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A&J Restaurant, Rockville

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Rick Mar 4, 2009 05:58 PM

I found some good looking photos on Flickr from this places, but most things on chowhound about it are 5 years old or older. Is this place still around, still any good?

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    OldSchool RE: Rick Mar 4, 2009 06:23 PM

    It's still around. We go there about once a month. We find the food to be consistently delicious and the service is good, too. They only take cash but it's not expensive; you can have a very satisfying, filling meal for < $15/person.

    1. DanielK RE: Rick Mar 4, 2009 06:25 PM

      Still around, still fabulous - I'm there every few weeks. Surprised there isn't a more recent thread, though try searching through the dim sum threads as well. Technically, it's a chain, with a location in Annandale, one in the greater LA area, and several in China!

      Matter of fact, went here with my family last night, and 4 of us gorged for $50 plus tip. Standouts are the potstickers, fried chicken, any of the vegetarian dishes, spicy wontons, scallion pancake, 1000 layer pancake, and, as far as I've gotten, ANY of the soups!

      NOTE: Cash only.

      6 Replies
      1. re: DanielK
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        deangold RE: DanielK Mar 5, 2009 03:03 AM

        I was there for lunch. One of my favorites is the small plate on the back page of the menu: chicken, white noodle & cucumber with hot mustard. Another is the bracing bean sprouts with seaweed which cuts the richness of some of the dishes and soups.

        Another thing, the large soups come with your choice of home made wide noodle or thin noodle. Pick the homemade. The small soups at the bottom of the menu only come with bean thread noodle.

        My only consistent disappointment is that the steamed pork buns are advertised as soup dumplings but are in reality just nice moist pork dumplings.

        1. re: deangold
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          Pappy RE: deangold Mar 5, 2009 04:41 AM

          Disappointment #2 = No Beer.

        2. re: DanielK
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          MikeR RE: DanielK Mar 5, 2009 05:37 AM

          Anyone compared menus between branches, particularly between the Rockville location (most often mentioned here) and the Annandale location (much closer to my house)? I know I should just go over at lunch and order a couple of things. Just haven't gotten a round tuit yet.

          1. re: MikeR
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            dpan RE: MikeR Mar 5, 2009 05:44 AM

            It's the same menu at both locations. They both give you the same slip of paper to order on.

          2. re: DanielK
            chowser RE: DanielK Mar 5, 2009 08:11 AM

            I was surprised to find out it was a chain, too. We only go to the Annandale one. My favorite is the noodles w/ ground pork. It comes with veggies that all get mixed up and it's a nice bowl of food. I prefer regular handcut noodles to the wide noodles. I love the spicy cucumbers and wood ear mushrooms, too. There's also a noodle soup dish with bitter greens and fried pork chops that is excellent. Their brunch is also good for the most part. Some misses, eg rice wrapped crullers, 5 spice ribs, dumplings.

            1. re: chowser
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              deangold RE: chowser Mar 5, 2009 08:31 AM

              I like the 5 spice ribs but they are dense. The small looking order is enough for 2 to 4 people.

          3. Mister Big RE: Rick Mar 5, 2009 04:42 AM

            Only shortcoming is no seafood.

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              cfoodie RE: Rick Mar 5, 2009 08:25 AM

              You stiil get a decent variety of northern Chinese small plates there. The noodle dishes are very reasonable, make sure you ask for hand made noodles. Then you have your choices of small cold or hot. I don't think most of their foods excel with the exception of the beef patty and one of the fried doughs. It's very packed on Saturday and Sunday noons and quality of food suffers, and service is terrible. During the weekday, the service and food are better due to lack of volume. As regulars that went every weekend, we stopped going as we noticed that parties with caucasians consistently get better treatments than anyone else.

              3 Replies
              1. re: cfoodie
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                Jelyna RE: cfoodie Mar 6, 2009 08:27 AM

                My favorite is the beef noodle soup with extra pickled mustard greens as a condiment. The Rockville and Southern California locations have the exact same menu, server uniforms, wall decorations, dishes, etc. I haven't been to the Annandale one.

                1. re: Jelyna
                  DanielK RE: Jelyna Mar 6, 2009 09:04 AM

                  The spicy beef noodle soup is probably the one item I never order at A&J, because it's better up the road at Joe's Noodle House!

                  1. re: DanielK
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                    deangold RE: DanielK Mar 6, 2009 10:15 AM

                    but the spicy beef & tendon soup is better at AJ, especially with a splash of white vinegar in it. I like the wide housemade noodles better as well.

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