao’s, Lo Mein, Orange Chicken, etc). They are not typically “hot” but the peppercorns produce a tingling or numbing sensation which some love and others find offputting. The numbness allows other spices to be used to greater effect.

        • If you don’t like spicy food, stay away from Sichuan restaurants. Ma la refers to the spiciness if Sichuan food – hot from the chili peppers and numbing from the Sichuan pepper.

  • Being able to eat here whenever I please is one of the best things about living in Logan Circle.

  • nightborn

    Love Great Wall – it’s our go-to delivery place and has been for the past 6 years.

    Of course, having grown up in Rockville, I am under no illusion that this is the best Chinese food in the area… just the best that delivers to us.

  • A couple of their “ma la”-laden Szechuan dishes are pretty irresistible — the twice-cooked pork in particular. But really, the food is pretty awful. Basic bullet-proof glass style greasy, thickener-clotted junk.

  • Carried out last night, love the whole Ma-La menu, but the Ma-La cucumber is one of my favorite dishes in all of DC. Exceptional contrast between the heat of the oil and cool of the cuke. Possibly the restaurant I’ve eaten at the most in 10 years in DC.

  • Their Ma La dumplings are the best thing a person can get in DC, perhaps the world. Love me some Great Wall.

  • the deserve all the success they are having. Great Wall is one of the top values in the city.

  • They must own the building, right? This place should have been priced out of the ‘hood years ago, but they’re still there (thank god!)
    I currently live at 11th & W and they deliver to me. I’m moving to 11th and Euclid in a month – anyone know if they’ll deliver to CoHi?

    • I live on 11th and Euclid and I get this delivered all the time. They are pretty quick too.

      Welcome to the neighborhood.

  • Overrated. Can only assume most of the people raving don’t have cars, and therefore can’t drive to the VA or MD burbs where the real good Chinese food is. Reading people’s gaga comments for this place or Sichuan on K or Full Key downtown makes me want to share truly good Chinese food with you all…not so I can say “I told you so,” but I would say it at some point. The Great Wall people are nice, and I appreciate their longevity at this spot, but the food is really mediocre, ma-la or not.

    • justinbc

      Well that’s kind of the whole point. Most of us also don’t own planes otherwise we would just fly to China.

    • People like you are the reason for global warming. I have a car, but I certainly wouldn’t use it to drive 40 minutes for Chinese food.

      • Plus you not only need the car, you need the TIME to trek out to the suburbs. This is the sort of food I turn to when time is the last thing I have.

        • And you need to spend money on a relaxing massage after dealing with the all traffic out there!

      • Come on. Maybe you don’t realize just how good the Chinese food in Rockville, etc. is, but it’s not as though this is some kind of completely interchangeable good and it doesn’t matter where you get it.

        • Maybe you don’t realize how terrible it is for your physical and mental health, not to mention the environment, to drive out to Rockville for something as frivolous as food. Learn to cook good Chinese food if it’s that important to you.

          • I don’t drive to Rockville for Chinese food. But who are you to decide what’s a “frivolous” reason to drive somewhere and what isn’t?

          • Cost is greater than the benefit.

          • Maybe the cost is greater than the benefit FOR YOU. That doesn’t mean that YOUR opinion on the costs/benefit is universal. If you think food is “frivolous,” and want to refrain from driving to Rockville to get really good Chinese food, great. (Given all of the PoPville posts and comments regarding restaurants, I suspect many people here think food is anything but frivolous.) But the sanctimoniousness of your post makes me want to drive to Rockville for Chinese food just for the hell of it. And I’m not even some kind of anti-environmentalist who thinks driving is an American birthright.

    • Yeah, but I don’t want to do one hour of roundtrip driving to get my Chinese grubbin’ on.
      So yeah, you offered up some fairly useless advice. Satisfied?
      If I lived in Nova or MD, I’d be pretty happy that I had bomb Chinese food. But then I would cry myself to sleep as I resigned myself to living in the hellhole that is the the inner Beltway ‘burbs. Great Wall will suffice.

    • You sound really smug. If I’m ordering from there, it’s not because I’m under the impression that it’s the best Chinese food in the area, but rather because I want the convenience of delivery or carry out. I’m sure anyone who lives in the area is well aware that there is amazing Chinese food in the VA and MD suburbs. It’s not like it’s a secret. If you can tell me a better place to order Chinese food for delivery or carry out that’s in this part of town, I’m all ears.

  • They wont deliver east of 6th Street NW (even though Im well within their delivery radius) because they claim every single time they’ve tried to deliver east of 6th Street their delivery drivers have been mugged. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Unbelievably bad luck!! I asked them which decade they were collecting their anecdotes and they told me to move to a nicer area if I wanted them to deliver to me.

    A bit off putting, no?

    Especially since 7th-14th Streets arent without their fair share of muggings. I order delivery from tonier places than 14th Street and their delivery drivers arent as scared.

    I get that delivery drivers should be kept safe and are a target… but 6th Street as a border for delivery seems a bit absurd… especially since pretty much everywhere will deliver well into NE now.

  • I really loved their food and was a regular delivery customer until a few months ago when my wife, one of our friends, and I all got a nasty case of food poisoning from one of their chicken dishes. Have not ordered since.

      • That article makes some good points and offers some good, um, food for thought… but in a case like the one Anonymous describes, I think one can reasonably attribute food poisoning to the dish that all three people shared.
        When I was in college, multiple friends and I went out to a barbecue joint an hour or so outside Atlanta, on the recommendation of one of the party, who’d grown up not far away and was raving about how authentic and good it was. Everyone except the vegetarian in the group ended up getting rather spectacularly ill from the beef and/or pork barbecue… and it wasn’t “ethnic” food.
        I’m a little concerned that the Slate piece will have the effect of — instead of stopping people from wrongfully attributing food poisoning to whatever “ethnic” food they ate last — getting people to self-censor legitimate complaints.
        And as I was saying on a previous occasion when this link was posted, the fact that people are likely to eat cheap “ethnic” food more often than expensive non-“ethnic” food might partially account for the disproportionate number of food-poisoning complaints in Yelp for “ethnic” restaurants.

        • justinbc

          Textdoc, totally. But if it’s a close friend, it’s likely they eat out more than once with them in the span of a week, I know I do with several of my friend group. There’s also a serious misconception about what truly is “food poisoning” that the article doesn’t address, but that’s a whole different rant.

          • Anonymous at 3:59 p.m. here: Unfortunately, it definitely was the chicken dish from Great Wall. All three of us work in different parts of DC and ate at different places for lunch that day, and all of us fell very ill within hours of one another after eating the dish from Great Wall. I really wish it wasn’t Great Wall’s fault, as I used to love their food, but I can’t get past the bad memories of that night to place another order from them.

  • Well the new awning looks spectacular, but I gotta say, I’m kinda going to miss the old faded one. This looks a little too much like the rest of 14th Street now. I kinda liked that the old one was a little run-down. But, I don’t eat there much anymore anyway. They don’t offer vegetables with the sweet and sour chicken or the lemon chicken anymore without you paying extra, and that makes it too expensive for me to consider it a good deal.
    I stick with One Fish Two Fish now – they deliver to me even though I’m almost 30 blocks away, and everything I have ever had from them is delicious and priced reasonably. In fact, I just might call them up for dinner tonight! Writing this made me hungry!

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