Peking Duck House – Winooski, Vermont
On the outside Peking Duck House looks pretty great. A big, two floor restaurant. A big bar, comfy booths complete the picture. It was pretty empty went my Dad and I went (2 o’clock in the afternoon). I blame the emptiness on high school not being broken up, but it was still disconcerting to see only 3 other people in so large a space. We ordered from the lunch menu (prices range from $6.50-$7.25). I had a hot and sour soup (soups come free with the lunch special) and the chicken with broccoli and egg roll. My Dad had a wonton soup the general Gau’s chicken (first time I have ever seen that dish spelled in such a manner) and also an egg roll. The first thing that really pissed me off about this restaurant was the fact that it told you which appetizer came with each dish and it clearly stated at the top NO SUBSTITUTIONS. I wanted a spring roll and definitely did not want the crab rangoon so unfortunately anything that came with crab rangoon looked unattractive and the FOUR dishes (out of 38) that came with a spring roll I just didn’t want. I felt forced into getting what I ended up ordering. Also chicken wings took up the majority of appetizer space which is just ridiculous as this is a chinese restaurant, not a KFC. However, we courageously stuck it out. The wonton soup was a little oily and the dumplings were bland and the dough looked yellow, as if the dumplings had been sitting out then plopped into the soup. The hot and sour soup was ok, nothing special, mostly hot and barely any sour. The second I saw my chicken with broccoli I was pretty disappointed. Perhaps it was own fault to assume that it would come in a brown sauce, which is the norm for most meat with broccoli dishes. I wasn’t even sure if there was much sauce on the meat but I did miss my brown sauce a great deal. It was also really oily but not in the comforting way chinese food is normally oily, it just didn’t fit the dish. However, the meat was ok and the broccoli was pretty good. The egg roll was browned and crispy looking on the outside. It was very oily and the its innards were just frightening looking, my Dad ate his but i only took a couple of bites of mine. The general gao’s chicken ok but fairly generic. The insides varied on the cooked side, some pieces were a little to pinkish. They were doused in a spicy sauce and there seemed to be a random heap of lettuce that had been sporadically dumped on the plate. The waiter was lazy, didn’t even ask us if we wanted more water until after we had paid.
Final rating: 2. Maybe it was just bad lunch special food. If i went again I would order one of their four duck options ($13.50-$27.50). Most dinner meals range from $9.50-$11.50. There are also no dumplings (there are meat ravioli’s but any chinese restaurant that has ravioli’s seems like they should be something to avoided). Overall, just avoid this place unless there aren’t any other options.