NEVER ORDER from Grand Sichzuan St Marks
I have previously posted about the lack of decent Chinese takeout in the east village, my neighborhood for the past two years. But we came in on Sunday night around 8 from the Hamptons, and that was our craving. With misgivings, we tried this. We usually suck it up and order from Chinatown Brasserie or Spice, but we wanted old style Chinese. Well, 45 minutes later, not only was the food mediocre, they totally screwed up our order. Fortunately, we keep duck sauce and hot mustard in the fridge, cause that was not in the bag. We got a double order of chicken and broccoli (ordered one), moderately edible. No sauteed string beans. Wonton soup like dishwater. Never again. Was too late to bother calling, not worth it. Should have opened a couple of cans of tuna. Please, if anyone has a decent Chinese place near Astor Place, please share it!
380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
I'm going to preface this by saying that I've never eaten at Grand Sichuan St. Marks. But gathering that it's a Sichuan restaurant, I'd probably think it's best to order items from the Sichuan menu. I haven't found a restaurant that specializes in "old style Chinese." I've had more luck in the outer boroughs.
One more post in defense of Grand Sichuan: the American style Chinese food there is the worst thing on the menu. Their wonton soup always tastes like dishwater, it is definitely the low point of a menu that's got lots of great stuff. I ordered it once and was shocked at how bad it was, considering the quality of the rest of their food.
Now that Jade Mountain is gone I satisfy the occasional "old school Chinese" craving with a trip (or call) to plump dumpling. Their delivery is fast. Their prices are low. They very often screw up orders, and frequently overcharge slightly (the tax seems to be at a floating rate). But I do keep a menu around for when I want to satisfy that guilty pleasure.
I've occasionally had delivery from Grand Sichuan St. Marks that was in some way erroneous, like giving me the Lunch Special portion of Kung Bao Chicken when I ordered the full dinner portion, but they have always graciously and quickly rectified the problem. In the interest of full disclosure, I am probably one of their best customers and all the staff know me by name because I get takeout and delivery from them very often - always Sichuan or Hunan dishes, and only the Kung Bao Chicken, specially extra spicy and crispy, from the American-Chinese menu - and eat in relatively frequently, too. It's not the American-Chinese takeout joints of yesterday, and for that, I am glad!
As others have said, this is not the place to order the old school dishes. They have some really good Szechuan offerings, not the best in the city but pretty good. Their Cumin Beef is my favourite version though. Try these type of dishes next time.
I have to say, you only ordered from them once and screwups do happen. Is that a good reason to go online and mess with peoples' livelihood?