Chinese / $$ / Arlington & Fredericksburg
Though Peter Chang is a bit of a celebrity—he was written up in The New Yorker, after all—you won’t find him in the city, or even the next hot neighborhood. He seems to set up shop in a strip mall, in locations where you have to seek out his food, not stumble upon it. It was the same when he opened up in Arlington this year, not near the walkable, Metro-accessible part of Arlington, but off 29. It was the same when he opened outside of downtown Fredericksburg a couple years ago. But none of this matters. It’s about the shrimp dumplings that disintegrate in your mouth. It’s about the double-cooked pork, sliced thin like cheesesteak filling, in an umami black bean sauce, and it’s about the bamboo fish that is still required eating: spicy, kind of crunchy, silky and worth every dried chili, scallion, cumin-filled fried bite.