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Elephant Jumps, Route 50 and Gallows Road in Merrifield - Thai in the Former Cities Bakery Space at Yorktowne Center

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A husband-and-wife place in Yorktowne Center (Gallows Rd & 50) that offers truly spicy Thai food that they will deliver within two miles. Most dishes are well above average for suburban Thai. Dishes can be made Mild, Medium, Hot, or Thai Hot. And Hot actually is hot. Highlights include the Elephant Jumps Salad - shredded apples, toasted coconut, shrimp, lime juice, and peppers-, the Charbroiled Marinated Pork appetizer, and Crispy Tilapia with Mango sauce. I can't comment on the service since I've only gotten carry out and delivery. If you're in the area it is definitely worth a try, probably sooner rather than later in case they start toning down the spice to suit a larger clientele.

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A husband-and-wife place in Yorktowne Center (Gallows Rd & 50) that offers truly spicy Thai food that they will deliver within two miles. Most dishes are well above average for suburban Thai. Dishes can be made Mild, Medium, Hot, or Thai Hot. And Hot actually is hot. Highlights include the Elephant Jumps Salad - shredded apples, toasted coconut, shrimp, lime juice, and peppers-, the Charbroiled Marinated Pork appetizer, and Crispy Tilapia with Mango sauce. I can't comment on the service since I've only gotten carry out and delivery. If you're in the area it is definitely worth a try, probably sooner rather than later in case they start toning down the spice to suit a larger clientele.

This place sounds good and thanks for the good tip but I did want to mention that at least in the DC area, "suburban Thai" is much better than "urban Thai."

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Can we do without this portion of the menu? Not sure why the kitchen is heading in this direction, but it seems perfectly dreadful....

East Meets West

BURRITO SATAY CHICKEN $7.95

grilled chicken, jasmine rice, lettuce, cucumber, tomato,

red onion with peanut sauce. side of small salad with peanut dressing.

side of small salad with peanut dressing.

BURRITO GREEN CURRY CHICKEN $7.95

green curry chicken in coconut milk, jasmine rice, mushroom,

eggplant. side of small salad with peanut dressing.

CROISSANT BASIL BEEF SANDWICH $7.95

croissant stuffed with stir fried basil, beef steak on lettuce, tomato,

american cheese. side of french fries.

CROISSANT GREEN CURRY SANDWICH $7.95

croissant stuffed with stir fried green curry chicken in

coconut milk on lettuce, tomoto. side of french fries.

CROISSANT SATAY CHICKEN SANDWICH $8.95

croissant stuffed with grilled chicken on lettuce, tomato,

red onion with peanut sauce. side of french fries.

SPAGHETTI GREEN CURRY CHICKEN $9.95

stir fried spaghetti, green curry, eggplant, mushroom, chicken.

DRUNKEN SPAGHETTI CHICKEN $9.95

stir fried spaghetti, brown sauce, basil, pepper, chili, onion, chicken.

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Can we do without this portion of the menu?

East Meets West

It was designed by the same person who named the restaurant (which sounds like William Perry trying to ice skate).

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It was designed by the same person who named the restaurant (which sounds like William Perry trying to ice skate).

Maybe it's a theme.

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Heat Seekers, if you're looking for maximum SHU (Scoville Heat Units), Elephant Jumps is the place for you. Tonight I ordered the Panang Beef (among three other things) and our kindly server (the co-owner, I believe) asked me how I wanted it.

"Hot."

"Thai hot?"

"No, one step below that."

I'm still in flames. This is that thin, vinegary, sweet-ish kind of heat that kicks in after about ten seconds, and cannot be alleviated by ice cubes; nothing dairy was within miles, so it's terminal.

My first impression is that Elephant Jumps is a better-than-average suburban Thai restaurant with friendly, caring mom-n-pop service - worth trying if you're near the Beltway and Route 50.

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. I asked my server if they could minimize the MSG, and she said she doesn't like it, and the only place it's found is in some of the sauces (some of which are store-bought) which cannot be changed.

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(which sounds like William Perry trying to ice skate).

I believe Walter Payton made the '85 Bears team learn to ballet dance, so um, it's possible....

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We got dinner here (delivery) a few nights ago. The food came quickly, which is a plus. Since it was our first time trying it, we ordered conservatively. Satay - meh. Tasted like one of those store-bought sauces, the chicken just OK. Charbroiled Marinated Pork was decent, nothing special. Spring rolls not bad. Pad Thai was perfectly acceptable, but again, nothing special. Drunken noodles continued the trend - OK, not great - but with some heat. I didn't exactly break out in a sweat, but my sinuses cleared a bit. More than I expected for something that wasn't marked with a chili pepper on the menu.

Perfectly respectable overall, but Crystal Thai remains our preferred Thai delivery option.

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Tom Sietsema's review today was about Elephant Jump. He gave them 2 stars. Was anyone on the board there today, and was it packed? I briefly thought about lunch there until my wife reminded me that it had just been reviewed and might be crazy busy.

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I've been here to order takeout a few times, ordered delivery and finally ate in the dining room proper last night. My usual takeout dish is the Chicken and Cashew in Taro Basket, which befuddled me at first but which provides a nice crunch. But nice big pieces of onion, red and green pepper, and of course the cashews and chillis. The thai fresh rolls are a bit of a disaster since they're cut up into small pieces and fall apart too easily, so if tempted, just ask them not to cut them :) Crispy Tilapia with Ginger Sauce the other night was pretty delicious, crispy (not greasy) and chockful of ginger. My friend got the Basil Fried Rice with chicken and he enjoyed it. I've often ordered from the co-owner, who's as nice as can be, and the service is pretty good in the restaurant, albeit a bit overattentive. So for me, it's a good neighborhood thai joint in a general Gallows Rd area where the offerings aren't always enticing for takeout (an illustrious Wendy's, Chipotle, NoodleHouse, the rather meh Jasmine Garden, you get the idea) and it's not bad as a date place either.

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Had dinner there last night. I'm not a fire-eater so I stayed with hot. The watercress salad featured crispy breading over the watercress and a spicy sauce that had a bit of a bite without overpowering the rest of the salad. My wife had the crispy scallops that were nicely done and tasted very fresh. Again the sauce was spicy without frying my taste buds (we share). The cashew chicken in Taro nest was a nice combo but, compared with the other dishes, wasn't quite as spicy as the other dishes. Next time I'll try it with a bit more heat. We finished up with a croissant pudding which I'd gotten on previous occasions. The croissant pudding (variation on a bread pudding) provides a nice cool end to the meal and has a lot of flavor. The service was excellent considering the place was packed while we were there. This is a small place (about a dozen tables) and is popular on weekends. I recommend getting reservations if you go on a weekend night. Take-out is another option as I saw a lot of people coming in and getting take-out while we were eating.

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We went there for dinner on Sunday for the first time and liked it very much. My papaya spicy salad was delicious. Everything was very fresh including tiny cherry tomatoes. I ordered the chicken cashew in taro nest with green and red sweet peppers, onions, and dried chilies. The portion was huge. +1 had slightly overdone Thai spring rolls and a very interesting mixed vegetables with fried tofu in brown sauce entree with lots of brocolli.

The service was friendly and professional, and the background music featured a soft jazz violin. The best way to get there is to head south on Gallows Road and make a left turn at the light just before the Rt 50 intersection.

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I've been here several times, and I've never really been impressed. The fried watercress salad is tasty but also very greasy. I had difficulty eating it with a fork and a spoon - hard to cut the clumps of fried watercress with either instrument. I resorted to using my fingers and found out just how greasy it was. The roti green curry chicken was made with sliced breast meat, served with some very buttery tasting roti. I'm not a fan of sliced chicken breast meat in curry - much prefer chunks of chicken. The Thai spicy seafood soup with basil was very good (not really spicy but quite sour). They took the care to add in the shrimps last so they're poached perfectly.

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We go there, or get take out, pretty regularly and find it to be one of the better Thai restaurants in VA. However, for some reason it's hard for VA Thai restaurants to compete with MD's Wheaton places.

Right now, we both really enjoy Kao Thai in Silver Spring actually more than Nava or Ruan Thai.

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We had a terrific dinner tonight at Elephant Jumps -- our first time, facilitated by my parents' generous offer to loan us a car while they are off traveling. Elephant Jumps doesn't look like much when you walk in, but the food, at least on our first try, earns accolades.

We started with the grilled shrimp salad and the dumplings. Shrimp salad was served uniquely, six shrimp served in individual soup spoons in a spicy broth of cilantro, red onion, chili, galangal, fish sauce, and x-factors unknown. Sour, spicy, sharp, fantastic. I took to drinking the remaining broth from the soup spoons after I'd finished the shrimp themselves. The dumplings were well made and tasty but the shrimp was decidedly better.


For entrees my wife had the aroma chicken with coconut rice and I had the fried tilapia with mango sauce. The chicken was presented as thin boneless slices of chicken in a light curry sauce, served with a sweet chili sauce on the side and a mound of coconut rice. The wife literally devoured this plate, so I only had a few bites, but I was impressed by the general balance of the plate, particularly the addition of the coconut rice. My tilapia was not what I expected but I'm not going to complain. The fish, naked, was some of the best batter-fried fish you may find this side of Whitby (or maybe the Queen Vic). The "mango sauce" was less a sauce and more a spicy salad of green mango, cilantro, and chilis, and poured over the fish made a surprising and terrific combinatiom -- cold crunch and tang from the salad mixed with the fish fried in a warm, crisp batter, fat and vinegar and fish and crunch, cold and warm and (chili) hot.

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I recently had the pleasure of eating here with Tim Carman. You can read about it here. The special red curry with pickled bamboo shoots was my favorite. There is some good cooking here. I'll be back to try the Kanom Jeen Nam Ya. 

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I recently had the pleasure of eating here with Tim Carman. You can read about it here. The special red curry with pickled bamboo shoots was my favorite. There is some good cooking here. I'll be back to try the Kanom Jeen Nam Ya. 

Congratulations, Eric - you were too good to keep a secret for much longer. :)

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Given a project I have going on at work, I've been going to the Grainger over near there regularly (a weird visit for an IT guy, but man, their customer service is *fantastic*). I think I know where I'm going to lunch tomorrow before I pick up my slip-on PVC connector!

(IT'S FOR THE ARMY DON'T HASSLE ME)

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Nice to see Elephant Jumps hasn't jumped the shark in the few years after they opened. They were all the rage then but I haven't heard anything about them until Carman's article last week. I'm glad they're keeping up the standards! I've only been once as a I have an unnatural hatred for that parking lot.

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Had a great meal here tonight. Started off with a starter on their "specials" board yum hua plee which was a delicious banana blossom salad that included shrimp, chicken, lots of onion, in a sort of sweet and sour sauce.

I followed that with kanom jeen nam ya described on their menu as "spicy tuna curry over thai style noodle, some small fish balls, some greens". Sort of a mix-your-own curry using rice noodles, mung bean sprouts, some...pickles, and some other yumminess. You mix those with an amazing fish curry studded with some tuna balls...yum!

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I've only been once as a I have an unnatural hatred for that parking lot.

Ah, but that parking lot is so convenient for drivers waiting for someone curbside (which I've done about fifty times while Matt dashes into Dominion Deli for his breakfast sandwich). What's truly pathetic is that sometimes I'm so tired (this is at 6:30 AM) that I opt for him to bring me a cup of their insipid pale-brown liquid instead of me parking and walking into Starbucks to get something resembling coffee.

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Ah, but that parking lot is so convenient for drivers waiting for someone curbside (which I've done about fifty times while Matt dashes into Dominion Deli for his breakfast sandwich). What's truly pathetic is that sometimes I'm so tired (this is at 6:30 AM) that I opt for him to bring me a cup of their insipid pale-brown liquid instead of me parking and walking into Starbucks to get something resembling coffee.

Just wondering about that lot, has that "immediate right turn" after turning from Gallows Road always been there. The one that sort of forces people from gumming up the entrance.

I swear a few years ago I was in this strip mall and it wasn't like that.

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Just wondering about that lot, has that "immediate right turn" after turning from Gallows Road always been there. The one that sort of forces people from gumming up the entrance.

I swear a few years ago I was in this strip mall and it wasn't like that.

You're correct - they installed that "immediate right turn" maybe two years ago. (At 6:30 AM it makes almost no difference because the lot is empty, and after the "immediate right turn," you can make an "immediate left turn" and plow through the vacant spaces.)

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