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Dec 6, 2006 09:27 PM

disappointing lunch at Grand Szechuan today in EV

I used to order out from the one in Chelsea quite often when I lived nearby.

The one in EV I hadnt tried until a few weeks ago and that time it was wonderful.

This time it was comically disappointing. We both had a lunch special. Our soups (egg drop for him / hot and sour for me) were both cold when they came out. Not even what I'd consider 'warm'. The host told us he was sorry and that he'd 'pop them in the microwave' (I guess I should give him credit for honesty)..which he proceeded to do and then forget about.

Our entrees came out and we had to remind him about our soup. No apology, he just left the entrees and went off to find the soups, which came a few minutes at least. The hot and sour soup wasnt remotely spicy on this occasion (unlike last visit). I only had a spoonful or two of the unappealing soup.

My double cooked pork was fine and was what I had on the previous visit. I think that now, having had a similar dish done much better at New Green Bo, it was less exciting. Husband had the general tso's chicken as he's been craving it. And this was actually done very well....very tender chicken, very thin shell of batter, and suitably spicy.

Took some effort to get a check. The bathroom was very dirty. All in all, I dont think I'll make the effort to wander over again for lunch.

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  1. I always advise everyone NEVER to have the lunch specials at any of the Grand Sichuan restaurants. Stick with the Sichuan and Hunan specialties, only. That doesn't address your other complaints, though. Still, as a regular, loyal, satisfied customer, I can say that I find the quality of their Sichuan- and Hunan-style consistently good. To be fair, I'm sure I get good service in part because I'm such a regular, they all know me, and I've brought various friends there and often have gotten takeout and brought it uptown to my parents. I still think the Hell's Kitchen branch is the best, but I remain extremely happy that there is a branch of Grand Sichuan in my neighborhood. Cold soup and no-spice hot and sour soup suck, though, regardless.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      what do you really expect from a six buck lunch special? Plus
      general tso's chicken is not the thing to order- stick
      with the Sichuan dishes.

      1. re: josh L

        Eh, we brought some out-of-town family to the Chelsea loc. and of course they wanted General Tso's. It seemed to be well executed for what it is. (And of course we were able to wow them with other options as well.)

        1. re: josh L

          actually, grand sichuan (at least the chelsea and st. mark's branches) are known for doing general tso's chicken and tofu very well.

          1. re: wleatherette

            I got General Tso's once at the Chelsea branch, and never again. I was not impressed. But why get it, when you can get good Kung Bao, Guizhou, or Hunan Chicken?

            1. re: Pan

              chacun a son gout. while i agree that lunch specials are generally to be avoided, i think their general tso's tofu is superb. i'm not a fan of chicken done that way so i've never tried it, but i know quite a few people who swear by it from the downtown grand sichuans though they wouldn't dream of ordering it at any other restaurant.

              1. re: wleatherette

                I definitely agree with chacun a son gout. More for you! :-)

          2. re: josh L

            I expect hot soup to be hot. I think that's reasonable?

            And as for the General Tsao, as I said it was actually the high point of the meal.

            I know its a very basic 'american' dish, but it was what my husband was in the mood for at the time...we've had plenty of authentic chinese as well.

        2. I did find the Mapo tofu a little undersalted last night, but the rest of the dishes I had were fine. I never order standard Chinese American Dishes, so can't speak for those.

          1. Oh Boy - so unbalanced this place on St Mark's.
            We (2) ordered dinner there last night :
            Seaweed salad and steamed vegetable dumplings to start and pea shoots with garlic and crispy fried whole fish for main.
            Seaweed salad was OK
            Vegetable dumplings - dough was ridiculously thick and filling was almost tasteless. I asked for some 'fresh chili sauce', the waitress was confused but eventually brought me some chili sauce while correcting me by telling me it was called 'spicy sauce'. Cute, but that didn't color my opinion of the food.
            Soon after that the pea shoots arrived with 2 bowls of coldish poor quality white rice. We waited and waited, but no fish. I called her over and poiltely mentioned that we ordered a fish. She said "it takes 15 minutes" - So WHY did they bring us the accompanying vegetable 15 minutes ahead of time? That alone ruined the meal, but it had nothing on the fish. When it finally arrived, true enough about 15-20 minutes later, it looked like something that should be atop a float during a Chinese New Year celebration. The fish was still whole, but the sides were sliced and 'fanned out', something like cooling fins on a motorcycle engine, or microprocessor chip. The fish was then deep fried...and fried...and fried . . . Get the idea? It was solid and served with a spoon, completely inappropriate for the job at hand. When we finally managed to pry a solid fin off, there was no sensation of fish, just solid deep fried batter. It was completely horrendous. Worst fish I have ever been served in my entire life - that's sad. The waitress came over and we told her it was 'terrible' - literally. They wrote us the bill in full. We left a few dollars tip and while leaving were approached about the tip not being enough. We told them again that the food was terrible and the timing of delivery completely wrong. She repeated again that the fish takes 15 minutes. Please don't go to this place, you'll have a spotty meal and service and you will help funding them so they will be in existence longer and MORE people will have more spotty meals and service. Let's vote for good food with our wallet.