21 Saint Marks Place between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
$25 each for three, with three beers, with tip
♥ ♥ ♥
The Chipotle opened along St. Marks opened first and then the vending-machine store BAM! made headlines. When I saw the Grand Sichuan open, I only thought, Great, I don’t have to go to Chelsea for Sichuan Chinese food. The neighborhood is truly changing and now tattoo and piercing parlors co-exist with restaurants catering to both college students and punk kids. I wasn’t about to pass by the area without trying some spicy Chinese food. Because I am used to the Grand Sichuan menu, I also ordered the same dishes from the St. Marks branch.
The Dan Dan noodles is always good, almost swimming in oil and red, chili sauce. I don’t think I ever go to any Sichuan restaurant without ordering these noodles first. The double-cooked pork was a little bit cold and chewy served with scallions and green peppers but still a good dish with rice. My favorite is the kung pao chicken. Every person who insist on ordering Chinese food from the take-out stores should order the real Sichuan version of kung pao chicken so that they can change their minds about how hit-or-miss Chinese food can be. The smoked tofu with celery dish is also a choice of mine for its texture and earthy taste. The celery becomes a palate cleanser while the tofu tames my tongue from all the spicy taste it’s been getting. With all those dishes, we can’t say no to the vegetables. Peashoot leaves are always expensive but a big plate of them always finishes first. They’re sautÃ©ed in hot oil and garlic and balances out the whole array of plates on your table.
The St. Marks is sparkling new and it’s definitely less of a zoo than the Chelsea branch so if you’re craving Chinese food and don’t want to keep walking downtown, Grand Sichuan is the way to go.
Grand Sichuan in Chelsea