Cheap Eats 2010: A & J Restaurant— Annandale

100 places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: These Northern-style dim sum parlors—no carts and an emphasis on bread products and noodles rather than the dumplings and steamed dishes of Southern-style dim sum—offer arguably the area’s best bang for the buck. Few restaurants can match them for variety and value.

What to get: Dan dan noodles; pickled spicy cucumbers; salad of shredded chicken and julienned cucumber tossed with a piquant mustard sauce; a small plate of smoked, crisp-skinned chicken in a pool of soy sauce; fried pork with noodles; chicken soup with noodles and bok choy.

Best for: Bargain-minded thrill seekers.

Insider tip: A&J has a short slate of breakfast dishes on Saturday, including a sandwich that encases a scrambled egg between two freshly made sesame cakes—a delicious answer to the McMuffin.

Open Sunday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here


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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.