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Which Grand Sichuan Int'l?

If you had a choice between the Grand Sichuan Int'l restaurants on 9th and 50th, 9th and 24th or St. Marks, which one would you choose? Is one remarkably better than the others and do they all have the same menus? I thought the one on St. Marks had a smaller menu but I could be wrong.

Thanks

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  1. I think the GSI on 50th and 9th is closed. Walked by last night and saw it shuddered with a big FOR RENT sign. I couldn't believe my eyes. Anyone know anything? Is it moving somewhere else, I hope?

    To answer the question, I think the Chelsea location is better than St. Mark's. You now only have the 2 options.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mjps2

      i walked by last week and noticed the same thing (i didin't see a for rent sign, but the place was completely locked up). say it ain't so!!!

      1. re: twiggles

        I think this is true - and very, very sad.

        So: anyone know anything more?

        And what do people like for chinese food in hell's kitchen now that GSI is closed?

        1. re: adam

          I'm still hoping that the Grand Sichuan will open back up. However, it's been almost 3 weeks since they got shut down.

          1. re: eatfood

            I think they originally got shut by the DOH.

          2. re: adam

            Had dinner on St. Marks last Sat, recognized one of the waiters from the 9th/50th location and he said that location closed because rent was to be tripled...according to him they have found a new location and will eventually reopen...didn't specify the address, however...
            by the way, the evening before we went to Little Pepper in Flushing and though it was good, we thought GSI was better, flavors deeper and more developed. And more convenient. but will need to conduct more research!

      2. Their menus are similar, but there may be differences I don't know about. Food is great at both. I find the place on St Marks a little more chill--less packed, less hectic.

        1. I'm a visiting hounder from the Boston area (though I was born and raised in NYC and spent a year in Changsha, Hunan province). I had also heard that the 50th street store had been closed (something about health department violations). Don't know if this is a system-wide thing at Grand Sichuan, but I can vouch for the St. Mark's location. The general style in St. Mark's is more Hunan specific (which is to say that it tends to be stronger on the chili and tends to avoid the numbing Sichuan peppercorns completely). They still do some of the Sichuanese classics well, I saw a few regional specialties that I'd never seen in Changsha (though I was probably eating at the wrong places) and managed to successfully eat my way to pain (which is to say that it was painful to put additional food into my stomach, but the food was so darned tasty that I kept putting more in anyway -- ouch).

          So it is a different menu, possibly a smaller one, but also with a number of unique things that aren't on any of the other Grand Sichuan menus.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dr.Jimbob

            Thanks for the detail, I didn't realize the St. Marks restaurant is more Hunan specific. What dishes would you recommend?

            1. re: Dr.Jimbob

              "tends to avoid the numbing Sichuan peppercorns completely"

              Not my experience at all. Could they use more? Yep. Does Spicy & Tasty use more? Sure! Do they use none? Nope!

            2. 9th Avenue Branch is closed as well. East Village is the only location currenty open.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jesse

                You mean the 9th avenue branch in chelsea??

                1. re: eatfood

                  9th Avenue at 50/51Street. I noticed they were closed by the Health Inspector (noticed was posted). This was not long after the news reporting on the rats downtown at KFC. Thought they would re-open, but walked past this Monday and I can confirm the place is empty with For Rent. All the Chinese places have recently closed down around midtown westside. Help!

              2. Now that the HK branch is closed, go to 24th Street or consider skipping them entirely. IMO, the best szechuan food in Manhattan is at Szechuan Gourmet on 39th btw 5th and 6th.

                1. Here is my very subjective scorecard for a head-to-head btw Chelsa & St. Mark's based on their "greatest hits":

                  Crab & Pork Soup Dumplings: Chelsea
                  Ah-zhou (Gui-zou @ St Mks) Spicy Chicken: Chelsea
                  Fish (any): Chelsea
                  Braised beef w/chili sauce: St. Mark's
                  Dry Sauteed String Beans w/Minced Pork: TIe

                  Final Score: Chelsea - 3, St. Mark's 1

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: soyjeff

                    The Chelsea location is open and delicious - I just ate there tonight. Love the minced pork & cellophane noodles, but skip the egg rolls.

                    1. re: soyjeff

                      I went to Grand Sichuan St Mark's for the first time last week.. I was very unimpressed and disappointed with the overall experience.. Many of the old favorites we would order at 50th and 9th were either not on the menu or not as good..

                      The only thing that was better was the Spicy Conch in green sauce.. That was the hottest freaking thing I have eaten in a Sichuan Restaurant..

                      Also at St Mark's we ordered the Cumin Beef which never was at 50th and it was really good.. I preferred it to the Cumin Lamb at Little Pepper in Queens.

                      1. re: Daniel76

                        its very hit or miss there are only certain dishes i like there...in fact i wrote a whole post on the cumin beef b/c i think its that good

                    2. Isn't there also one in the East 50s? I went the other day and it was good. While I like all of them, I was disappointed with the Ma Po Tofu at St. Mark's. Definitely not as good or as spicy as the other two. And while I know it's not a Sichuan dish, the General Tso's at the Chelsea location is really good, while I wasn't impressed with St. Mark's. I guess, St. Mark's is my choice for Chinese in that area, but overall, I would pick the one in Chelsea.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: traceybell

                        Yeah it called the Grand Sicuan East. It's on 2nd between 55th and 56th. If you're a fan of the Chelsea or St. Marks branch dishes you migh want to give the East a miss. They scrapped a lot of the "traditional" Grand Sichuan dishes to make room for two pages of Chong Quing cooking. Likewise you'll probably want to steer away from the Lexington branch as it went to a simplified more "western friendly" menu a while back. There is also a brach on Canal street, in Chintown proper. It has more or less the standard GS menu but, in my opinion does'nt do it nearly as well as the St. marks branch.