Numb with Pleasure

The former Chef Chang's in Brookline is now the third link in the Sichuan Gourmet chain, joining locations in Billerica and Framingham. Early reports say that many of the same dishes that are good in the older locations are good in Brookline.

Reliable orders:

• Double-bacon, soft, not crisp, fatty pork belly.
• Dried chicken with chiles, "small crispy fried bits, like popcorn chicken," says nightsky.
• Old Sichuan chicken, which is much like the dried chicken, but with more chicken.
• Cumin lamb or beef, which is spicy but not hot, for the chile-impaired.
• Shredded pork with fresh bamboo shoots.
• Chicken, fish, or beef with napa cabbage.
• Hot and sour wonton soup, "NOT the normal hot and sour," advises hargau.

And at all costs avoid the Americanized Chinese side of the menu and order only Sichuan dishes.

Sichuan Gourmet [South Shore]
1004 Beacon Street, Brookline
617-277-4226

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