Cheap Eats 2015: A&J Restaurant

Where we go for our favorite no-frills dim sum.
A&J Restaurant is known for excellent northern-Chinese dim sum. Photograph by Yassine El Mansouri.

The sesame-sprinkled, scrambled-egg-filled biscuits here deserve a spot on any list of the area’s top breakfast sandwiches—and are also a signal that A&J isn’t your typical dim sum parlor. There are no rolling carts (you pencil in your order on a paper list), no credit cards accepted, and definitely no frills, but the rewards are many and, even in the context of this list, stunningly cheap. You don’t come unless you’re prepared to embrace starches: flaky thousand-layer pancakes; long, crunchy-fried crullers; a strapping bowl of noodles with zesty ground pork and bean paste. A dish of marinated cucumbers in hot sauce is a must, if only to provide a respite from all the breadiness.

Cuisine: Chinese

Where you can get it:
4316 Markham St., Annandale, 703-813-8181
1319 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301-251-7878

Also good: Fried chicken; boiled peanuts; sesame biscuit with sliced beef; dan-dannoodles; salad of bean curd, peanuts, and cilantro.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.