Cheap Eats 2011: Michael’s Noodles

It’s not easy to figure out what to order when there are nearly 300 items on the Chinese and Taiwanese menu, but in this case take a hint from the name: At least one dish should include the pleasantly springy house-made noodles. The Shanghai noodles, which taste like a cousin of pork lo mein, are a good place to start. Soups–such as the delicate and restorative shredded-ginger-and-clam soup–also stand out. Pleasing non-noodle dishes include a juicy, boneless poached chicken breast flavored with garlic and ginger and such daily specials as smoked pork belly with asparagus. But take your time deciding, as nobody will rush you out of this cheerful strip-mall dining room, and servers are happy to make suggestions.

Also good: Steamed pork buns; potsticker dumplings; slow-roasted beef-and-noodle soup; dan-dan noodles; Chinese-style hot-and-sour soup thickened with duck blood; salt-and-chili pork chop.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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 Petworth.