Like many Chinese food restaurants, Peking Gourmet Inn in Falls Church, Virginia has an extraordinarily large menu. But if you visit this delightful eatery, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, you’re going for one thing and one thing only: the Peking duck. In 1978, Chinese native Eddie Tsui wanted to open a restaurant that specialized in northern Chinese cuisine, with a menu centered around Peking duck. More than 40 years later, people are still packing the tables at the Peking Gourmet Inn to get a taste of this delicacy.
And when you get your seat, you won’t be disappointed. To start, the bird is roasted just enough to create a crispy, glazed skin while keeping the meat tender (via Washingtonian). Once the duck is cooked, the real show starts. According to Arlington Magazine, the dish is brought to you and carved tableside. The server removes the skin and cuts it into bite-size pieces, then carves thin slices of meat. The restaurant takes this custom so seriously, servers have to practice for months. “First they learn how to slice duck in the kitchen for two to three months,” owner George Tsui told Arlington Magazine. “Once they have perfected the skill, they are ready to serve tableside.”
The dish is served with homemade pancakes, hoisin sauce, and spring onions to make your own duck rolls. The dish — and the restaurant — has been a hit with actors, athletes, presidents, and other notable names including Food Network’s Duff Goldman, who said the Peking duck was “the best thing I ever ate. Period.”