Some of the take out places in DC serve pretty decent chinese food.
They also serve a bunch of other stuff, like fried chicken, hamburgers, fried seafood, chicken wings and the like.
The Asian owners still know how to cook decent Chinese. So, I have been pleasantly surprised by two places, one is on 15th St. SE, and is located in a well known drive by shooting spot. But it IS on Capitol Hill and the neighborhood is improving. Thankfully, when I was there, an on-duty uniformed officer was also getting food for him and his partner in the cruiser. The other is on Benning Rd NE between 24th and 25th Street.
Again, the neighborhood is in transition, but even the soup is tasty. You can see the cook use the wok through the bullet proof plexiglass.
But, for the best Chinese take-out in DC, Mr. Chen's Organic Chinese located in Woodley Park on Calvert St. tops even some well known local sit down establishments like Yenching Palace.
However, when visiting our little political center, you really need to go to one buffet...Tony Cheng's Mongolian BBQ.
It's not your typical Chinese Buffet. Though it is all-you-can-eat, I have yet to disappoint a visitor by this recommendation.