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Great Sichuan IN Boston?

Food4Thought Apr 25, 2008 05:40 PM

The recent Red Pepper in Framingham post got me scratching my head.
All my favorites:
Sichuan Garden-Burlington/ Newton
Chili Garden- Medford
Sichuan Gourmet Framingham/ Billerica

Are all out of town, don't get me wrong they are definitely worth the drive, but do we have anything of that caliber in town?

  1. s
    Spike Apr 25, 2008 06:13 PM

    you forgot sichuan garden in brookline...near rte.9

    5 Replies
    1. re: Spike
      tmab Apr 25, 2008 06:35 PM

      If you are stuck in the city and desperate for Sichuan food, you still find a few good dishes at Anise, near Kendall Square.

      1. re: tmab
        jgg13 Apr 25, 2008 11:59 PM

        Very inconsistent but Zoe's isn't completely out of the book either, but not in the league of the other places mentioned (except perhaps Anise)

        1. re: jgg13
          Food4Thought Apr 28, 2008 09:09 PM

          Yeah, I intentionally left Zoe's offf the list because of the spotty, yet well documented reviews. I'm sure there are some good dishes there.

      2. re: Spike
        Food4Thought Apr 26, 2008 05:21 AM

        Woops, I meant Sichuan Garden Burlington/ Brookline, not Newton.

        1. re: Spike
          MC Slim JB Apr 28, 2008 09:56 PM

          I really enjoyed a recent meal at Sichuan Garden in Brookline Village, but I did consider it a slight step down from Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica and Sichuan Garden II in Woburn. Sichuan Garden serves what is probably the oiliest Sichuan food I've ever been served. Not a bad thing in my book, but it is notable.

        2. teaTomE Apr 28, 2008 09:14 PM

          Two great places with many szechuan dishes - Mary Chung (Central Sq) and Wang's Fast Food (Somerville). Wang's specials board is where it's at. This saturday it featured a great spice-laden dish of dried lamb.

          4 Replies
          1. re: teaTomE
            lipoff Apr 29, 2008 03:54 AM

            I also second the note for Wang's in Somerville. In the past, the only real Sichuan dish there was the chuan1 wei4 la4 zi3 ji1 (szechuan style bone-in chicken). Recently, a large number of Sichuan specials have been appearing on their board of specials. Notable among them are the zi1 ran2 yang2 rou4 (cumin lamb) and the shui3 zhu3 niu2 rou4 (boiled beef), which are incredibly deep and flavorful renditions of these Sichuan classics that rival any of the exclusively Sichuan restaurants in the area. Of course, the Sichuan section of the menu at Wang's is miniscule compared to the Sichuan speciality restaurants, but what they do, they do great.

            1. re: lipoff
              Aromatherapy Apr 29, 2008 04:51 AM

              Unless things have improved recently, there are several "sichuan" dishes on the menu that are best avoided: mapo tofu, yushiang pork/eggplant. Dry-friend string beans were good years ago, nasty the last time I tried them. (The chicken is reliable.) Thanks for the tip on specials, glad they're finally doing something new.

              1. re: Aromatherapy
                lipoff May 1, 2008 12:57 AM

                It's interesting, I don't think I've ever tried the mapo tofu or yuxiang qiezi at Wang's. I have had their yuxiang chicken which is a very americanized-style dish, but a damn good version. I only recall trying the dry-fried sting beans once, maybe a year ago, but they were very good. Not as good at Fuloon's though, which are prefectly tender and very complex.

                I've been meaning to post about Wang's recent Sichuan specials for awhile, even though I haven't worked through all of them yet. I was really blown away by the cumin lamb and boiled beef, doubly so because I know that they specialize in Shandong style food.

                1. re: lipoff
                  Aromatherapy May 1, 2008 05:47 AM

                  Nice to hear the beans are decent again, you would NOT have liked the icky brown glop I got the last time. The yushiang pork I tried when they had a link to the long-defunct YumYum, thought they might have picked it up from there, but it was sticky sweet. The eggplant is also quite sweet but somehow I don't mind as much. Cumin lamb is top of the list now.

          2. digga May 1, 2008 04:56 PM

            I am reminded to let people know that Szechuan Bay is still very much closed, post-fire. Not the best Sichuan in town, but the best we had in the vicinity of Davis Sq. I fear it will never re-open. Has anyone had any contact with the owners?

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