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Joe's Noodle House

It's no secret that Joe's Noodle House in Rockville is one of the better Chinese (or Szechuan) restaurants in the area, if not the whole country, but on Friday night, I found myself eating there for the very first time. Amy and I were on our way back from a trip to stock up on formula, diapers and other necessities, so we were looking for a place that was kid friendly and quick, for it was late (about 9-ish) and Noah was going to be getting tired soon.

I  really had no idea if Joe's Noodle House would meet those requirements, but we gave it a try anyway. I was pretty confident that it would since I know several people with children that love Joe's Noodle House which lies hidden at the back left side of it's Rockville Pike strip mall location.

As I suspected, Joe's Noodle House was everything we needed for a night out with Noah with child seats, a casual atmosphere, and little child plates and spoons just for children. We made a rookie mistake though. We sat down and waited for a server to come and wait on us. And waited. And waited. "Do I need to put down my menu?" I was thinking to myself. Then just as Amy noticed the sign up front that said "Order and Pay Here", one of the servers came up to us and pointed out that we needed to order up front. Oh, right. Duh.

Like many Chinese restaurants, the menu at Joe's Noodle House is large with an extensive list of noodle dishes and house specialties. You'll find the typical garlic or sesame chicken, but then you'll also find dishes like shredded pork tripe, or homemade bacon with leeks. Even after looking at the menu for as long as I did, I still couldn't decide what to get. My final choice for my entree was a little unwise.

Let me give you one tip. When you order a dish, and the woman at the cash register says, "Oooh, that's a very spicy dish. Do you want me to have them tone that down a bit for you?"

Say YES!

Dsc00284 I  made the mistake of saying "no" when I ordered the Szechuan Spicy and Dry Beef Saute and I still feel my stomach lining of eroding. I love spicy food, but this was hot as hell. There were so many peppercorns that my tongue turned numb and I couldn't taste the food I was eating, making the dish almost unenjoyable. But, in the end I got what I deserved...I guess.

All of the other dishes were enjoyed completely: a spicy cellophane noodle with finely ground pork, a unique salad appetizer with chopped leak stem, ground pork, black beans, and jalapenos, and some fluffy steam buns, which were the sole, mild dish that we ordered. I couldn't get enough of the cellophane noodles, which came out very hearty and full of the flavor of the pork and whatever liquid they were cooked in.

The three appetizers and two entrees ended up being far too much food for the two of us, and we ended up taking a lot home. We could've easily eaten there for under $25, which makes Joe's Noodle House one of the best bargain restaurants that I've eaten at in a long time. There isn't a single dish on the menu for over $11. Even the whole steamed fish is $10.95 and I would've ordered that instead of the spicy beef, but I hesitated because I wondered how good an $11 whole fish could be. I'll probably order it on my next trip back though.

Joe's Noodle House
1488-C Rockville Pike
Rockville, Maryland
(301) 881-5518
Web Site

Monday - Friday 11:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday, Sunday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Dress Code: Very Casual
Parking: Plenty in the strip mall parking lot.
Smoking: Not Allowed.
Closest Metro: Twinbrook
Reservations: Not taken..
Baby friendly rating: 4 diapers. Child seats and a casual atmosphere make this a great place to bring a baby. 


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As long as you're on Rockville Pike and in the mood for Asian food I'd reccomend checking out the Vegetable Garden and Yuan Fu vegetarian. Both are affordable, kid-friendly (we take our 3 year old to the Vegetable Garden) and have great food.


Jason... next time ask for it "Schezuan spicy" like I do! You will be crawling the walls!


How do you possibly eat that?

Jim Collins

Joe Noodle rocks. We (my co-workers and I) eat there once every two weeks or so, never fails. The fried dumplings are awesome. The drunken noodles are also very good.


If they don't know you at Joe's, not toned down is actually about half spicy. They use more chili and less Schezuan Peppercorn in their spice blend so the dish is hot but not numbing as the true mix. Schezuan Spicy is hotter from the chilis but it is very numbing from the schezuan peppercorns. It creates a tingling effect that makes your tongue and mouth feel as if they are made from shag carpet.

I have always loved hot foods and used to frequent an Issan Thai restaurant in Chicago where the owner told me that even in Thailand, I would be considered a chili-head!

FOr a real treat at Joe's, thry the spicy and tasty tofu. It is both!

Barbara (Biscuit Girl)

Yeah, the dry pepper beef sautee is one of the hottest things on earth. We got it once....and only once. Too hot even for my husband who has an asbestos tongue.

Our fav for enjoying the flavors of szechuan peppercorns is #H20 on the menu. Get it half spicy at first but you'll eventually find yourself getting it full strengnth. Too many other favorites to name here but I've written about Joe's twice on my blog if you want to read more.


Thanks for the salient comments about Joe's, I've gotta get there again soon. I love hot and spicy foods, not by dousing hot sauce on something, but to have something skillfully cooked up spicy. Sounds like Joe's is the place that knows how to do it up! (on a side note, I recall visiting a restaurant that had a wall of flame, with top 10 hot sauces that required the customer to sign a liability waiver before they'd serve it.)


I think the H 2- is pretty tame compared to the bean curd appetizer, the spicy and tasty bean curd or the dried beef. The three pepper chicken is midway between the two fif you don't eat the whole red chiles. They ahve a rabbit and a pork belly in red sauce that are pretty amazing as well.


Joe's is the best chinese restaurant in the area. The pork pot stickers are great, as is the szechuan beef noodle soup, green beans, chive pancakes. The dim sum is good, too. Get the salty soy bean milk and the twisted fried dough. The steamed whole fish is so good for the price.

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