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?"
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.
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.