Archive for 'Szechuan Gourmet'

Szechuan Gourmet’s Szechuan Duck is Chinese Take Out Magic


We love Sichuan (or “Szechuan”) food, and obviously the original Szechuan Gourmet (on 39th btw. 5+6th) is an old Midtown Lunch fave.  But I think it’s time people focused more on what’s going on at their second location (on 56th btw Bway+8th) And Robert Sietsema agrees! The reason you should pay more attention to them is because they serve basically the same menu and there’s less of a wait. Who wants to spend their lunch break waiting instead of eating? Not I! So, when I sauntered up to the restaurant last week I was pretty excited to see something new on the lunch special menu: crispy boneless duck with garlic sauce ($9.75 after taxes). I wasn’t sure exactly how new it was, but it was certainly new to me. And I figured since rocket ships can’t be built without science, neither can figuring out if lunch specials are worth it. It was for the sake of science that I ventured forth…

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TONY is Officially Obsessed With Midtown Lunch

DSC04995For the second time in three weeks Time Out New York’s “Officially Obsessed” column has been dedicated to pretty well known Midtown Lunch’ing spots. Two weeks ago it the braised crispy tofu with chili and sliced pork from the new Szechuan Gourmet (on 56th btw. B’way+8th), and this week it’s the papri chaat from Indus Express.  (This actually marks the second time TONY has called out the latter… it was named one of the Top 100 Bites of 2008.)

Can’t argue with either recommendation (although if push comes to shove I’m still sticking with the twice cooked pork belly with chili and leeks.)

Snapshots: For Those About to Chaat…
Pork Belly w/ Chili Leeks Still Good at the New Szechuan Gourmet

TONY Likes The New Szechuan Gourmet: The new location of Szechuan Gourmet (on 56th btw. B'way+8th) gets its first magazine press this week... Time Out New York is "officially obsessed" with their braised crispy tofu with chili and sliced pork.

Pickles Now Included at New Szechuan Gourmet


Great news from the new Szechuan Gourmet (on 56th btw. B’way+8th).  Remember how their menus promised free szechuan pickles with every lunch special, but when they opened the lady at the counter said it was a misprint?  Apparently they’ve changed their mind.  From Lunch’er Grace: “Just ordered pork/leeks from the newest branch of Szechuan Gourmet and am proud to inform you that the pickles have arrived! I received a nice portion with my delivered lunch and it’s nice and crunchy and salty!”

Pork Belly w/ Chili Leeks Still Good at the New Szechuan Gourmet
Szechuan Gourmet: Day 1 as a NYT 2 Starred Restaurant

Translating Szechuan Gourmet: Dave Cook from Eating in Translation has been slowly eating his way through the menu at the new branch of Szechuan Gourmet on 56th btw. B'way+8th.  It all looks pretty delicious, from the sliced beef tendon, to the dan dan noodles and string beans with minced pork. [Eating in Translation]

New Szechuan Gourmet NOT Affiliated With Grand Sichuan or Wu Liang Ye

So wait, everything I read on Chowhound is not necessarily true?  Shocker!  Not surprisingly, it looks like the bit about the new Szechuan Gourmet being some sort of joint venture with Grand Sichuan and Wu Liang Ye is completely untrue.  A little sleuthing by an Eater intern uncovered the truth, and they were kind enough to forward it along:

The girls answering the phone at the new Szechuan Gourmet said the manager wasn’t available, but that the location “was only Szechuan Gourmet.” Because her English wasn’t good and she seemed to not understand the question, I’d rely more on what the managers of all the other restaurants said…

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New Szechuan Gourmet is Joint Venture With Wu Liang Ye & Grand Sichuan?

Check out this very interesting and detailed post on Chowhound about the brand new location of Szechuan Gourmet (on 56th btw. B’way+8th.  Not only does it detail the differences between it and the original, but also claims that it’s “a joint venture between the owners of Szechuan Gourmet, Grand Sichuan, and Wu Liang Ye” (on 48th btw. 5+6th) and the chef  “used to cook at Grand Sichuan.”   Another bit of noteworthy info: the Chef is in China right now and won’t be back for another week, so you may want to hold off on visiting the new location.  Considering how good my double cooked pork belly with chili leeks was without the real chef, I’m excited to see how good it is when he returns! [Thanks to Kathryn Yu for the tip.]

Pork Belly w/ Chili Leeks Still Good at the New Szechuan Gourmet

Szechuan Gourmet 56

After Wednesdays false alarm, I excitedly hit up the new location of Szechuan Gourmet (on 56th btw. B’way+8th) yesterday right at noon, only to find out they were still waiting for the city to give them the green light to open (it came about an hour later.) But they were willing to do take out orders- so I did what had to be done: double cooked pork belly with chili leeks, to go, with white rice and hot and sour soup. The version served at the flagship, two starred NYT, restaurant (on 39th btw. 5+6th) is quite possibly my favorite Chinese food dish in the city. But the question remained, would the version at this new location stand up.

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Szechuan Gourmet Update: The new Szechuan Gourmet (on 56th btw. Bway+8th) still isn't open for lunch, but they are doing take out. (Just ordered my pork belly with chili leeks!) They're hoping to open for dinner tonight but are waiting for the ok from the city. If you want to call ahead the # is 212-265-2226. UPDATE FROM THE COMMENTS: They are now completely open for business.

First Look: Lunch Menu From the New Szechuan Gourmet

A new branch of Szechuan Gourmet is set to open today on 56th btw. B’way+8th, and Lunch’er “Jonathan” was kind enough to scan the menu and send it over.  From the looks of the things it’s mostly the same as the original location (on 39th btw. 5+6th), with maybe a few more lunch specials?  But the most important thing to note is that the SG specialties all remain intact (like ma “paul” tofu and double cooked pork belly with chili leeks.)  Plus lunch specials now come with soup *and* szechuan pickled vegetables! Very exciting.

Check out the full menu of lunch specials after the jump…

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