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Scott -- DFW

[DFW] First Chinese BBQ

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Having read several glowing recommendations, I recently visited First Chinese BBQ. They have several locations in the metroplex--Plano, Richardson, Carrollton, and Arlington. The one I visited was in a Plano red brick strip center at 3304 Coit (just north of Parker).

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As soon as we walked in the door, we saw a heated meat case displaying dangling roast ducks and chickens, small bins of tripe, and even a roasted pig's head. The interior is clean and well-maintained, with basic appointments. The menu is large and diverse, leaving a first-timer like me at a loss. Fortunately, I had some direction from earlier reviews and ordered accordingly.

We couldn't go to a place called "First Chinese BBQ" without ordering the barbecue. So we got a mixed plate of barbecued roasted duck and pork:

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Both duck and pork had pretty good flavor. The pork was on the dry side, however. The duck was greasier than I would have liked and, being filled with bones, was difficult to eat. Probably not a dish I'd order again.

Several people had recommended the beef flat noodles dish, so we also ordered that:

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The dish consisted of sauteed beef, scallions, sprouts, and broad, flat noodles in a light, smoky sauce. A pretty good homestyle dish and very filling.

As the photos show, portion sizes are very generous. Prices are reasonable, with each of the above dishes being $8. Service was polite and attentive. Nothing that we had on this visit knocked our socks off. But as extensive as their menu is, there are bound to be some dishes that I would really enjoy.

So, for those who have been there, what have you found to be their strengths and weaknesses? And are the various locations equal in quality? Any additional information would be appreciated.

Scott

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All the locations are great. I have been to them all at one time or another. I have mostly been eating at the Plano location since they have opened.

Personally I love their spicy squid. I also have been known to just order water spinach and some rice. Great food.

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I went on a local Chinese restaurant tear right after we moved to Plano: May Hua in the Asian supermarket center on Coit and Park and 1st Chines Barbecue were both stops. When I went they had some type of organ, I'm guessing tripe, prominently on display in their window.

At any rate, I went I think on a Sunday afternoon so it was all large families ordering multicourse meals, all of which looked good but I couldn't even begin to sort out. I had their ribs.

With both 1st Chinese and May Hua I have been a little disturbed by the fact that either the sauce or the meat is served cold, which is a little off-putting. Enjoyable enough but I'm having a hard time convincing my wife to go after explaining the organs on parade display to her.

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:laugh: Funny you should mention the "organs"

Several years ago a friend on mine and I were eating Dim Sum. We tried to order something and the young woman pushing the car said in very broken English "that not for you"

So we flagged down the manager who is a friend of mine. We explained that we would eat anything! We routinely ordered chicken feet, jelly fish etc. We asked him what the heck it was that she did not want to serve the "Gringos” he explained to us that it was taro caked soaked in pig’s blood. Next time the cart came around we explained "Not for US!!!" :laugh:

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I had lunch at the First Chinese BBQ in Carrolton (Beltline at Josey, NE corner) one day this week. My first time at any of their locations. Ducks hanging, trays of tripe, a deeply orange-red roasted pig's head as you come in. Large black and white photos of China on the walls.

The menu is huge. It must have been six to eight pages, and much looked interesting. Each menu item is listed in Chinese characters, English and Vietnamese.

After exploring the menu for ten minutes, I asked my server what she would recommend from the BBQ section. She was very helpful, saying that she liked the roast pork and the BBQ duck, and that although the two did not come as a combination on the menu, she could create one for me. She warned me that most non-Asians did not care for these choices and preferred the chicken items. I went with her favorites.

The pork was cool, in small chunks, with a crisp, crunchy skin. The duck was warm, crisp and delicious. I was a little puzzled by the pork arriving cool, so I asked. She immediately offered to warm it up, but I said I preferred to eat it cold if that was the usual. She pointed out that they serve it cold to keep the fat crisp. Of course.

She then went out of her way to say that it is the best Chinese restaurant in the Dallas area, not like the others, and that she was not just saying that because she works there, and that it is a favorite of Chinese and Vietnamese people. I can't say, since I have not eaten in all the Chinese restaurants in the Dallas area. But she was one persuasive woman.

I'll be back.

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Yep just had spicy squid at the Plano location last night. It's right on my way home, very handy :smile:

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Any other suggestions for dishes to try, irodguy? It would take me a lifetime to eat my way through the menu.

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There water spinach is great, and I personally also love there sprouts done with ginger and garlic.

Another good one is Fried Tofu stuffed with shrimp served on a sizzling plate.

Ah almost forgot their combo fried rice is quite good. You need to ask for the pickled peppers, and mix some in.

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I often eat at the Plano location, and it's pretty good. Their congee, when available, is pretty decent. Most of the dishes are fairly well-executed texturally, but some are fairly flat-tasting. I'm glad other people enjoy this joint!

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I often eat at the Plano location, and it's pretty good.  Their congee, when available, is pretty decent.  Most of the dishes are fairly well-executed texturally, but some are fairly flat-tasting.  I'm glad other people enjoy this joint!

Nothing that a little chili oil or peppers can cure :raz:

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One of my exes had a similar idea, and I couldn't believe the number of things she would pour that stuff onto.

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