A&J Restaurant

★★★☆☆
  • 1319 Rockville Pike

    Rockville, MD 20852

    Map & Directions
  • 301-251-7878

About A&J Restaurant

Categories
Hours
Mon - Fri, 11:30am - 9pm; Sat - Sun, 10am - 9pm

Food

Food
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A very small (maybe 30 tables) place that serves authentic asian food, something that is hard to get in the US. Yup, no General Tso's Chicken here. Instead you get a brown piece of paper with some Engrish and Chinese characters and no pictures. Unfortunately this menu means that ordering at A and J is basically a crapshoot unless you are fluent in Chinese. Beef Slice Soup? Herbal Plum Drink? Steamed Bean Bun? Your best bet is to order things off other people's tables.
Speaking of ordering, don't expect the staff to be more helpful than the one at your local McDonalds. Questions about food or menu are met with incredulity and more Engrish. Just order your food and leave me alone, the waiters seem to want to say.
There are two reasons for going to A and J. One is the food. It is uniformly delicious without being ordinary like something you'd get at Panda Express. Yes, they manage to make their dishes both exotic and familiar in a way that has people coming back year after year. The other reason is price. After about 6 visits, I've found that the average bill is around $7 a person ($10 if you want to pig out). This is for an appetizer, main course, and dessert. A and J is not a place I would take a date, but it beats other "casual dining" places by far.

1
★★★☆☆

A very small (maybe 30 tables) place that serves authentic asian food, something that is hard to get in the US. Yup, no General Tso's Chicken here. Instead you get a brown piece of paper with some Engrish and Chinese characters and no pictures. Unfortunately this menu means that ordering at A and J is basically a crapshoot unless you are fluent in Chinese. Beef Slice Soup? Herbal Plum Drink? Steamed Bean Bun? Your best bet is to order things off other people's tables.
Speaking of ordering, don't expect the staff to be more helpful than the one at your local McDonalds. Questions about food or menu are met with incredulity and more Engrish. Just order your food and leave me alone, the waiters seem to want to say.
There are two reasons for going to A and J. One is the food. It is uniformly delicious without being ordinary like something you'd get at Panda Express. Yes, they manage to make their dishes both exotic and familiar in a way that has people coming back year after year. The other reason is price. After about 6 visits, I've found that the average bill is around $7 a person ($10 if you want to pig out). This is for an appetizer, main course, and dessert. A and J is not a place I would take a date, but it beats other "casual dining" places by far.

Pros: Cheap! Cheaper than fast food, even

Cons: Nearly everything else

.

The first time I went to A&J's, friends were raving about the handmade noodles. It was alright. The second time, friends were talking about the authentic small side dishes. It was so-so. I think it's more Taiwanese style foods which I'm not too familiar with. But I've gone back only a couple more times at the invitation of friends but I won't be suggesting it on my own. There never really is a crowd on evenings and weekends which makes it nice for friends and I to linger and chat over food. But don't plan on lingering here. Waitresses give you the evil eye if you stay too long. I find this to be true in many Chinese restaurants. They want to kick you out as soon as possible. I'm always watchful to see if there is a crowd, in which case we leave as soon as we're done so we don't hold up any tables. But if you can't stay and chat a little with friends at a restaurant, where can you go?

PROS:
CONS: Food is only so-so and not very welcoming place

1
★☆☆☆☆

The first time I went to A&J's, friends were raving about the handmade noodles. It was alright. The second time, friends were talking about the authentic small side dishes. It was so-so. I think it's more Taiwanese style foods which I'm not too familiar with. But I've gone back only a couple more times at the invitation of friends but I won't be suggesting it on my own. There never really is a crowd on evenings and weekends which makes it nice for friends and I to linger and chat over food. But don't plan on lingering here. Waitresses give you the evil eye if you stay too long. I find this to be true in many Chinese restaurants. They want to kick you out as soon as possible. I'm always watchful to see if there is a crowd, in which case we leave as soon as we're done so we don't hold up any tables. But if you can't stay and chat a little with friends at a restaurant, where can you go?

PROS:
CONS: Food is only so-so and not very welcoming place

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This restaurant is a chain restaurant and they have other ones in the DC Metro area. They serve authentic dishes from Northern China, which includes various noodle soup dishes, dumplings, buns, etc. The dishes come in small portions, and the prices very reasonable. The taste is above average and the staff is friendly. They only accept cash, though.

PROS: Great authentic Chinese dishes at great prices.
CONS: Accepts only cash.

4
★★★★☆

This restaurant is a chain restaurant and they have other ones in the DC Metro area. They serve authentic dishes from Northern China, which includes various noodle soup dishes, dumplings, buns, etc. The dishes come in small portions, and the prices very reasonable. The taste is above average and the staff is friendly. They only accept cash, though.

PROS: Great authentic Chinese dishes at great prices.
CONS: Accepts only cash.

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Editorial from

One of the very few northern-style dim sum restaurants in the area, A & J offers an extensive menu. If you know only Cantonese dim sum, some of the dishes may give you pause: beef tendon with garlic sauce, beef tripe soup, and bean curd…

 

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