Forget the cramped, aged dining room. Forget the sometimes gruff service. Forget that they don’t have any beer or wine. Forget all that and focus on your bowl of shrimp-dumpling soup—the delicate broth; the light, tender bundles of noodle; the juicy mix of plump shrimp, pork, tree-ear mushrooms, and white pepper tucked inside. It will taste the same next week, if you go, and the week after that, too. The soup, a staple in the Cantonese canon, has changed not one iota in the two-plus decades Full Key has been around. And that’s why you come here—for consistency and the quiet mastery with which this kitchen cranks out dishes that everywhere else taste flat, such as a wonderful casserole of bubbling beef, peppers, and onions ignited with a palmful of black pepper.
Where you can get it: 2227 University Blvd. W., Wheaton; 301-933-8388
Also good: Soy-sauce chicken; roast pork; congee with beef, squid, and peanut.