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“Comfort food”
Review of Eat First

Eat First
Ranked #946 of 3,283 Restaurants in Washington DC
Cuisines: Asian, Chinese
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Reviewed March 17, 2013

A no-frills setting is offset by consistently great food! Almost always packed, this long-time favorite offers some of the best Chinese comfort food around. The menu is very varied, and they often offer specials (noted on the wall)--many quite authentic. A reliable and very satisfying lunch option.

Thank Mary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (124)
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81 - 85 of 124 reviews

Reviewed February 11, 2013

We ducked in following while touring in the city with the kids and they wanted to go to a "real Chinese restaurant in Chinatown"... I warned them that it was Chinese restaurant geared to tourists so it was going to taste like our neighborhood Chinese if we were lucky. Otherwise, we could eat an "authentic" Chinese dish geared to Chinese and they would not be very happy about it.

The restaurant was crowded and we were pointed to a table by a woman barking orders in Chinese. We were served water and hot tea fairly quicken and then were greeted with someone who stood there to take our order wordlessly. The wonton soup was room temperature and peppery. The crispy beef, Szechuan style, was not, crispy that is. Probably wasn't cooked enough, it was just chewy and doughy tasting. The orange chicken fared similarly - it was not spicy and didn't have any orange flavor. It was just a breaded, fried, gooey, sticky mess. The sauce was the consistency of old pancake syrup. The chicken lo mein tasted like generic-enough lo mein to eat and was a hit. We passed on having the leftovers boxed up. The kids were happy to have eaten Chinese food in Chinatown. My wife and I were hoping that we would just keep it down.

It's a tough go to find a decent Chinese restaurant down here serving traditional Americanized Chinese food. We walked by too many appealing non-Chinese restaurants to want to do this again next time around.

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1  Thank Eyeballs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

Popped into Eat First for lunch after walking all day at the National Mall.

Service was quick and the restaurant was clean. I recommend the eggplant stuffed with shrimp paste- it was phenomenal! My hot n sour soup was tasty and although I thought my husband's hong kong-style wonton soup was a tad oily, he enoyed it. I've had better peking duck in other places but overall, it is a decent spot for lunch.

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Thank Gem P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2012 via mobile

We popped into Eat First for lunch. The menu has more traditional Chinese dishes--frog, duck, etc. It also has more American-Chinese fare. Our eggplant, bean curd and fish, as well as our beef and Chinese broccoli were all delicious. The beef was tender, and the fish was delectable. The only caution I have is that the food was liberally flavored with oil. The service was speedy, and we enjoyed our affordable yummy lunch.

Thank briggbackpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

I love the chicken corn soup and non fried signature dishes they have. Good tea. At the end of the meal you get a fresh orange and fortune cookie.

Thank G-anneS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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