Recommended by a coworker who also loves Sichuan, but she'd never heard of Szechuan Tasty House (!)
Standouts were kou shui ji, tiger-skin peppers, and, although I didn't personally have it, eel and tripe.
"Kou shui ji" (literally, "mouth water chicken") came highly recommended by my coworker and is something like "cold chicken in spicy sauce" on the menu. Excellent amount of spicy heat here (both ma and la), contrasted by the temperature. I think this would be a great summer dish.
Tiger-skin peppers are a bit salty, and deceptively not spicy at first. Hits you about 10 seconds afterward. Soft, warming, and addictive. One of my brothers says these are superior to Tasty House's rendition, which he says tastes metallic.
The eel and tripe is a soupy dish with bits of coagulated blood, and those who had it assured me that it was excellent.
The ma po dou fu is disappointing. It just isn't very spicy. Bo-ring! Didn't help that it was served only slightly warm, temperature-wise. I think Tasty House's is much better, although the best I've ever had in Philly is Four River's circa five years ago. Then again, Tasty House didn't exist at the time.
Lots more to explore on the menu... stay tuned.
915 Arch St, www.ckgarden.com
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