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A&J, The Tang Family's Fine, Cash-Only, Taiwan-Based Chain in Rockville and Annandale

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Siena (the 2.5 year old) loves the you-tiao and scallion pancakes here. She even tried some 1,000 year old egg but made an accusatory face afterwards. She loves the edamame in the snow cabbage/veggies - she would love it to have more of them :)

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Had dinner with some friends the other night. I have no idea what they ordered but will take a stab at describing it and seeing if I can find it on the menu.

Cucumbers in chili oil was good, pretty standard.

Xia Long Bao I let sit too long on the table, but were good, could use a bit more broth, but were fine.

Dry Bean Curd, cilantro and peanut salad was ok, not my favorite of the bean curd dishes, but it was fine.

Bean Curd with thousand year egg was my least favorite dish, but I liked the texture, it was kind of like ricotta, I don't know if it had dairy in it or not, didn't seem to, which was cool.

There was a bean curd dish with mushrooms that had really thin pieces, I thought this was successful and had nice flavor from the mushrooms.

Thousand Layer Pancake which wasn't my favorite either.

Cold noodles with ham, bean sprouts, shredded egg and cucumber was quite tasty, an interesting combo of flavors and crunch. Hubby particularly liked this dish.

We also had a bowl of soup that wasn't distinguishable enough in any way for me to pick from the list which one it was, but I thought it was excellent, as well, it had tendon in it is all I know, the broth was really good.

And passionfruit bubble tea. There may have been some other things I missed. Overall it was really good, I would like to go back and try some other things. I think Hubby would like a less bean curd centric ordering, but we told them to order their favorites and it was a fun first visit, will definitely be back.

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We are testing two new menu items and I would love to get feedback from the good folks of Don Rockwell.  Neither is on the menu yet but the first we're thinking of calling a Peking Beef Roll.  The flavor profiles are similar to Peking Duck but with beef instead.  The next item is a spicy noodle dish, you can get it with or without sliced beef.  If you ask the waitresses for the new menu items they will know what you're talking about.  Thanks in advance for any feedback, positive or negative!

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We are testing two new menu items and I would love to get feedback from the good folks of Don Rockwell.  Neither is on the menu yet but the first we're thinking of calling a Peking Beef Roll.  The flavor profiles are similar to Peking Duck but with beef instead.  The next item is a spicy noodle dish, you can get it with or without sliced beef.  If you ask the waitresses for the new menu items they will know what you're talking about.  Thanks in advance for any feedback, positive or negative!

Is this at both locations?

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We are testing two new menu items and I would love to get feedback from the good folks of Don Rockwell.  Neither is on the menu yet but the first we're thinking of calling a Peking Beef Roll.  The flavor profiles are similar to Peking Duck but with beef instead.  The next item is a spicy noodle dish, you can get it with or without sliced beef.  If you ask the waitresses for the new menu items they will know what you're talking about.  Thanks in advance for any feedback, positive or negative!

Well, I can say in advance that (assuming this is a soft, cold shell), the Peking Beef Roll has an excellent flavor profile on paper. It sounds like these would be two really good items to get together.

Actually, a warm, crispy shell seems like it would work, too.

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We are testing two new menu items and I would love to get feedback from the good folks of Don Rockwell.  Neither is on the menu yet but the first we're thinking of calling a Peking Beef Roll.  The flavor profiles are similar to Peking Duck but with beef instead.  The next item is a spicy noodle dish, you can get it with or without sliced beef.  If you ask the waitresses for the new menu items they will know what you're talking about.  Thanks in advance for any feedback, positive or negative!

Are these cold or hot dishes?

Either way, can't wait to try them!

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Both dishes are hot. The roll/wrap is a little crispy on the outside. Also thicker and not soft like a traditional Peking duck pancake.

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Debbie, we look forward to sampling and providing feedback on Sunday unless we can swing something earlier.  When are you opening a branch in Reston/Herndon?  

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Both dishes are hot. The roll/wrap is a little crispy on the outside. Also thicker and not soft like a traditional Peking duck pancake.

Nice! I plan on stopping in first chance I get: Friday afternoon. Hopefully both are still available then.

I suppose one question: for the noodle dish, do you recommend with or without the beef?

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Thanks everyone! I prefer the new noodle dish with beef but please note even without the sliced beef, the sauce includes beef broth so it's not vegetarian.

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Tried them both at lunch today--$16 total (not sure of the price breakdown between them).  I enjoyed them both, and might order the "peking beef" again as part of a group meal; but neither stood out enough to make it a must-order item -- there are simply too many other things (most of them starch-based) on the A&J menu that I like better!

 

We are testing two new menu items and I would love to get feedback from the good folks of Don Rockwell.  Neither is on the menu yet but the first we're thinking of calling a Peking Beef Roll.  The flavor profiles are similar to Peking Duck but with beef instead.  The next item is a spicy noodle dish, you can get it with or without sliced beef.  If you ask the waitresses for the new menu items they will know what you're talking about.  Thanks in advance for any feedback, positive or negative!

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Thank you so much for your feedback, Marty. I will pass it along to my family.

Debbie:  I'm really not sure I would change anything, except possibly to add a bit more kick--more depth of flavor--to the spicy noodles.  And there's no reason at all not to put them on the menu--I'm really glad to see the experimentation, and I'll bet the Peking Beef will be a big seller.  I just suspect they won't be at the very top of my A&J List, that's all.

P.S.  For a point of reference with other Rockwellian reports to follow, I had mine at the Rockville location.

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I sent this report earlier to Debbie privately, referencing a dinner that I had at Rockville this evening. I'm the same boat as Marty - liked and would order both again, but none rise to "must order" status.

We liked both dishes.

The noodles were great, but we're not sure if it was supposed to be more like soup or more like just sauce. It was a bit thin and too much liquid to just be sauce, but not enough liquid if it was meant to be broth/soup.

The rolls were good, but the sweet sauce overwhelms the beef, and the scallions don't cut the sweetness enough. *Very* similar to a dish at Bob's Shanghai, but we (sorry!) prefer their version right now.

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My family sincerely appreciates all the response thus far. I consider myself lucky to be a part of this warm and supportive Don Rockwell community. Thanks for all you do, Don!

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Mostly agreed with DanielK, except I wouldn't fault the noodle dish in any way.  Yes, they were brothy but so what.  The thinly sliced beef was great.  The proportion of beef to other ingredients in the rolls needs to be adjusted.  I'd order either dish again, though.

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Thanks porcupine! Would you prefer more or less beef in the roll? What do you guys think we should name the noodle dish? Everything we've been thinking about ends up too close to spicy beef noodle and I worry people will confuse it with the noodle soup.

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Thanks porcupine! Would you prefer more or less beef in the roll? 

That's funny - not having seen it, I was wondering the same thing.

What do you guys think we should name the noodle dish? Everything we've been thinking about ends up too close to spicy beef noodle and I worry people will confuse it with the noodle soup.

"Spicy Beef Noodle" actually sounds pretty appetizing - maybe "Noodle with Spicy Beef?" It might be cumbersome to explain that it's not a soup - is there a way to organize your menu so that the placement would remove the ambiguity? I also like the singular "noodle" - it sounds TOEFL enough to lend an air of authenticity :) (I write in jest, but I also mean it). You could also serve the dish with one, big, long noodle so the joke would be on the nitpicking customer.

I'm actively craving A&J right now.

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"Spicy Beef Noodle" actually sounds pretty appetizing - maybe "Noodle with Spicy Beef?" It might be cumbersome to explain that it's not a soup - is there a way to organize your menu so that the placement would remove the ambiguity? I also like the singular "noodle" - it sounds TOEFL enough to lend an air of authenticity :) (I write in jest, but I also mean it). You could also serve the dish with one, big, long noodle so the joke would be on the nitpicking customer.

We loved this dish--the flavors were bright and the beef was a nice complement. For us, the spiciness came from the noodle, though, not the beef, so we would call it "Thin sliced beef with spicy noodle".

We also had the rolls, and found the proportions to be quite nice. For us this was another winner.

We had both of the dishes via takeout, and they were great.

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We tried both in Annandale this afternoon. For those who have yet to order, 1 order of the Peking beef roll would have been enough for our party of 5. My 15 year-old is delighted to have the leftovers from our double order for her lunchbox. We really liked the Peking beef roll. The addition of cilantro to the preparation is what made it shine for us. We thought the amount of beef in the roll was fine. My in laws liked this dish the best of everything we tried.

We liked the noodle side but felt as if it needed a little something extra. We bandied around the ideas of more scallion or some shezuan peppercorns. Being totally ignorant of the region's cuisine, we can't tell whether those would be a major deviation from the intention of the dish. We went for the thin noodles at our server's suggestion.

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Thanks porcupine! Would you prefer more or less beef in the roll? What do you guys think we should name the noodle dish? Everything we've been thinking about ends up too close to spicy beef noodle and I worry people will confuse it with the noodle soup.

I was being vague deliberately   :)  but since you ask - the proportion of beef to other things should be higher.  But I'd prefer a smaller portion, so take out about a third of the other stuff and keep the amount of beef the same.

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CASH ONLY!

My wife and I continued our tour of restaurants near high school field hockey games with a stop here on Tuesday. First things first: They only take cash! No credit cards, no debit cards, no checks. Cash only!

We mostly followed the advice of posters upthread, and like a lot of you, we waaaaay over ordered. Our waitress tried to warn us, but we didn't listen.

The actual menu seems much larger than the online version, but that one is broken up in a funny way so it's hard to compare the two on the fly.

We started with the Cucumber Salad in Hot Garlic Sauce (5203). Very refreshing and satisfying for such a simple dish. The cukes seem too crunchy to be raw, but the couple of recipes I looked at online say they're just regular (unpickled) cucumbers. I'd get this dish every time. (Also very sad to have discovered it after my cucumber plants have died).

Next was Spicy Noodle with Sliced Beef (1206). We got the wide noodle on the recommendation of our server. She tried to get us to order the actual soup, but since we were splitting everything, we thought this would be easier. It was a good dish, but maybe a little bland. The little bit of broth on the bottom helped, but it could have used a little more flavor"¦"¦.of course, I've never had this dish before so I don't really know what I'm talking about! But I would have liked some more flavor. Next time, I'll get the soup instead.

As noted above the Pan Fried Pork Dumplings/Pot Stickers (4105) were about the size and shape of a cigar (maybe a little shorter and a little fatter) and there were 8 of them on the plate. That equals about 16 regular pot stickers (almost 3 orders) but these were only $7.25 for all 8! (Cash only) They were very good and I'd certainly order them again. We only ate a couple of them and our kids quickly devoured the rest of them at home.

The Thousand Layer Pancake (4109) looked better than it tasted. It was kind of bland and boring. I wouldn't get this again.

The Scallion Pancake (4104) was better and I'd probably give this another try.

The Pan Fried Beef Bun (4101) was the best of three and I'd definitely get this again. It was like a mini hamburger wrapped in dumpling wrapper. Juicy and tasty.

Next was the Steamed Pork Bun (4202) aka Chinese Soup Dumplings aka Xiao Long Bao. I love little dumpling-like things so I'd get this again, but I thought the meat could have used a little more flavor. It seemed a little bland to me, but like the noodle dish above, I'm no expert. Maybe this is the proper way they're supposed to taste?

Our final dish was the Peking Beef Wrap (4108). I wish it had a little more sauce in it, but it was still good, and I'd order it again.

We ended up taking at least half the food home with us and the bill before tip was $42!!! Great bargain, great value. But remember, it's CASH ONLY!

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But do they take credit cards?

Cash only!

(The only reason I mentioned it so much is it caught me by surprise.  I don't know if anyone else mentioned in this thread.  If they did, I didn't see it)

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