Many supermarkets have found resourceful ways of using up unsold produce and provide eat-in or to-go options in their hot foods area. But piling up at Wegmans’s hot food bar can become expensive as you pay by the pound. Asian supermarkets have been providing the same service for a lot less. Great Wall Supermarket and 99 Ranch Market, both with various branches nationwide, offer affordable fixed rates for their hot food bar selection. It makes for a cost-effective meal especially if you have many mouths to feed. The wide selection also means that there is something for everyone.
Great Wall Supermarket
For a flat rate of $6.99 +tax, you can get a to-go lunchbox with a huge portion of steamed white rice, 2 meat entrees, and 1 vegetable entree. With a wide selection of chicken, pork, and fish entrees, you can easily find something you like to pair with the many vegetarian entrees which may include steamed vegetables or tofu dishes. Make sure to say that you want the soup (yes, it’s free) that goes with your lunchbox. The clear soup with vegetables is a good way to wash down the hearty meal you are getting.
You may also grab (by the pound), chopped roasted duck or Chinese barbecue pork (char siu). For special occasions, you may also order ahead of time for a whole roasted pig with prices starting in the $300+ range for a baby pig.
If you prefer something on the sweet side, they also have a little display of Chinese baked goods which may include pork floss bread, taro buns, and egg tarts to name a few.
Branches in Maryland: Catonsville, Germantown, Rockville
Branch in Virginia: Falls Church
99 Ranch Market
At 99 Ranch Market, you can fill up your container with as much as you can stuff in it, as long as you include a small portion of rice or noodles. For all that food, you only pay $8.99 + tax. They have plenty of options from meats to seafood and their fried chicken is a crowd favorite as well. Similarly, you may eat-in or bring it home for that night’s dinner.
If you do not wish to fill up, they do have other food options in their mini-food court area. Dimsum and other Cantonese food and Szechuan (spicy!) food can be found here, as well as Ten Ren Teatime for your bubble tea fix.
If you think you’ve got your fill of Chinese food, check out the delectable offerings in their bakery. These specialty cakes are worth a second look and definitely worth a try.
Branch in Maryland: Gaithersburg