When we moved to DC from Manhattan in 1997, the lack of decent Chinese food was one of about 50 things on my "I hate DC" list, along with a useless subway system and no super to fix your toilet 24/7. Over the years, our family tried about 10 restaurants for take-out: the few that were good eventually became awful, and they seemed to consider thick brown sauce de rigueur on everything including dessert. (Note: Nam Viet, which is not Chinese, is a huge exception; run do not walk to this place on Connecticut Ave., up the street from the zoo.) The other day, I was bemoaning this to my students. They told me to try Chen's. We ordered a pile of food. It was delivered in 45 minutes; the man was nice; the bill was 25% less than what we usually pay; and they had brown rice. More important, the food was great. The vegetables are not rendered lifeless by some amorphous corn-starch imbued topping, and the meat tastes like meat. The seafood dishes need more seafood, but for $10 who's going to complain. And the portions were huge. Try the bean curd and spinach soup ($2.50), the spareribs ($7), and just about anything else. I think I'll stay in Washington.