Cheap Eats 2010: Joe’s Noodle House

100 places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: The hundreds of choices at this brightly decorated dining room practically dare diners to try something new. The dishes are largely Szechuan, but the menu samples many cuisines, including Korean, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Hunan.

What to get: Shrimp, scallops, and calamari in spicy-sweet pickled-pepper sauce; succulent bamboo salad; pork with pressed tofu and leeks (sometimes swapped out for garlic scapes in summer); crispy scallion pancakes; steamed pork-filled dumplings; shrimp with scrambled eggs; hot-and-sour whole steamed fish with pickled cabbage.

Best for: Adventurous eaters who don’t shy away from dishes designated as “numbing” or made with ingredients such as duck tongue.

Insider tip: The name is a leftover from a previous owner—there’s no Joe, and the noodles are a weak spot. Ask owner Audrey Jan about the seasonally inspired specials posted behind the counter, where she takes orders.

>> 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.