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Apr 9, 2011 04:27 PM

Joe's Noodle House

I just got back from my first real visit to Joe's Noodle House. Yes, I know... why did it take me so long? A friend with a car today made it happen. I found their lengthy online menu pretty intimidating, so I perused CH for menu recommendations. Thus armed, I went in today to get lunch -- and leftovers to last me a few days. Here's what we had in the order that I liked them...

Wontons in red hot sauce - wow. LOVED this dish! Pork in toothsome, soft, very homemade-tasting wonton wrappers, in a lovely red hot (ish) sauce. The next time I go I will have to get this again, plus the wontons in hot and sour sauce. I need to compare the two. I noticed on the way out that lots of tables had this dish on them. I know why.

Shredded radish appetizer - another wow. LOVED this dish. Crunchy radish threads in a hot (ish) red sesame oil. Lots going on - a little sweet, a little sour, a little hot, a little crunch. I wouldn't be able to go back and not order this.

Beef noodle soup, Sichuan style - very good soup - the noodles in particular were wonderful - very fresh and homemade-tasting. Huge chunks of beef (I wondered what cut it was) and lovely greens were in it, but the noodles were the star. Good broth, but not great - could have used more flavor.

Sichuan spicy and dry beef saute: I let the woman at the counter (the owner? -- she was VERY nice) talk me down to a moderate level of "numbing spice". This was a good dish - very strong, pungent and assertive flavor - lots going on. I found it spicy, but not overly so. Needs lots of rice to tone it down a bit.

Spicy and sour pickled vegetable appetizer - good, very crunchy and oil-free, which was a bit of a blessing, but not very special. Pieces of pickled cabbage with a few bits of carrot thrown in.

Lastly, the only disappointment of the meal: scallion pancake. I got turned on to these amazing scallion pancakes at Hunan in San Francisco in the late 70's and sort of had it in my head these might be as good. But alas, not even close. These were VERY greasy. The grease overload made them quite unappetizing. I ate a bite at the restaurant. Brought home the remainder, but I may not eat it. I can't imagine that re-heating will do it any good.

Are there any great dishes there I missed? I hope there is a second trip in my future!

Joe's Noodle House
1488 Rockville Pike Ste C, Rockville, MD 20852

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  1. If made at full strength, the spicy and dry beef saute is unbearably hot, and this coming from a hothead.

    Some of my favorites, which also provide variety:

    A52 beef jerky, A41 fried baby smelt & peanuts, A11 pressed bean curd, R26 rice cakes with pork, T21 homemade bacon with leeks, E13 taro mash and date cake (very sweet, comes out piping hot), H21 (get the fish option!) Sliced fish over vegetables Sichuan Style.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Is it "hot" or just numbing with the peppercorns? I haven't really found much that was really spicy in Szechuan food (here or even in my limited attempts in LA) that really made me think it was very spicy.... just numbing.

      1. re: mdpilam

        That dish is painful, not just at Joe's but when I've had it elsewhere. I don't know why.... The numbing will certainly make it seem less hot, of course. Hunan food can be much hotter.

        the last time I had the 100 flavor chicken at Hong Kong Palace, it was very hot. You have to ask for it, it's not on the menu.

        Hong Kong Palace
        6387 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22044