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Sep 6, 2007 01:38 PM

Szechuan (other than Spicy and Tasty) in Queens?

We love Spicy and Tasty, but we're looking to branch out a bit; can anyone recommend another place in Queens? Thanks!

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  1. Little Pepper, half a block away.

    1. Xiao La Jiao (Little Pepper) or any of the many Sichuan places in Flushing's mall food courts.

      20 Replies
      1. re: Luther

        Is Little Pepper the place that is famous for the french fries with Szechuan peppercorns?

        1. re: bennyt

          I don't know.. that sounds exciting though.

          1. re: Luther

            slashfood wrote about their cumin and chili powder-laced french fries a few months ago. they have an addictive flavor, but really needed more time in the fryer when i had them. when i want cumin, i order their cumin lamb. another standout dish is the shrimp with hot and spicy sauce. it has a very complex flavor and comes packed with whole chili peppers. cold appetizers like beef tendon, leafy tripe, and beef jerky are also very good. there are a few older threads on this board that have more dish recs and it was also reviewed in the village voice.

            1. re: Butter Buddha

              Do a search on Little Pepper but also on Xiao la Jiao (sorry, spelling might be wrong) which is their chinese name...I know there is at least one good thread under this name...great place! I love that cumin lamb dish...

                1. re: Brian S

                  little pepper's tea smoked duck is the best bite in town...really, dont miss it. also thier wonton with chili oil is great. its a big bowl of black soup woth chili oil, and about 20 small very tasty wontons. i go often for a snack or lunch and get those 2 and leave more than happy.

                  1. re: chefjellynow

                    You get tea smoked duck and 20 wontons for a snack or lunch???

                    1. re: Luther

                      I've done the dumplings but it's only a dozen of those. And it's only half a duck. Yes, that sounds like a good lunch to me.

                      But what's this about the french fries with cumin or peppercorns??? I've been there about 20 times and have never seen them.

                      1. re: el jefe

                        The Slashfood post Butter Buddha refers to says that they're listed as "potatoes in spicy sauce."


                        1. re: Luther

                          in the takeout menu that i have, it's listed in the cold appetizers section as fried potato in hot sauce. it comes dusted with cumin and chili powder and is deceptively, extremely spicy. they could have spent more time in the fryer, but maybe you can order them well done.

                          1. re: Butter Buddha

                            That explains it. "Cold fried potato in hot sauce" doesn't sound appealing. This is a much better explanation. Thanks. I'll be sure to try it next time I'm there.

                2. re: prunefeet

                  I'll add something I said in my original write up of Little Pepper that bears repeating. If you walk along Roosevelt Ave. looking for a sign that says Xiao la Jiao you'll hit the Nassau County border without finding it. That's because the only English language name that appears on the place is "Little Pepper." With that said, it's definitely worth a visit.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    Hi, it's the O.P. We tried Little Pepper the other night. Just a few notes- whoever described the "Fried potato in hot sauce" as being "dusted with cumin" is guilty of gross understatement- it's BOMBARDED with cumin. Quite spicy and tasty, if a little soggy (and by no means "cold" although it does appear in the "cold appetizer" section of the menu, as noted above). We also had the "braised sliced fish in spicy soup base"- one of the reviewers in the Voice or NY Mag (I forget which), recommended it, and described the soup base as an "angry red broth"- I can't think of a more apt description. I was skeptical at first, because I did not detect any of the actual Szechuan peppercorns in the broth. But they were most certainly there (perhaps ground, or else just the seeds?) because the fish (along with bean sprouts and selected greens) was swimming in the hottest red oily substance I have yet to eat at a Szechuan restuarant- quite a bit hotter than similar dishes I've had at Spicy and Tasty and at Grand Sichuan in Manhattan; it made me sneeze a few times, and if not for the cold beer I had on hand, I would've been done for. The fish itself (I'm guessing some kind of bass, as it often is with this type of dish) was quite tender and even a bit sweet. We also had a non-spicy fishball in sweet-and-sour sauce- the fishballs were cooked perflectly, but the sauce was a bit thick and overpowering in my opinion- still pretty solid, though. There are a few other fishball dishes on the menu (one with "Chinese ketchup" - I have no idea what that is).
                    All in all, quite a good meal
                    By the way, has anyone been to Golden Sichuan (right next door to Little Pepper), or Szechuan Gourmet (37th Ave. and Prince)?

                    1. re: bennyt

                      Szechuan Gourmet is very good. It would be excellent if it wasn't within walking distance of Little Pepper and S&T. I'd love to hear a report about Golden Sichuan.

                      1. re: el jefe

                        What you said is basically what the NY Times said about Szechuan Gourmet. I've never been cause I'm always at Little Pepper


                      2. re: bennyt

                        I go to Szechuan Gourmet more than any of the other Flushing Szechuan places in part because of the atmosphere which is cozier and more muted than most places. A fave is the Vegetable Trio in Garlic Sauce (eggplant, string beans and asparagus. Location 135-15 37 Ave.

                        1. re: GeoJack

                          This recommendation interests me, because we don't eat meat - just fish and veggie dishes. Typically, at Szechuan places (e.g., Little Pepper and Spicy and Tasty), we order fish-in-hot-chili-saice dish, and an eggplant dish. How does Szechuan Gourmet do in the fish department, and are there any other veggie dishes you recommend?

                          1. re: bennyt

                            My daughter's favorite dish is the Sweet and Sour Crispy Sea Bass. I'm eager to try the whole fish with spicy sauces but we never seem to get around to ordering them.

                            1. re: mushimushi427

                              We tried Szechuan Gourmet on Saturday night. As per our dietary restrictions, we followed the above two recommendations and got the Vegetable Trio and the Crispy Sea Bass. The former was great; a very refreshing change from the eggplant dish that we usually get at Szechuan places, and not quite as instensely spicy - it had the flavor of the Szechuan peppercorns, but somehow, the heat was somewhat muted, which was nice. The fish was solid, but I think next time we'll have to try the diced fish in hot chili sauce or one of the other more mouth-burning Szechuan-style fish dishes.
                              Very good recommendations, thank you kindly.

                            2. re: bennyt

                              I sometimes go to the Szechuan Gourmet on W. 38th in Manhattan, and I like both the smoked tofu with Chinese celery and the cold cucumber salad. Both are a nifty mix of crisp, refreshing and spicy-tingly.

            2. There's a new kid on the block. Chuan Restaurant (the Chinese name means River Under Heaven) is on 39th St just around the corner from Spicy & Tasty. I haven't tried it yet but I looked at the menu and noticed stuff I haven't seen anywhere else, things like Fish and pork lungs in chili sauce, and Pregnant Woman Special Chicken Soup (made with wild chicken). As well as all the usuall suspects, like water-cooked beef and double cooked pork.

              Also a few weeks ago I posted about Chengdu Heaven, an incredible Sichuan stall in the basement food court at 41-28 Main St.

              Chuan Chinese Restaurant
              39-07 Prince St #1A, Flushing

              7 Replies
              1. re: Brian S

                Is the address correct in that Places item for Chuan? Appears to be the same building as Spicy and Tasty, 39-07 Prince.

                1. re: squid kun

                  It is correct but misleading. It, like half the restaurants in Flushing it seems, are in that huge blocklong building. But the entrance is on 39th Street and isn't even visible from Prince unless you are standing across the street at Canton Gourmet ... which is what I was doing when I saw it.

                  1. re: Brian S

                    Thanks, Brian. Must be like that block to the south, where White Bear and at least one other storefront on Prince actually have addresses on Roosevelt.

                    1. re: Brian S

                      is it the place next to the parking garage? it used to be a taiwanese place (not a very good one)...i saw it yesterday walking to the parking garage. I think its called chuan tian xia in chinese; was empty on a sunday night although who knows maybe its good

                      1. re: Lau

                        Yes, it is called chuan tian xia in Chinese, and it used to be a Taiwanese place.

                        1. re: Lau

                          yes, that's the right location. i was excited to try it because it has some favorites from both the little pepper and spicy tasty menus, but the food was lackluster. i tried the beef tendon in red chili sauce, conch in red chili sauce, leafy tripe w/ golden mushroom, and paper wrapped lamb. these dishes are better executed at little pepper and spicy tasty and lacked the flavor nuances you find at those restaurants. everything except the tripe was one-dimensionally spicy. the tripe wasn't good either; it's just not a spicy dish. the lamb was a large order, but it lacked the balance between heat and cumin that you get at little pepper on a good day. after i have a great meal, i find myself poring over the menu drooling at the thought of dishes to try the next visit. after my meal at chuan, i was yearning for my next little pepper visit and lamenting that it would not come soon enough.

                          1. re: Butter Buddha

                            Thank you for posting this. I was just about to leave to go there in a few hours, and you saved me a disappointing trip. Maybe I'll go back to that food stall in the basement of the 41-28 Main St mall, now THAT was great.

                  2. Szechuan Gourmet! Great tea smoked duck and the shredded beef with leeks and peppers. The peppercorns on the dumplings will numb your lips. Wonderful food.