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Jun 6, 2011 06:43 PM

Rockville, A&J, Bob's Noodle 66, or Joe's Noodle House?

Some pretty mediocre reviews of Joe's Noodle House on yelp lately. We've had this on our list of places to try, but are wondering if we should go to Joe's, A&J, or Bob's?

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

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  1. Joe's is the same as always: so many great dishes to try, with some of the best being very spicy because they specialize in Sichuan cuisine. But A & J is a terrific place to go as well, and very different. Hard to go wrong at either.

    My top ten at Joe's:
    Wontons in red hot sauce, spicy and sour vegetables. shredded radish. peanuts with fried baby smelt, sichuan beef jerky, rice cakes with pork, housemade bacon and leeks, taro mash and red date cake, pressed bean curd, sliced fish over vegetables in Szechuan Sauce.

    AT A & J, folks in the know can ask for their wide noodles, which are homemade.

    The major competitor to Joe's Noodle house is Sichuan Pavillion, which is probably just as wonderful. as Joe's.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Thanks for the quick reply, we'll probably stick with our initial choice and go to Joe's. What's your opinion of the Beef Noodle Soup Szechuan Style at Joe's? The photos of it look great, also plan on including several of your top ten in our meal.

      1. re: Rick

        I second the wontons in red hot sauce and shredded radish. I had the soup you mentioned. It was good, but given all there is to try at Joe's, I think it's missable.

        1. re: Rick

          In general, the noodles at Joe's are nothing special despite the name of the place, which I think was left over from a previous owner. I have not had that soup.

          1. re: Steve

            Actually, while the noodles themselves are nothing special, that soup is excellent.

            1. re: DanielK

              I always pass on that soup at Joes. I find a nice bowl of Pho a lot more satisfying when I am in the mood for beef noodle soup.

          2. re: Rick

            The Szechuan beef noodle soup is delicious. I always order some to take home and enjoy as a separate meal. They pack the noodles separately so they don't get pasty. Hits the spot after a rough day.

          3. re: Steve

            Steve, is that Spicy & Sour Vegetable a cold dish (like the cucumbers and the shredded radish) or a hot dish (like the vegetables in H20)?

            1. re: Pappy

              cold and crunchy, , so they are like pickled vegetables

          4. Personally I like Bob's Noodle over A&Js. They serve a much larger variety of Taiwanese food. It's good for both the adventurous and the hesitant. A&J does have great homemade wide noodles as Steve said. Never been to Joe's myself so I can't speak to that.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ika411

              What is the situation wit Bob's now? Is it still the same owner? Have you been recently?

              1. re: Steve

                I was last there about a month and half ago and they seemed the same. Going tonight actually so I'll let you know tomorrow if they're still good. :)

                1. re: Steve

                  I haven't seen Bob there since the demise of 88.

                2. re: ika411

                  Unfortunately, Bob's changed its Taiwanese flavor and my friends also don't trust their cleanliness there anymore. A&J is a northern Chinese flavor which is pretty decent. We went to Michaels noodles for a while and like their "three cup chicken" where they stir fry chicken with basil and a little bit of rice wine. It's another place under the radar.

                3. Rick and I went to Joe's Noodle House as planned and we ordered the shredded radish, wontons in hot sauce and rice cakes with pork. Each dish brought something different to the table and they were all fantastic!! For under $20, we both left fulfilled! Thank you for the recommendations! We may want to head back sooner than later for the Mapo Tofu and Kung Pao Homestyle. Any thoughts?

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

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Hillbeans

                    If you go for the mapo tofu, ask for it with plenty of hua jiao (pronounced hwa jyow). That way they will know you are serious.

                    Though I am not sure you should order those two dishes together. You will not find quite the same balance as your last meal.

                    1. re: Steve

                      After letting it go for years, I finally found myself in Rockville last week, too, and conveniently had Steve's recommendations in hand, for my first visit to Joe's. I loved the peanuts with smelt, rice cakes with pork, and housemade bacon with leeks. I didn't think much of the beef jerky when I was at the restaurant, but it made a good leftover the next day. I was not wowed by the shredded radish. My visitor, from Chinese-barren Baton Rouge, was impressed.

                      1. re: shortorder

                        I loved the shredded radish, something I would probably order every time I visit. I've never had it anywhere else for comparison though . . .

                    2. re: Hillbeans

                      The kung pao homestyle is the best. No kung pao I've had compares to the smoky savoriness of this version. Another Joe's incomparable is the crispy salty squid.

                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                        Mmm... sounds goooood. Also the tea tree mushrooms with bacon is another winner.