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A & J, Rockville [Restaurant]

We had some errands to run in Rockville, so we took the opportunity to visit A & J. We've eaten here several times, but this time we brought smillaraaq along too.

A & J, which has one location in Maryland and one in Virginia, is a northern Chinese dim sum restaurant with minimal decor and piles of awesome, inexpensive food. (Inexpensive for DC, anyway.) The selection of small plates is decidedly different from the Cantonese or Hong Kong-style dim sum restaurants that are typical in the DC area.

Today we started with shredded bean curd with carrot and celery salad (light and savory), pickled cabbage (very crunchy, strongly flavored, and not at all sweet), and bean curd roll with mushrooms. Then we had a massive bowl of dan dan mian (spicy peanut noodles, which smilla said tasted much more like the real thing than usual, and which used A & J's wonderful homemade noodles), moist and tasty pan-fried pork dumplings (which come stuck together in a two-layer, four-wide block), and a solid but flavorful scallion pancake. We finished up with delicious tea-smoked chicken (sliced right through the bone, which I've heard is the traditional way), a big pickled radish bun (odd to my taste, but the Mr. likes it), shredded beef on sesame biscuits (meh, a little dry), and a lovely bowl of more home-made noodles in chicken broth with baby bok choy.

This mountain of food set us back $42 before tip. It wouldn't be good for me to eat at A & J every day, but wow, is it worth it every so often.

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chomiji
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