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Christmas exploration of Spicy & Tasty menu?

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To celebrate Christmas Day - like any good Jewish couple should - my wife and I were thinking about dinner at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants to go to go together: Spicy & Tasty in Flushing. I can get all the Szechuan food I love and my wife, who is a vegetarian, has enjoyed all the vegetable dishes she's gotten there.

As much as we've liked what we've had in past meals, I'm eager to explore other parts of the menu. Here's what we've had so far:

Appetizers:

Cucumbers in sesame oil
Dry bean curd and celery
Cold sesame noodles
Dan dan noodles
Dumplings in red chili sauce

Main dishes:

Potato with green pepper
Dry sauteed string beans
Shrimp with green hot pepper in black bean sauce
Tea smoked duck
Spicy double cooked pork
Enhanced pork
Sliced beef and sliced lamb in fresh hot pepper

Any other menu suggestions, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian?

Thanks!

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Spicy & Tasty
39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

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  1. -shrimp or the squid with pickled turnip and spicy sauce (best sauce there I think)
    -cold noodles with red chili sauce (spicy and great)
    -clams with black bean sauce
    -chinese watercress with garlic
    -best vegetable dish that they used to have on their old menu was eggplant with hot peppers
    it was julienne sliced eggplant with hot green pepper slivers--sometimes they will make it if you ask and they understand what you mean by on old menu...however, new owners there
    of recent--so you might encounter problems..and don't like their other sauteed eggplant dishes, big chunks, heavy brown sauce concoctions...
    -their lomein is actually surprisingly good...vegetable

    i like the srhimp with green hot pepper in black bean sauce too, which sits on spinach--
    although sometimes they undercook the shrimp a bit, which skeeves me out...

    1. So, my wife went with her standbys - the cucumber and dry sauteed string beans, still good - while I got some new dishes

      I got the sliced pork with garlic appetizer - thin ribbons of warm, fatty pork doused in chili oil and minced garlic. I was a little worried the pork would be too chewy, but it was extremely tender, almost melt-in-the-mouth. Excellent dish.

      I got the strangely named "mild spicy chicken Szechuan style," asked for it ma la. What I got were fried nuggets of chicken mixed with Chinese celery and green hot peppers and dried chili peppers. Kind of liked a toned-down version of Chongqing chicken, but it still had plenty of heat. Salty, crispy, yet the chicken wasn't overdone and the vegetables had plenty of snap. Another terrific dish.

      I know there are Szechuan places sprouting all over the city and I haven't visited some of the new ones, but I still think Spicy & Tasty is one of the city's best.

      -----
      Spicy & Tasty
      39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

      6 Replies
      1. re: kdgchow

        I love the Mild Spicy Chicken. I think that's one of their best dishes.

        Assuming this menu is accurate - http://www.allmenus.com/ny/queens/517... (a big assumption) - here are some dishes I've liked:

        Cold dishes:

        Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce - I believe this is the one with the red tomato/garlic sauce. I've found it one of their very best cold dishes.

        Bamboo in Hot Spicy Sauce

        Beef Tendons in Red Chili Sauce

        Sichuan Delicacies:

        Cold Noodles with Red Chili Sauce - amazingly delicious!

        Sesame Cold Noodle

        Cold Jelly Chengdu Style

        Poultry:

        Diced Chicken and Pickled Turnip in Spicy Sauce

        Diced Chicken and Peanuts with Hot Pepper

        Mild Spicy Chicken Szechuan Style (as previously discussed

        )

        Smoked Tea Duck - they do a really good job with this dish

        I haven't had many pork dishes there and have had some fantastic lamb dishes, but it's been a while, and I don't remember which ones they were.

        Seafood:

        I've had various fantastic fish dishes, including water cooked fish (which I don't see by name on the menu)

        There's one dish I really have to mention, though:

        Sea Bass with Dried Soy Bean Paste - This was a waitress's recommendation when a group I was having a banquet with wanted another dish. We had had a lot of great spicy dishes. This dish is not spicy, but it is outstanding! The bass was perfectly unfishy and a great flaky white fish, while the soy bean paste, made from dried soybeans, was wonderfully nutty and slightly fishy in a good way. I highly recommend this dish.

        Vegetables:

        Dried Sauteed Bitter Melon - Bitter melon can be an acquired taste, and some people never acquire it, but I like it and like this dish a lot.

        Bean Curd:

        Bean Curd Home Style - I believe this is what they call their Mapo Tofu, and it's great!

        Ginko Tofu - I would have been disappointed to have this dish by itself, but it was wonderfully subtle and pleasant at the end of a banquet of many spicy dishes. Very pleasant texture, too.

        1. re: Pan

          Could you please elaborate on the Ginko Tofu? A jelly made with gingko starch, like Lijiang Doufu from mung bean starch?

          1. re: buttertart

            No, it has actual ginkgo nuts in it.

        2. re: kdgchow

          'I know there are Szechuan places sprouting all over the city and I haven't visited some of the new ones, but I still think Spicy & Tasty is one of the city's best."

          I agree. They rarely disappoint me.

          There's a tendency to want to crown one place or another "Best Szechuan in NYC." What that really means is "they do a great job with my 6 or 7 favorite dishes." So the statement is true for the particular poster but may not be true for someone who likes a different set of choices.

          I prefer to think of Szechuan places as each having their strengths and weaknesses. If you know what they are you can order to their strength and skip the things they don't do particularly well.

          Getting back to S&T, I've loved their enhanced pork dish from the start. It ranks up there with the top 3 in NYC - the pork belly with chili leeks at Szechuan Gourmet and the Double Cooked Fresh Bacon w. Spicy Capsicum at Szechuan Chalet. (Both in Manhattan.)

          -----
          Szechuan Gourmet
          135-15 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

          Spicy & Tasty
          39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            Agreed on the enhanced pork; in fact, I've yet to have a pork dish at S&T that wasn't good.

            The couple sitting next to us was eating a dish that looked like pieces of dry, crispy beef or lamb with slices of what looked like peppers. Looked really good, anyone know what it is? Anyone had it?

            1. re: kdgchow

              It could be the Shredded Dry Beef w Spicy Sauce and it is excellent.