Sichuan Gourmet, dishes tried
I guess I will go alphabetically.... This means I'm starting with the less-interesting stuff. In case anyone wonders, the reason why I know about the appetizers is that my daughter sometimes gets a Pu Pu Platter the first time she tries a restaurant. Ditto some of the other more prosaic stuff. I may have some more annotations on other menus, but this is already long enough....
I see that I have less than glowing comments about many dishes. Odd, because this is my current favorite restaurant. I guess the answer is that the things I like are so astonishingly good that I am just idly experimenting with other dishes, and it doesn't really matter to me whether I love them or not. Also, you might note that other people have raved about some of the dishes that are not favorites of mine.
Note, too, that these letters and numbers refer to the takeout menu only!!!! The regular menu has different items with the same numbers. Be very careful when you order!
Final note: The lunches feature HUGE portions of the main course. (That MAY be huger for takeout; I'm not sure.)
A1 Egg Rolls--very odd tasting. I didn't like them at all.
A2 Fried Chicken Wings--crispy and pretty good but not as good as Yangtze River's. They stay extremely hot for an astonishingly long time. I wouldn't go out of my way to order them.
A3 Fried Chicken Fingers--not MY bag, but my daughter loves them.
A6 Beef Teriyaki--excellent. They have a very unusual flavor that I have not identified. Oh, and I wouldn't call them teriyaki, unless that now implies anything on a skewer.
A8 BBQ Spareribs--excellent. The best combination of flavor and texture I have come across.
S2 Hot and Sour Soup--decent but not sour. IIRC, it does contain all the right ingredients, but I saw NO pork. Recently, the H&S soups I've tried have not contained pork. Is this a new thing? BTW, I was talking to the owner about this soup, and they may work on a better version. He says the version that have is what Americans want!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
C1 Tangerine Chicken--huge pieces in a very crisp batter (do I want to know how this stays crisp even after it has been in the fridge for a while?). Sauce is good, but there wasn't enough of it. Not as good as General Tso's Chicken.
C2 General Tso's Chicken--very good flavor, but again, it was those huge pieces of chicken. I prefer smaller pieces.
C9 Jumbo Shrimps with Garlic Sauce--decent but not great. (Actually, I have extrapolated from some other dish with garlic sauce; I won't repeat this with all the garlic sauce dishes.)
D1 See C2
D2 Beef and Broccoli--my daughter didn't particularly like this. I forget whether I sampled it.
D5 See K7
I1 See V5.
J1 Dried Chicken with Chili Sauce--decent. Sort-of a dry stir-fry with green peppers (those are more the Japanese type, not like ours). Not a favorite of mine. Same sauce as R1.
J3 See K3.
J11 Chicken with Special Sour Sauce--I like to order this as a foil for heavier, spicy dishes. It is not very sour, and the greens are just sort-of limp, but it is still pretty pleasant-and different.
K3 Sichuan Kung Bao Chicken--very good if in the mood. Quite different from the usual versions one encounters, this is mostly chicken with peanuts and chiles. Usually NO celery, although the last time it contained a tad of it. I don't know WHAT the taste is-maybe chiles cooked over a very high flame, although they are not scorched.
K7 Sweet & Sour Chicken--although this is my daughter's favorite thing here, I don't like it. In case you are bringing your kids, note that this version does not contain any pineapple. Rather it has a lot of chunks of green pepper and onion and a few maraschino cherries. BTW, Yangtze River has the best S&S Chicken, better than other places' versions even on an off day.
L1 See C2
L2 See C1
L7 See K3
L8 See K7
R1 Sichuan Double Cooked Bacon--okay. Not my favorite. And fatty. Essentially the same preparation as J1.
R14 Cellophane Noodles with Mince Pork in Special Sauce--very good. Better than mine, but not as good as Sichuan Garden's.
Not on takeout menu Pork with Sour Green Beans--ugh. I didn't like this at all. And they brought it again by mistake.
T3 Hot and Sour Minced Shrimp Soup--milder than the beef version, but this actually contains some shrimp. IIRC, other components are tofu, peas, carrots, baby corn.... I didn't find this particularly worthwhile.
T4 Hot and Sour Minced Beef Soup--to quote a famous commercial, "where's the beef?". This has better flavor than the shrimp version and contains the same tofu and veggies. On the inhouse menu, this may be H&S Soup with Minced Tendon. I was really happy to see that-but then wondered where's the tendon????? I like this, but the first time I had it, I was disappointed, because I was expecting to see bee/tendon.
V2 Sichuan Style String Beans--very good.
V5 Ma Po Tofu--excellent. As good as any I ever made. This version contains fermented black beans, which give it a "bright" flavor.
Not on menu Moo Shi Veggies--par for the course.
X1 Sliced Roast Beef & Tendon with Chili Sauce (cold)--this is one of my favorite dishes here. Excellent. Note that it does contain tripe too. I do wish the garnish was cilantro and not parsley!
X2 Steamed Fresh Pork with Garlic Sauce--I almost ordered this last time but was warned that it is very fatty. I pass that warning on to you.
X10 Five Flavored Beef--this is sort-of like Qingdao's Roast Beef in Soy Sauce, but not as subtle (in this case, subtle is good). It also lacks the nice texture of Qingdao's version.
X10 Sichuan Wonton with Hot and Sour Soup--this is another favorite. (I have two containers in the fridge right now!) It has all the flavor that the regular hot and sour soup lacks and then some. Note there is more wonton than liquid if that matters to you.
X11 Sichuan Wonton with Spicy Chili Sauce--this is very good, but since it has the same sauce as X1, I generally don't get it.
X12 Sichuan Cold Noodles--very good. I forget whether the spicy version is again the same sauce as X1. I prefer the nonspicy version, which is very nicely flavored.
X13 Dan Dan Noodles--this is like X1 (IIRC) but has a more "floral" flavor-at least it did when *I* had it!
Z3 See R1
Z4 See J11
Z8 See V5
Z14 Sichuan Pickled Noodle Soup with Pork--almost all noodles.
Z15 Sour Cabbage Noodle Soup with Pork--ditto.
Z16 Zha Jiang Noodle with Pork and Spicy Sauce--not great.
Z18 See X10
Special Green Bean Pudding--not very good. I REALLY didn't like the texture at all, although I usually like such things. And, again, the sauce is the same as that used on X1.