With the good neighborhood Chinese restaurant something of an endangered species, I am happy to report that the Grand Sichuan International on 24th Street and Ninth Avenue (212-620-5200) is still turning out first-rate, moderately priced food. GSI is a mini-chain that periodically gets the "gone downhill" reports from diners, but based on Monday night's meal, the food at 24th and Ninth at least is, if anything, going uphill. Here's what we had last night, with nary a loser in the bunch:
- Dan Dan Noodle with Chili Sauce
- Sichuan Wonton with Red Oil
- Pork and Crab Soup Dumplings
- Sautéed Shredded Potatoes with Vinegar (what I call Chinese hashbrowns)
- Sautéed and Dry String Beans with Minced Pork
- Spicy Double-Cooked Pork (the fattier version)
- Fresh Baby Chicken with Young Ginger Root
- Shrimp with Sichuan Sauce
For dessert, we got sweet orange slices, fortune cookies, and a request to vacate our table.
As for the other locations: Peter Meehan liked the one at 19-23 Saint Marks Place (at 8th Street; 212-529-4805). The one at 50th Street and Ninth Avenue is closed, and I have heard good recent reports on the one at 1049 Second Avenue (at 56th Street), called Grand Sichuan Eastern (212-355-5855).
Has anyone recently eaten at the Grand Sichuan at 125 Canal (at Chrystie Street; 212-625-9212) or Grand Sichuan NY at 227 Lexington Avenue (b/n 33rd and 34th streets; 212-679-9770)? It's very difficult to keep track of all these iterations, but if we attack this problem collectively, we should be able to do just that.
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