We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Duff was wrong, in my opinion.”
Review of Cafe Zen

No photo provided
Got a photo?
Add it.
Cafe Zen
Ranked #620 of 2,028 Restaurants in Baltimore
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Chinese
Restaurant details
Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
347 reviews
258 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Duff was wrong, in my opinion.”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We stopped at Cafe Zen based on a recommendation from Duff of Charm City Cakes on the Food Network "Best Thing I Ever Ate - With Chopsticks". We ordered what Duff recommended which is the Crispy Beef and several other things including the Curry Chicken, Mu Shu Chicken and Pad Thai. It was all very good but probably the weakest dish we tried was the Crispy Beef. It was certainly tasty but it was very sweet, almost cloyingly sweet with sauce that was very thick. As the dish cooled, it hardened on the plate so hard that we had to pry it off with a fork. Duff described it as sweet and spicy but ours wasn't spicy at all so perhaps it would better if it was and the beef was cooked so hard that was more crunchy than chewy, the thicker pieces were more enjoyable. We started calling beef toffee.

That said, the overall meal was excellent, the other three dishes were all very tasty, we would definitely go back but might not order the crispy beef, or perhaps we would just to see if it was different.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

18 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    5
    8
    3
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
106 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Asian but Different”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Not your regular Chinese restaurant, more of a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, etc. A little of everything and a bright relaxing ambiance. Seating not so comfortable. Decorations a bit stale.

Helpful?
1 Thank Martha0107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
86 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Very good”
Reviewed May 5, 2012 via mobile

My favorite place for Chinese in Baltimore. Love the garlic string beans

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DawnStone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“My favorite place”
Reviewed March 30, 2012

Ive been going here since I was a little kid, and I still order the exact same thing I did then: shrimp fried rice with no onions (the best fried rice I've ever had) and broccoli in gowbah (yup, I butchered that spelling. I know.). I've been given some trouble when ordering over the phone with the odd broccoli order, but they usually give in in the end. It's not a problem for Jo, the wonderful woman who runs the place; she places our order the moment we walk in the door. Excellent service, excellent food.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank sophfree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Standard Chinese”
Reviewed February 17, 2012

The restaurant is pleasant with good service. The food and atmosphere are average, but the prices are unusually reasonable.

Helpful?
Thank Baltimore242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Cafe Zen also viewed

 

Been to Cafe Zen? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing