You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Joe's Noodle House, Rockville, MD

We met up with two of our friends at Joe's last night. They live in the area and it's always a good excuse to see them. As I got to the table I over heard them talking excitedly about their wedding in May. Ah, young love. But as soon as Biscuit Boy and I were seated, the wedding plans were tossed to the back burner. Something much more important had just come up......dinner.

It's funny how you get known to your friends for certain things. Good personality, funny, smart, etc. For us it seems a lot of our friends see us as the ones to eat out with, the ones who know where the best good (and inexpsive) sushi place is (Kotobuki), where the best margaritas can be found (Andale), the tastiest bar menu deals for happy hour (Corduroy) and so on.

So our friends left the ordering in our hands. Wontons with Red Hot Sauce (W01) , Tender Bamboo Shoot Salad (A19), Pressed Bean Curd w/Hot Sauce (A11) , Fish Fillet over Vegetable-Szechuan Style (H20), String Beans - Szechuan Style without pork (F14) and Bitter Melon with Beef (T05).

First to come out were the Bamboo Shoot Salad and the Pressed Bean Curd.

The Bamboo Shoot Salad is a favorite of ours. Served cold, it's seasoned with sesame oil. A very simple, yet very tasty dish.
Biscuit rating: 4 biscuits

The Pressed Bean Curd is little 1/2 inch square cubes of pressed bean curd tossed with spicy chili sauce and topped with green onions. It's also served cold but there wasn't as much heat from the hot sauce as you'd expect. It was more of a cumulative heat that never got too intense but enough to let you know it was there.
Biscuit rating: 3 biscuits

Next out of the kitchen was the Bitter Melon with Beef and the Szechuan string beans.

We've never had this dish before and felt like trying something new. And after reading Barbara over at Tigers and Strawberries talk about bitter melon, I was curious.

I knew that it was called 'bitter' melon for a reason. But exactly how bitter?

Very. Kinda like biting into a piece of lemon peel with nothing but the pith hitting your taste buds. Call me puckered up. Or pithed off (as Biscuit Boy said).

It's definately an aquired taste. The sauce was good as was the beef. It was just the overwhelming bitterness of the melon that was hard to enjoy. It wasn't awful, just not something any of us cared for. And this is not my last time to try this. I'd be game to try it again somewhere else just to see.
Biscuit rating: unrated. (I need to do some more, uh-hum, scientific research on bitter melon before I can rate this dish)

The beans were good but not as spicy and intensely flavored as the ones we had a couple of weeks ago at Tempt Asian. But they were still good. When you dug down into the bottom of the dish, lurking in the suace were little bits of garlic or possibly shallot. There was a smattering of hot pepper but enough to give you that 'pow' of heat. It just sort of went 'poof' instead.
Biscuit rating: 3 1/2 biscuits (Tempt Asians would be 4 biscuits)

Last up were the Wontons and the Fish dishes.
The Wontons with Red Hot Sauce are anothe fav of ours. Better than the ones from Tempt Asian. Why? the flavors are much more balanced. They have the heat from the hot sauce but it doesn't overwhelm the wontons. You can taste ginger and scallion floating around in the mix too. And Joe's wontons are a little meatier than Tempt Asian's.
Biscuit rating: 4 1/2 biscuits (Tempt Asians: 3 biscuits)

Finally there is this wonderful bowlful of goodness we affectionatly refer to simply as H20. That's the number on the menu for this dish. Fish Fillet over Vegetable - Szechaun Style.
It comes to the table brimming of hot fragrant spciy broth. Nestled inside are chunks of fish and hunks of cabbage. Floating on the top are a sprinkle of green onion and a nice coating of spices that include hot pepper flakes and ground szechuan peppercorns.

The combination is a spicy, tongue numbing and intense. We never took home the left over broth and the waitress would look at us like we were crazy. Then one night we said sure, wrap it up. We added some fish to it the next night and heated it up. Oh, mama. No wonder they thought we were crazy. This stuff heats up so well that it's a sin not to take the left overs home. Biscuit Rating: 5 biscuits

Which is what we did last night. We wrapped up the left over H20 broth, the last few string beans and waddled out the door. Tomorrow night we will add some tofu to the broth, cook up some rice and feast again.

Over all biscuit rating: 4 biscuits.
Our tab for the evening which included the six dishes above (and one beer for Biscuit Boy): $42. Amazing, huh?

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Blogger Rosa said...

Sniffle, sniffle. Brings back memories of all the good food up there. Green with envy here. Have you (probably have) tried Mark's Duck House--for noodle soup--or Fortune--for dim sum, both in Seven Corners? YUM. Also, the crab bombs at Jerry's Seafood in Seabrook, MD? (Get directions) Let me know if you post for any of these so I can salvitate over each pic. Cheers to good food and a good life!

9:41 PM  
Blogger Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

We've been to Mark's many times for the Dim Sum and dinner. We'll have to remember to try the soup next time. Been to fortune once for dim sum.

Jerry's seafood in MD for crab bombs....hmm sounds interesting. We'll have to try it sometime.

And I see from your info that you're from Nashville. Lived there for 8 years. Loved it. It's changed alot since I was there. I moved just before the football stadium was built.

9:46 PM  

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