Cheap Eats 2007: Bob’s Noodle 66

There are more than 160 dishes on the menu at this cash-only Taiwanese cafe. But don’t be overwhelmed. Even if affable owner Bob Liu isn’t there to shepherd you through the lesser-known, offal-heavy specialties, there’s a lot this kitchen does well.

Take the soups—such as a richly flavored short-rib version scented with lily bulbs, or a spritely ginger-and-clam broth loaded with fresh Manilas—which work as preludes or full meals. If it’s a lazy-Susan kind of night, consider shreds of pork with earthy bamboo shoots, a whole tilapia smothered in bean sauce, or on-the-bone short ribs flavored with black pepper or scallion. Even the dishes that wink at American tastes are delicious—a Taiwanese pork “hamburger” with mustard greens, an eggy oyster pancake slathered in Chinese ketchup (a mix of soy and oyster sauces), and a huge sundae of shaved ice ladled with red bean and lychee.

The ponytailed servers keep things moving: Even if you order the $18.95 lunch special (enough for two or more), which crowds the tables with a soup and three entrées, you’ll probably be out in an hour.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.