I found myself in the Rockville area around lunch time today so I decided to treat myself to Joe's Noodle House. I did not order off the menu, but instead just went to the counter (which in itself was a surprising concept) and asked if they had some of my favorite dishes. In the end, after some discussion with the woman behind the till, my lunch consisted of cold Sichuan cucumbers, hot and spicy rabbit cubes, and red oil Chengdu wontons (looking at a menu, which I found on www.joesnoodlehouse.com, it seems that these correspond to A08, A47 and W01). All of it was excellent, though if I had to quibble (and I would not be a Chaohound if I did not!) the cucumber was a bit too sweet.
The person who took my order was surprised by the number of spicy dishes I ordered, and assured me that they would come with a traditional degree of spice (I believe they lived up this promise). At the end of my lunch, one of the other staff asked how I liked everything, and I told her the cukes were a bit sweet for my taste. She acknowledged that they are a bit sweet in their preparation, but even so they were very nice (and a good foil to the other two dishes).
I left very impressed, and would happily go back there with a larger crowd. Since I know people will ask how I compare it with China Star, I will say that they are a bit different; Joe's seems to devote more attention to 'small' dishes, whereas China Star focuses more on entrees. This is even apparent from Joe's name in Chinese--E Mei Cafe.
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