Monday, February 11, 2008

Bob's 66 Noodle House

If you read my blog entry about Bob’s 88 Shabu Shabu, then you are already aware that there was an impending visit to Bob’s sister location Bob’s 66 Noodle House. Bob’s Noodle House is an authentic Taiwanese restaurant with many accolades from sources like Yelp, Zagat, Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Post. I love Chinese cuisine in all of its incarnations so… this past Friday, Steve, Carlos and I decided to give Bob’s Noodles a whirl.

Located in a strip center, essentially across the street from Bob’s 88, the restaurant isn’t much to look at. It’s a fairly small space with very utilitarian tables and chairs set close together for maximum seating capacity. What you can say for Bob’s Noodle House is that it is bright (really bright… like all the lights full up bright) and clean.

Service is also somewhat “utilitarian”. Ultimately, Bob’s is an Asian restaurant for Asian people, so don’t expect a great deal of help from the staff when ordering. With that said, service is still friendly and efficient. Non-Asians are very welcome here. All of the menu items have English translations and apart from a specials board with a couple of items written in Chinese, I saw no evidence of a secret Chinese menu for Chinese customers only, which is so common here in Washington DC.

Much of the menu seems as though it were inspired by a hard-gore horror film with selections like, crispy intestines, fried duck tongues, stir fried pig ears or duck blood with vegetables. Hannibal Lechter would be so pleased. Despite the seemingly endless array of offal options there are just as many “more-accessible” selections for the faint of heart.

A bit daunted by the menu, I was having trouble making a decision as there were so many interesting choices. A pleasant Asian gentleman, who was sitting next to us, suggested that we order anything that was spicy. Well, I love spicy and if the locals are telling you what’s good, you should listen. I asked him what he was having to which he simply replied, “Oh, this isn’t for you”. I thought it was a plate of pig’s ears, but when I pressed the question, he almost regrettably confessed “no, this is stir-fried pig’s kidney”.

Apparently, Bob’s is one of the only places in the area you can get a good stir-fried pig’s kidney as it takes special preparation. Like chitterlings they need to be triple cleaned in order to be edible. I was assured that it was an “acquired” taste. I told our new friend, that, while I was not bothered by his menu choice, he was correct, I didn’t think the kidneys were for me.

This is Bob’s Noodle house so we all chose to order something with noodles. I ordered the Spicy Shredded Beef and Longhorn Chilies Soup with house-made noodles. The waitress was concerned that it would be too spicy for me, but I assured her it was ok. Steven ordered the Shrimp, Chicken and Pork Noodle Soup, while Carlos ordered the Stir-Fried Sa Cha Beef with house-made noodles and Chinese Broccoli.

The first thing you’ll notice at Bob’s when the food arrives is that the portions are enormous. There is no need to order appetizers here. A huge bowl of noodles topped with beef broth and delicious strips of beef which were tender and chewy was placed before me. The beef broth was unctuous and musky and LOADED with chilies that were spicy without being overpowering. Steven’s noodles came in a chicken broth that was equally unctuous and fragrant. Carlos dish was reminiscent of Beef Chow Fun, but with thick hand-made doughy noodles that must be considered comfort food for generations of Taiwanese people.

Oh, and by the way, Bob’s is ridiculously cheap. My entrée was the most expensive meal at $7.95 and it all came with complimentary hot tea. The total bill for the three of us was $26 tax and tip included. I’m anxious to return to Bob’s and try some of the other specialties. Perhaps next time I will be a little braver in my selection, still, don’t expect to be reading about kidneys anytime soon.
Bob's 66 Noodle House
305 N Washington St
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 315-6668
Cash Only


Mick said...

Bob's 66 Noodle House sounds really fun and interesting (though I too would demur if offered duck blood with vegetables or stir-fried pig kidney -- shudder). Will you guys please take me with you to Rockville the next time you go (he asked, pleadingly)? And since the prices are cheap, I'll even spring for the bill! ;)

Patrick said...

I can't beat that deal, Mick! You're on.