China Canteen, Rockville, MD

Nearly all the lunch specials at China Canteen are $5.99, and this included my Stir Fried Liver Home Style, a big plate of uniformly cut, bite-sized crescents of calves liver wok-fried with the usual mixed vegetables. It came with a Spring Roll which was about average.

This dish was marked “spicy” (one peppercorn), but really wasn’t, and my advice to people going to China Canteen would be to forego this unusual, but ultimately very ordinary dish and get one of the Chinese language specials hand written on the wall. A very friendly proprietor said he’d be more than happy to translate for anyone who came in, and when asked what he’d recommend to me, he said “steamed fish” (note that this is also one of the $5.99 lunch specials – there is some overlap between the hand written specials and what’s on the regular menu).

I had much better luck with a side order of Dan Dan Noodles with Chili Sauce ($3.99) which cuts into the Szechuan soul of China Canteen. This was a carryout lunch, and I decided after one bite that I’d save the noodles for later – I refrigerated them overnight and they were delicious when they were cold (after one taste of the cold noodles, I didn’t even bother to reheat them). This dish is a repeat.

My fortune said, “You will win success in whatever calling you adopt.” We’ll see …

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