Jump to content

Joe's Noodle House, Rockville - From The Holy Mountain of Szechuan


Recommended Posts

I did a quick search and found no listing for what I consider one of the more important restaurants in DC. Not since the glory days of Henry's Hunan and Brandy Ho's both in San Francisco have I found a restaurant that can have such a profound effect on me for days after eating there. I am not talking about any effects of food poisoning or any of that namby pamby stuff, but real fire from the extreme use of chilies and Sichuan peppercorns.

Joe's, Joe's Noodle House, serves pretty down to earth and homespun Sezchuan cooking. Owner Audrey is there during the day. If you order one of the dishes with two chilies and a star, she will ask you if you want it "toned down". No matter what you say, it will be toned down for the first few trips if you don't answer back in Chinese. But even then, the heat will be on. I m actually at the stage where Audrey will comment that she can't eat food as hot as I like it.

Joe's has far more than noodles but they are a great first introduction. There is a large selection of noodles and a few dumplings. I really like the unusual rice noodles in red sauce. No discernable flavor to the noodle itself, just a jelly like freshness that offsets the heat of the sauce. I also love the wonton or dumpling soup, with or without needles. To go with the noodles, I always have a plate or three of "cold dishes" such as pickled cabbage, sweet and sour cabbage, pickled cukes, stuffed bean curd etc. This is the same territory staked out by A & J. I like both places, with the style being more earthy and rustic at Joe's and much more restrained and slick at A & J.

But A&J is not known for having a large traditional menu as Joe's has. Some of my fiery favorites on the large menu include the Spicy and Tasty Tofu (With or without pork)- I had with for lunch today!, three pepper chicken and dry and spicy beef. The greens with garlic are just that, great simple straightforward greens with loads of garlic. The selection is huge and I have probably only worked my way through a third of the menu. Rabbit, home made bacon, pork belly, pork with garlic chives and pressed bean curd, tripe with spicy sauce are all available.

If there is enough interest, we can have a DR.com dinner there. I would be happy to arrange for it but no wimps allowed for my menu. It will be full of the fiery stuff!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be very much up for a dinner at Joe's despite it being at the other end of the universe from my house.

As for comparing it with A&J, they are very different places--A&J is a very "northern" style place, serving primarily the sorts of small dishes you can find anywhere in Beijing or Taipei (it's a Taiwan-based chain, though they have branches in Beijing now), while Joe's is a Sichuan place (its Chinese name, E'mei xiao guan comes from the holy mountain of Sichuan).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Inspired by Dean, I made my first ever lunch time trek to Joe's.

Niiiiiiicccceeeee!

I had the three pepper chicken and a cucumber salad. Don't know if it was Audrey, but the woman who took my order warned me that the chicken (meriting one chile and a star) was "very spicy". I assured her that that was fine by me, but I could tell that she had misgivings about allowing me to have the dish.

The chicken was beautifully crispy and among the peppers were some small fried ones (about halfway between a Thai Bird and a Jalapeno) that were almost caramel in flavor. The cucumber salad had a little red pepper powder in it, but along with the sweet dressing was an excellent choice for cooling down the mouth.

Heat level was a few beads of sweat, but nothing major. Then again, I love Thai and fiery Tex-Mex food.

Thanks for reminding me this place existed Dean.

PS - the portions were very large.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Living in Bethesda good Chinese food is very hard to find. Joes is one of three places that I still go to in the Beth/Rockville area. Some of my favorites are shreded radish w/ hot sauce, Fish Filet over Vegetables Szechuan Style, Baby Conch w/ Basil (a milder dish) & triple pepper chicken dry saute. Anyone have any other favorites that are worth mentioning?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rockville is not always convenient to Mrs. TJ and I, but we do make the pilgrimage to Joes several times a year nonetheless since the food is so damn good. But I agree, the portions are huge. So order accordingly, or be prepared to take it home with you and eat it for a few days. ;-p

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We go up to Joe's about twice a month. It's a trek from South Alexandria, but the H20 Fish Filet over Vegetable Szechuan Style (H20) is worth it. Take the broth home with you, then the next night heat it up and put some tofu in and make more rice. Heaven.

Other Favorites: Appetizers include Salty Crispy Squid. Wontons with Red Hot Sauce. Cold String Bean with Ginger Sauce. Szechuan Beef Jerky. Tender Bamboo Shoot Salad. Shredded pork with hot pepper and pressed bean curd.

Main dishes: Fish Filet with Pine Nuts. Yu-shiang pork home style. Steamed whole fish either szechuan style or with ginger and scallions. Stir-fried rice cakes with pork and vegetables. And of course, Bean Curd Szechuan Style aka Ma-Po Tofu.

For lunch there's not much better than a bowl of the beef noodle soup szechuan style and a scallion pancake. I go back and forth deciding whether I like this better here or at A&J in Annandale. I'm closer to Annandale, so I usually get it there, but it's nearly as good at Joe's, and sometimes I think it's better there.

One dish I would not get is the Sesame Chicken. Basically fried chicken chunks in ketchup with sesame seeds. Not my idea of a good time, but it might be someone elses.

(I'll be editing this later. As soon as I show it to my wife, she'll say why didn't you mention dish X ? And she'll be right :P )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We actually did a group lunch here with a crowd from one of those other boards. Very successful outing, and I remember the total coming to well under $20/person.

A couple of lessons learned from that gathering:

1. Don't get too large a group. The restaurant is really, really, small.

2. Go off-hours. There's no way that they can accomodate a large group at mealtime. Mid-afternoon on a weekend worked just fine.

3. Call ahead, and warn them we have a large group coming.

4. Order a bunch of food as soon as the first few people get there, and then order more as you go. Otherwise the food comes too quickly.

And count me in!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brought in dinner from Joes last night. Had the string beans in ginger sauce and spicy and tasty tofu w/ pork. When I called the woman asked if I wanted my tofu toned down a bit and I said no. My g/f had egg drop soup and steamed chicken and broccoli since she is so adventurous.

The tofu was definitely a little sweat inducing but nothing that I couldn't handle. I guess Dean is right in that they will still tone it down no matter what you say until they get to know you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tofu with pork for lunch. I've always hated tofu, but this shows how it should be done.

I must have made an impression the first time I went in, I wasn't even asked if I wanted it "toned down".

"You are an exciting and inspiring person"

Daily Numbers -- 6 5 4

Lotto 6 #'s - 45 37 2 4 34 23

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So far...

PandaHugga

Heather

Mrs. B

Alan 7147

John B

Stephen B

Daniel K

Dean and Kay

I spoke with Audrey today, she has been out of town and she is back now and going to work up a menu for a banquet style meal. I am shooting for a Tuesday or Wednesday night in Spetember. Let me know how many you will be. I bet the price will be in the $30 a person range. We will not go hungry!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We'd love to come...but I work in Arlington, and getting to Rockville on the Metro on a Tuesday/Wednesday would be...unfun. HOWEVER, I don't work in the office on Mondays (hooray!) -- any chance of having it on a Monday in September?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spoke with Audrey today, she has been out of town and she is back now and going to work up a menu for a banquet style meal.  I am shooting for a Tuesday or Wednesday night in Spetember.  Let me know how many you will be. I bet the price will be in the $30 a person range.  We will not go hungry!

Sounds great. Either night is fine with me as long as it's after 6pm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While my friend John and I were lunching at Joe's Noodle House (in Rockville) this afternoon, propietor Audrey came by our table and told us that Joe's had been selected as one of the 100 best restaurants in the United States by the Chinese Restaurant Association of America.

The banquet will take place and the awards will be formally announced in Los Angeles next month. She did not know if any other DC-area places had been so honored.

Audrey said that she has two main chefs, both Szechuanese, who have been with her for years. Each has one day off per week, so most of the time they're both on.

It will be interesting to see if China Star, TemptAsian, Mark's Duck House, etc., make the list, and particularly interesting to find out the criteria on which the prizes were based.

As a JNH regular, I am delighted for Audrey, and for the restaurant.

Edited by StephenB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found the list of candidates for the 2005 Top 100 Chinese Restaurants awards. The website says that the winners will be announced at a banquet on Oct. 26 in Los Angeles. Maybe the winners have been notified so that they can attend if they wish.

Here's the candidates' list: Top 100 Candidates

I see Joe's Noodle House listed, but not too many other area restaurants. They are alphabetical by state.

ScotteeM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found the list of candidates for the 2005 Top 100 Chinese Restaurants awards.  The website says that the winners will be announced at a banquet on Oct. 26 in Los Angeles.  Maybe the winners have been notified so that they can attend if they wish.

Here's the candidates' list: Top 100 Candidates

I see Joe's Noodle House listed, but not too many other area restaurants.  They are alphabetical by state.

ScotteeM

I've seen this list before. Based on a look-through, I doubt seriously the food quality is an important criterion to be placed on it. Among other things, there are too many buffets and other such things, including in this area, to suggest much credibility. I suspect this is one of those "industry association" deals where who you know counts most in determininng whether your place is listed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen this list before.  Based on a look-through, I doubt seriously the food quality is an important criterion to be placed on it.  Among other things, there are too many buffets and other such things, including in this area, to suggest much credibility.  I suspect this is one of those "industry association" deals where who you know counts most in determininng whether your place is listed

I took a look too and noticed that Cafe Zen in Baltimore was on the list last year. It is gag inducing. This year Chinatown Cafe is on the list and it is not horrible, much better than Cafe Zen, but I don't think it is great by any stretch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would really surprise me if Audrey turned out to be a schmoozer and finagler.  She's hardly the type.

I agree with you about Audrey and JNH deserving to be on a "best list." But I still think that this particular list has no relationship (other than a coincidental one) with the quality of the food provided by the listees. Put another way, unless somebody proves me wrong, I wouldn't give it much weight in choosing where to eat Chinese food in City X.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<burp>

A nice day for a bowl of hot and sour soup.

</burp>

Seriously though, for the princely sum of $5.20 I got a coffee mug sized bowl of soup and a gigantic portion of szechuan style chicken and fried rice. It's really enough for 2 for lunch.

PS -- fortune cookie -- "Have a beautiful day"

PPS -- I wonder if Senator Gregg got his powerball numbers off of a fortune cookie message.

PPPS -- must now loosen belt. AAAHHHHH! That's better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FOr $20.00 I got a beer, surprisingly good kim chee (very earthy and as well fermented as a year old dill from the pickle guys on Essex street in NYC), pickled cucumbers and a plate of truly spicy dry fried beef. I was reminded of it several times later tha day and the next morning but thats a small price to pay for the endorphin high!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today proved that Szechuan Beef Noodle Soup, with an order of Scallion Pancakes to temper the heat, is still a GREAT great lunch.

Indeed it did.

Thanks for introducing me to those pancakes.

Edited by JPW
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stopped in for a quick bite with mixed results. (Note I did study this thread but tend to want things milder than must folks here.) The salty squid is great. But then I'm a squid slut.

The duck with basil was less appealing and cold--no warning on the menu that it was cold.

The fried gluten with mushrooms was very nice but too much food for the flavor and texture. Just a few bites would have been fine.

I'd go back when next in the area and explore a few more options.

Jennifer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stopped in for a quick bite with mixed results.  (Note I did study this thread but tend to want things milder than must folks here.)  The salty squid is great.  But then I'm a squid slut.

The duck with basil was less appealing and cold--no warning on the menu that it was cold. 

The fried gluten with mushrooms was very nice but too much food for the flavor and texture.  Just a few bites would have been fine.

I'd go back when next in the area and explore a few more options.

Jennifer

All of the duck that I see on the menu has the little star outline for served cold, maybe you just missed it.

F09 Shredded pork with hot pepper was lunch today. Also has what I think were bamboo shoots. Very good.

Today's fortune -- "You have at your command the wisdom of ages".

They obviously gave me the wrong one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today's fortune -- "You have at your command the wisdom of ages".

They obviously gave me the wrong one.

You had the wisdom to have lunch at Joe's, so the fortune was accurate.

Wasn't there some talk a few months back about organizing a DR expedition to Joe's?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also had mixed results on my trip to Joe's. Had H-20 after hearing all the hype on the board. It wasn't that spicy. Nowhere near as spicy as China Star now Temptasian's chef makes it. The sauce was also too thick with cornstarch. Not the traditional preparation. The other dishes I had were good. Eggplant with basil and chicken with marinated vegetables. I'd definitely go back to try other dishes there though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also had mixed results on my trip to Joe's. Had H-20 after hearing all the hype on the board. It wasn't that spicy. Nowhere near as spicy as China Star now Temptasian's chef makes it. The sauce was also too thick with cornstarch. Not the traditional preparation. The other dishes I had were good. Eggplant with basil and chicken with marinated vegetables. I'd definitely go back to try other dishes there though.

Sometimes I think they tone it down if they don't know you. That's not how I'd do things, but I think that it's done in the spirit that they want you to like the food, and not be overcome by incendiary spicing.

I've been going there for a few years now, and they don't hold back on me anymore, or on my friends who come with me. I will agree that TemptAsian's version is somewhat hotter.

[As an aside on the cornstarch issue, when I tried to make it at home with beef, according to the Fuchsia Dunlop cookbook, the sauce came out almost the same, from the cornstarch coating on the beef slices. When I did it with the fish, since there wasn't as much surface area for the cornstarch to stick to, the sauce didn't thicken up as much.]

[edited for typo]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A small group of 6 showed up at Joe's Noodle House last night for a meal: Mr. & Mrs. P, Lydia R, Daniel K, Kay & I. While I threw out that this was not to be a heat extravaganza (Audrey has never gotten me the "Banquet" style meal menu), it would up having a lot of heat.

Special- Bacon with leeks- wonderfully smoky and crispy pieces of pork belly with green chilies and leek greens. Quite good!

A-24 Chopped pork with chopped pickled long bean- an odd looking dish that was my favorite. Not spicy at all but addictive. Earthy, ugly, tasty. No sauce, just the ingredients stir fried together in a crumble.

t-20 Three pepper chicken- not too hot but with a good kick of szechuan peppercorn. Chicken cooked fairly well with green peppers, red peppers, red pepper flakes and Szechuan peppercorn with a little bit o sauce at the bottom of the plate.

f-32 Spicy and Tasty Tofu with pork- deep fried tofu rectangular solids with chopped pork and lots of Szechuan peppercorn again without a lot of sauce. Smokey and intense, this was another favorite.

A-47 Szechwan style Rabbit in Szechwan Garlic Sauce- boney bits of bunny, coated in a red paste of szechuan peppercorns, red chile flakes & garlic. Very dank/earthy and fiercely hot

W-01 Won Ton in red sauce- vinegar spiked sauce over very tender wontons.

F-16 Yu Shiang Eggplant- very rich eggplant in a brown sauce spiked with a bit of vinegar and ginger.

A-07 Thin Bean Curd Roll with shitake mushrooms never showed up!

R-05 Cold Mung Bean Jelly with hot sauce was good but toned down. Soft squishy noodles in the same red sauce on the won tons.

Some noodle dish with meat and sauce. I wanted Bon Bon Chicken which is number N-13 cold noodle with shredded chicken. This noodle dish was not a favorite of mine.

Calamari with leek stems a very gingery stir fry of squid. Mild and tasty.

All this, 3 beers and a sprite for $92 including tip. Then a quick trip to Sam's Cafe for gelato.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stopped by for a quick dinner on Sunday. We had the following:

Pasta With Hot Meat Sauce (N11). I know Joe's is not known for good noodles but given that we were out for my grandmother's birthday, it was more or less obligatory (for those who don't know, a Chinese superstition states that long noodles on birthday = long life). Flavor was nothing special, but the dish definitely delivered as promised on the spicy/numb combo.

Salty and Crispy Squid (A28). After several years, this is still my favorite dish here. The breading was not as crispy as usual, but the squid tasted great as always.

Spicy and Tasty Cold Chicken (A46). The literal translation of the dish is actually "Spicy and Strange-Tasting Chicken" -- we all loved it. Once again, it was packed with the spicy/numb combo. I could not feel my tongue for several minutes.

Sliced Pork and Taro Root in Tofu Cheese Sauce (F13). Another one of my usual favorites. My only complaint is that the portion is kinda small. A little fatty pork goes a long way though. After years of not liking taro, I'm enjoying it again. The sauce is great with rice, and I don't even like rice.

I really need to eat here more than once a year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The $20 Tuesday crowd met here tonight. Seven of us dined - total after tax and tip (but not including drinks) was $15/person. A steal, as always.

Here was the menu, roughly in the order received. Note that ( means spicy, (( means extra spicy, and * adds Szechuan peppercorns (numbing). Check out the rating for the last 2 dishes...

A41 Fried Baby Smelt & Peanuts

An old favorite. The salty peanuts go well with the baby fried fish.

A08 Cucumber Salad

This was ok. I've generally seen this dish served at least a little spicy, but here it was just lightly picked cucumber spears.

W01 ( Wonton w/Red Hot Sauce (3 orders!)

We got 2 bowls to start, and had to order another. Everyone loves these.

E19 Smoked Duck

A great dish. Soothing after eating all of the spicy foods!

F26 Tender Shrimp Sauteed w/Edamame Beans

Not my favorite dish. Love the sauce, love the beans, but the shrimp were not fresh.

A34 Fried Fancy Bread

OK, it's fried bread.

N11 (* Pasta w/Hot Meat Sauce

Simple, but the numbing peppercorns really wake you up. We order this almost every trip to Joe's.

F22 ( Yu-Shiang Pork-Home Style

I'd never had this here, and it's a revelation. Forget that crap you've had called Yu-Shiang in other Chinese restaurants. There was an incredible depth of flavor to this spicy dish.

A12 Shredded Bean Curd Salad

I liked this a lot. Basically bean curd noodles. Another good cooling dish for post-peppercorn consumption.

A15 Seasoned Shredded Pork Ear

Several at the table were put off by the chewy gelatinous texture, but I did like this. Again, another dish that I've usually seen served spicy that here was plain.

Sauteed Greens w/Garlic

Basic, but fresh, tasty, and we needed something green, even though Mom wasn't there.

H20 ((* Fish Fillet Over Vegetable-Szechuan Style

This is the infamous H20. I can usually only get a few bites of this down, but it seemed less incendiary tonight, even though I answered "no" when she asked if we wanted this toned down.

H08 ((* Szechuan Spicy & Dry Beef Saute

The dish that Dean proposed from his lunch today. This is the numbing spice that I remember - it seems to stick better to the beef than it does the fish. Wow, is this hot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The $20 Tuesday crowd met here tonight. Seven of us dined - total after tax and tip (but not including drinks) was $15/person. A steal, as always.

Here was the menu, roughly in the order received. Note that ( means spicy, (( means extra spicy, and * adds Szechuan peppercorns (numbing). Check out the rating for the last 2 dishes...

A41 Fried Baby Smelt & Peanuts

An old favorite. The salty peanuts go well with the baby fried fish.

A08 Cucumber Salad

This was ok. I've generally seen this dish served at least a little spicy, but here it was just lightly picked cucumber spears.

W01 ( Wonton w/Red Hot Sauce (3 orders!)

We got 2 bowls to start, and had to order another. Everyone loves these.

E19 Smoked Duck

A great dish. Soothing after eating all of the spicy foods!

F26 Tender Shrimp Sauteed w/Edamame Beans

Not my favorite dish. Love the sauce, love the beans, but the shrimp were not fresh.

A34 Fried Fancy Bread

OK, it's fried bread.

N11 (* Pasta w/Hot Meat Sauce

Simple, but the numbing peppercorns really wake you up. We order this almost every trip to Joe's.

F22 ( Yu-Shiang Pork-Home Style

I'd never had this here, and it's a revelation. Forget that crap you've had called Yu-Shiang in other Chinese restaurants. There was an incredible depth of flavor to this spicy dish.

A12 Shredded Bean Curd Salad

I liked this a lot. Basically bean curd noodles. Another good cooling dish for post-peppercorn consumption.

A15 Seasoned Shredded Pork Ear

Several at the table were put off by the chewy gelatinous texture, but I did like this. Again, another dish that I've usually seen served spicy that here was plain.

Sauteed Greens w/Garlic

Basic, but fresh, tasty, and we needed something green, even though Mom wasn't there.

H20 ((* Fish Fillet Over Vegetable-Szechuan Style

This is the infamous H20. I can usually only get a few bites of this down, but it seemed less incendiary tonight, even though I answered "no" when she asked if we wanted this toned down.

H08 ((* Szechuan Spicy & Dry Beef Saute

The dish that Dean proposed from his lunch today. This is the numbing spice that I remember - it seems to stick better to the beef than it does the fish. Wow, is this hot.

What a great (under) $20 tuesday last nite was - joe's was so tasty, i'm just sorry i don't live closer. even though the fire in my belly woke me up last nite at 3am, it was all worth it, and i am seriously craving some more of that numbingly spicy dry sauteed beef....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought it was juniper berries that do the mouth numbing, not the peppercorns. And about that meat and noodle dish, were they dan dan noodles?
Nope, similar to Jajae Minh. Almost spaghettini noodles with highly spiced ground beef and chili oil in the bottom.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

F22 ( Yu-Shiang Pork-Home Style

I'd never had this here, and it's a revelation. Forget that crap you've had called Yu-Shiang in other Chinese restaurants. There was an incredible depth of flavor to this spicy dish.

Was inspired to have this for lunch yesterday and was reminded of how much I like it. A nice balance of spicy-hot and sweet with a great earthy tone underpining it all.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just had a bad service experience here that beggars all explanation. Kay and I went in to ahve lunch. We ordered. I gave the lady (not Audrey) a $100 to pay. The corner of the bill was ever so slightly torn/scuffed. She started to give us our change but then stopped and said that there was something wrong with the bill. Did we ahve another?

aTHis stopped us in our tracks as the scuff was slo slight that it was almost non existant and clearly there was nothig wrong with the bill. She took out the counterfit pen and checked the bill and it was fine. She then got very huffy with us. At first I thought she weas joking and I pointed out that the tear was tiny. She refused to make change so I asked her if she really was going to not take my money being a good customer who comes in so often. She clearly knows me by sight and knows that I like my food excruciatingly hot and knows all my favorite dishes and comments when I don't order one of them on usual visits. I am no stranger to her and this was now in the twilight zone.

Again, now losing my cool, I said you are really going to not take this bill. No answer. Again I pointed out I am a regular customer and what was up. Again a challenge about the bill in an angry tone. I took the bill and walked out, very upset.

At this point, all I can do is to go to Audrey and hope she can resolve this. I have been eating in very ethnic Chinese restaurants for over 20 years, many where I am the only Westerner in the place. I cultivate my relationships in these restaurants so as to maximize my knowlege of the culture and to be turned on to the lesser known dishes etc. Based on how I am usually treated at Joe's, I think of myself as one of their better customers (I average a weekly visit). Today I was treated as garbage, or a suspected criminal, or suspected bunco artist. I am still in shock.

The upshot, we now have been to Bob Shabu Shabu, and we already love Lighthouse Tofu and Joe's will now have to compete with these other spots for my dollars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just had a bad service experience here that beggars all explanation. Kay and I went in to ahve lunch. We ordered. I gave the lady (not Audrey) a $100 to pay. The corner of the bill was ever so slightly torn/scuffed. She started to give us our change but then stopped and said that there was something wrong with the bill. Did we ahve another?

aTHis stopped us in our tracks as the scuff was slo slight that it was almost non existant and clearly there was nothig wrong with the bill. She took out the counterfit pen and checked the bill and it was fine. She then got very huffy with us. At first I thought she weas joking and I pointed out that the tear was tiny. She refused to make change so I asked her if she really was going to not take my money being a good customer who comes in so often. She clearly knows me by sight and knows that I like my food excruciatingly hot and knows all my favorite dishes and comments when I don't order one of them on usual visits. I am no stranger to her and this was now in the twilight zone.

Again, now losing my cool, I said you are really going to not take this bill. No answer. Again I pointed out I am a regular customer and what was up. Again a challenge about the bill in an angry tone. I took the bill and walked out, very upset.

At this point, all I can do is to go to Audrey and hope she can resolve this. I have been eating in very ethnic Chinese restaurants for over 20 years, many where I am the only Westerner in the place. I cultivate my relationships in these restaurants so as to maximize my knowlege of the culture and to be turned on to the lesser known dishes etc. Based on how I am usually treated at Joe's, I think of myself as one of their better customers (I average a weekly visit). Today I was treated as garbage, or a suspected criminal, or suspected bunco artist. I am still in shock.

The upshot, we now have been to Bob Shabu Shabu, and we already love Lighthouse Tofu and Joe's will now have to compete with these other spots for my dollars.

Could you please finish the story and tell us how Audrey handled it? I have always found her to be exceptionally pleasant and welcoming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you please finish the story and tell us how Audrey handled it? I have always found her to be exceptionally pleasant and welcoming.

I spoke with Audrey today. At first she was defending her employee but that was until she heard that the employee tested the bill with the couterfit detector pen. This employee had been burned with a counterfit bill in the recent past and thought there was something suspicious with my bill (I guess it was the picture of Don Rocks on it!). She then said that the employee should have just let us eat and pay the next time which is EXACTLY what should ahve happened (or she should have taken he bill and if it turned out to be a problem, then we would obviously made good on it).

Audrey is spending her nights at the restaurant doing some renovations and then coming back to work the next day at noon, so she was alittle out of it, but when she heard the full circumstances she could not have been more understanding. She tried to drag me physically into the restaurnat to buy me lunch, but I had already eaten. But I will be back to Joe's. I am glad she resolved it because I would hate to have any less excuse to go to Joes and, as my mother would have said it, "Burn my kishka's out!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Le Moulin de Rocks aujourdhui

I wonder how much Joe's Noodle House is suffering from the loss of this talented cook

Judging from today's lunch, a fair amount.

Joe's is still good, but a far cry from it's past glories.

No heat at all to cuke salad.
The Tander (sic) Bamboo Shoot Salad was very good.
The Yu-Shiang pork was still a nice mix of flavors but they were decidedly muddied, not the distinct taste impressions of before.
Spicy fried tofu with pork was well cooked, but completely dry.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...