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Feb 7, 2010 10:17 AM

Grand Szechuan Near Bloomington Mn Cub Foods

decent food at a decent price. but HOT. even the dishes designated as low grade hot are really hot and spicy. be prepared to eat a lot of white rice as a counter to the heat. my wife picked 12 chili peppers out of our chicken dish. maybe you can ask for no spice or no chilis if it is a issue.

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    1. I've always thought that grand szechuan under spices. Szechuan spice does a better job with the ma la.

      1. Always good with updates - and "heads up!". Thanks.

        1. I'm a little surprised at the response to Grand Szechuan on this board--at least in the few threads that came up in a search. From the get-go it's been as good as Little Szechuan was when Chef Luo was there and in the last few years there's been no competition between them. Little Szechuan had one brief renaissance some years ago with a new chef and menu items but they gave up the fight long before this year's move to all hot pot at the St. Paul mothership. Grand Szechuan's menu is voluminous, and while they do serve some Americanized dishes (the market requires it) it is quite remarkable that their Sichuan menu is as large and as esoteric as it is.

          Our Sichuan frame of reference is from the San Gabriel Valley outside Los Angeles--we're transplanted Angelenos who go back every year. We eat at Grand Szechuan a lot and while it can't compare to the top tier in the SGV it is really quite good.

          Anyway, here is a report on some things eaten over the course of a number of meals since this summer. Links to earlier reports are contained within.

          8 Replies
          1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

            Put your review on CH here. I am not clicking on any link to a blog.

            Chefs change and it is important to continually re-visit these places to monitor quality. I was not impressed with GS based on my visit four years ago. The issue I have when visiting the Twin Cities is that all depends on where I am staying and on how far I am willing to drive.

            1. re: scoopG

              Thanks for the polite request! Here is the text portion of my post (not really a review); the rest is a slideshow with captions that I can't really replicate on Chowhound:

              "It may seem like I post reviews of every meal we eat out but that’s not entirely true. I certainly don’t post reviews of every meal we eat at Grand Szechuan, for if I did it would get rather monotonous.We are probably a couple of meals away from having eaten their entire Sichuan menu. Once we’ve done that we’ll probably go back with our most hardcore friends for a personal “best of” meal.

              Indeed, I’ve never actually posted meal reviews of Grand Szechuan—both of my previous reviews have been compendiums of several meals eaten there (see here for the first and here for the second), and the same is true of this one. This covers a number of meals eaten since the summer, and only some of what we ate on all these occasions is pictured: things that were pictured in the previous reviews have been omitted (even I am not that tedious); however, I may channel my inner George Lucas and go back and update some of the really crappy older pictures with (slightly) better ones of the same dishes taken on later occasions.

              Anyway, if you still haven’t been to Grand Szechuan you really need to go. It is for our money the best non-high end restaurant in the Twin Cities metro area, and for sheer pleasure it gives a number of the high end restaurants a run for their money as well. If you’re nervous about the potential heat level of the food you shouldn’t be. As this particular set of images shows, some of their best dishes are the mild ones, and even the things that are hot can be asked for at a non-lethal setting (and, frankly, if you don’t ask for it super hot you’re unlikely to receive anything that way anyway).

              As always, click on an image to launch a slideshow with proper descriptions of the dishes.


              I am in Los Angeles right now and the best compliment I can give Grand Szechuan is that on a shorter trip to Los Angeles than usual I will probably be willing to eat only one Sichuan meal in the San Gabriel Valley. Not because Grand Szechuan is as good as the best Sichuan places here—it’s at least a full tier down–but because it’s closer to them than the best Twin Cities representatives of other Asian cuisines are to their counterparts in the greater LA metro. I’m going to double down on sushi, Thai and Korean instead."

              If your last visit to Grand Szechuan was 4 years ago (and if it was only one visit) you need to go again. And you might need to specify that you want dishes that are meant to be ma la to be made that way; the majority of the clientele doesn't want things particularly hot and so their default is not.

                1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                  Thanks for bringing your review to Chowhound. I also don't usually click on links to people's blogs so this was very helpful.

                  I do click on links to restaurants:

                  1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                    Annoying...I really enjoy your blog as Asian food & whiskey (bourbon) are my passions. I agree with many of your reccomendations at GS. I recently found a good one. It's called squirrel fish and has great tian (sweet) flavor with a touch of LA (spicy). As you can see from the pic, it was too pretty to eat. The chef has good knife skills. BTW...I think I've seen your family there before as you don't see many Indian families at Sichuan restaurants with a full spread of authentic dishes.

                    1. re: kriminalrat

                      Thanks for the kind words. We were actually just there on Saturday for dinner (it was jammed), and got this squirrel fish. It was just a bit too sweet for me, but the rest of the family loved it. And is that the spring water chicken next to it? We got that too, and that one I really liked.

                      I'm actually the only 100% Indian in the family--my wife is Korean and the kids are mutts.

                      1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                        Yes... I agree the spring chicken was really good. Had a different flavor that I couldn't place. Your right on the squirrel fish being sweet but a nice change of pace as most of what I get is very ma la. It was hard to not order the 3 flavor squid roll as the cook that does it has been in China for awhile.

                2. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                  Thank you for including a link to your blog. It is a great way to read about different restaurants. There is a wealth of information on your blog, I may not agree with allof your opinions but it is interesting to read all opinions.

                3. Great review, MAO. Especially love your stunning photography - thanks!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ChancesR

                    Thanks. And you're too kind about the photography. I get lucky with a lot of shots, but I only have a point and shoot with a standard lens and usually only have a few seconds before greedy companions descend on the food--as a result some shots are blurred, too dark etc. But as long as it gives a good sense of what the dish looks like I'm satisfied. There are so many great dishes, here and elsewhere, that we would have ordered even earlier if we'd only had a better sense of what they were--and I hope my reviews can provide that service to people who haven't already eaten through the menu.

                    1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                      My family goes there just about every weekend. I too have eaten just about everything on the menu. I love all ethnic food but this place is my favorite.

                      1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

                        "Nattering Nabob of Negativism", we're contemporaries!