Open 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. weekdays and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. weekends. In New Carrollton, Md., 8307 Annapolis Road, Plaza 30 Shopping Center, 577-6161. In Falls Church, only BankAmericard is accepted. In New Carrollton, BankAmericard, American Express, and Master Charge credit cards are accepted. Both locations accept local personal checks with I.D. Both restaurants are accessibleto the handicapped.
The two boys liked the chopsticks best. My daugther, 9, liked the fact that, "Even the children get to drink tea here." My friend and I agreed that the tea, served immediately after we were seated, was good but the food and moderate prices got our vote for what was best about the Good Earth Restaurant in Falls Church.
It was late on a recent evening when we dined at the Good Earth and we were all very hungry. My daughter, friend, and I each began with an egg roll, at 75 cents each. They were crisp on the outside, not at all greasy, and moist, not mushy, on the inside.
"It's all in the timing," Ho Liu, owner of the Good Earth explained. His cook, who has been with him for more than 10 years, takes "three times as long to wrap the egg rolls as most places do," Liu said.
We decided on several main dishes to share family style. And while we waited for our dinner to arrive, my son, 5, asked the waiter for more water, which he promptly received, and if he could have chopsticks to eat with and if he could take them home and if they had any fortune cookies. "Yes, all right, yes," the waiter anwsered. Shortly thereafter he brought our dinner.
The Sweet and Pungent Shrimp, $4.75, was delicious and the children's favorite. Although steamed rice is served with the dishes, we got an order of pork fried rice, at $2.50, which was also very good. In fact, so good that my 7-year-old son, who usually does not eat rice anywhere, ate some. The beef and snow peas with oyster sauce, for $4.55, was excellent. I have a rule that the children must at least taste everything. They like the beef and reluctantly are the snow peas. We also had Almond Gai Ding, a chicken and vegetable dish, for $4.25. The children separated that carefully and sampled the contents individually and proclaimed in unison that it was "very yukky." But we adults liked it.We decided this was definitely our favorite Chinese restaurant.
The Good Earth, established in the District in 1943, has been in its present location near the intersection of Lee Highway and Route 7 for 16 years. There is a convenient parking lot and the restaurant is open year round, except for Thanksgiving day.
It serves primarily Cantonese food. The menn extensive, with most dishes in the $4 to $6 price range. There are also children's dinners for $275 a family dinners for two, three, or four persons from $9.50 to $23.85. Luncheon is served until 3 p.m. daily and is somewhat less expensive than dinner. Booster seats are available, but there are no high chairs.
As we finished our meal, my son reminded the waiter to bring fortune cookies. It was getting late, so I decided to get a bag of cookies to take home. The owner brought over the bag and handed it to my youngest son who said thank you as the other children exlaimed, "They are not for you!" My five-year-old began to protest when the owner quickly reappeared with a plate of fortune cookies which lie placed in front of my youngest, saying, "These are for you." He offered some to us all.
Our entire meal, for the five of us, including tax, excluding tip, came to $20.53.