Based on ErstwhileEditor's comments (see link below) I took my sons to the Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica. We were not dissapointed. We were definitely sweating before we left, although the heat was of the mild-grow-on-you type that just brings you to a happy glow, rather than the burn-your-mouth-start-looking-for-ice-cream type.
We had spicy wings and dan-dan noodles to start. One son had a beef noodle soup that was reminiscent of pho - it had a strong five-spice flavor. We ordered Yan Gian Pork - with tender pork slices, almost medallions, on a bed of shredded hot peppers - they were green, not as spicy as the little red ones. Then, the dish of the night - we had the whole fish in Sichuan chili sauce. Just had to suck the sauce off the bones - what an incredibly tasty sauce - spicy and sweet - just perfect for the fish.
Excellent service. Nice clean room and tables. The great majority of customers were Chinese, in fact for a time, the room was full and we were the only gringo's. I was so pleased to find this outside of Chinatown. For years, I've been telling Rick, down the street, to branch out from the standard Cantonese fare. (Rick's Cafe also called Chung King is one of the best traditional places in the area.) I suggested maybe just bring in some dim sum chefs on the weekends. He kept telling me that there weren't enough Chinese people in the area to make it profitable, and only a few non-Chinese would actually be interested. Well - spicy sichuan fare has moved in, and I would bet it's going to stay.