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Grand Sichuan St. Marks - going downhill?

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When Grand Sichuan St Marks first opened, it was just as good as the 9th Ave locations. But for the past several months I've been disappointed. At first the food was inconsistent, now it's consistenly bad.

For example, they refuse to make the double-cooked pork with the fatty Chinese pork, even if I ask for it special. Instead of fresh water chestnuts in the double-cooked pork and fresh bamboo shoots in the gui zhou chicken, they substitute an unpleasant potato-like vegetable. Tonight the gui zhou wasn't even spicy - they really skimped on the sichuan peppercorns.

What's the deal? Has anyone else noticed this? Do I somehow need to prove my Grand Sichuan bona fides in order to be served the good food?

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  1. i also noticed (and was disappointed by) the switch from bamboo shoots to that starchy potato/turnip filler in the gui zhou chicken...(i've thought about mentioning it to them but am skeptical that that would help)...i've also had some quality control issues w/ the last couple soups i've ordered...

    hope it changes for the better because it's my usual delivery place...

    1. I have never had a good meal at Grand Sichuan (any location) and have always considered it to be overrated.

      1. on my way to get the crab and pork meat soup dumplings

        i stick to that and the scallion cucumbers

        tasty

        1. I went on Sept. 6th with a large group for lunch. We had the double cooked pork and it was pretty good. They used the pork belly, but is that the fatty pork or is there one even fattier? We got the Chongqing spicy chicken, which was decently spicy. My only real complaints were that the Pickled Cabbage weren't very exciting and that some of the sauces were thickened too much with corn starch.

          However, strangely enough, the one time I went to dinner at the St. Mark's location, it was kind of lackluster. Which is weird since it's usually lunches that have the less capable staff.

          1 Reply
          1. re: spchang

            Went back last night with a group of 6. We had some pretty good items (dan dan noodles, double cooked pork, sichuan green beans, chinese broccoli, gui zhou chicken, red cooking pork in a little hot wok). Only the sichuan wontons were uninteresting. The gui zhou chicken was not as spicy as the other items (as you mentioned), but the potato strips in it were quite good. However, the double cooked pork, dan dan, and red cooking pork were all nicely spicy.

          2. i've only been once and was sorely disappointed. the service wasn't that great, i was by myself and the restaurant was mainly empty, i had to flag down the server who was busy chatting it up with the bartender. :(

            i know it's harder to mind your guests when it's dead, but damn, it was so bad i scowl whenever i walk by.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pepperlola

              I had a similar experience in which the food was overly hyped as was the service. When I actually visited the place for the first time it sucked on so many levels that I was very anti-Grand Sichuan until recently. The prices were so-so and the service was very pretentious (several waitresses were this way). That is, until a friend brought me back and offered to pay for the meal. This time it was a little busier and the service was much more courteous. The food was actually on par with some of my favorite restaurants in the city, so I was shocked yet impressed at the same time. I suppose this shows some inconcistency that may have lead some others to believe that its falling down the wayside for food quality and overall experience.

            2. I've been a regular customer of the St. Marks location ever since it opened and have never noticed any kind of falloff in quality, except that the new Mini Menu doesn't seem to be much worth ordering from. I can't address the specific complaint about fatty pork because that's just too fatty for me to deal with, but I had duck and bitter melon tonight, and they sure didn't stint on the fat in that dish. If anything, a little less fat would be better for me. Regardless, the dishes that I order are the same as ever. Spicy & Tasty in Flushing is better, but I'm so glad Grand Sichuan is in the neighborhood!