Lunch Deal At Famous Sichuan Makes Street Meat Look Expensive
On certain days when I have a little extra time on my hands for lunch, I like to venture a little farther than normal for food, and in most cases that usually means Chinatown. And when that intersects with wanting spicy food, the Sichuan variety comes to mind. That’s what led me to Famous Sichuan on Pell St. (btw. Doyers & Bowery). Once I got there I discovered perhaps the greatest lunch deal I’ve found yet, in an area of the city known for its dirt cheap food.According to the menu, the restaurant is the only one in lower Manhattan that specializes in Sichuan food, which means I made an excellent decision. (Also, this proclamation is right underneath a picture of a dish called pig tripe blood cake with sauce, which is just plain awesome). The lunch deal is $5.50 and includes a cold appetizer of the day, choice of three soups, rice and an entree. Did I mention the $5.50 includes tax? And that they give you a free pot of tea if you eat there?
There are 39 choices of entree for lunch including all of the Americanized favorites (Kung Pao chicken, pepper steak with onions) and some Sichuan fare. I zeroed in on the Chengdu double-sauteed pork, with some wonton soup.
The cold appetizer, or “first course,” if we’re going to be fancy, was spicy chunks of white and orange pickled carrot, and it was delicious. I’m not sure if the free appetizer changes daily or it’s always the same.
The soup was better than what you normally get with these lunch deals, but the two wontons were filled with some sort of weird dry meat. I ate them anyway, because hey, they’re still wontons. The other choices are hot and sour or egg drop soup.
Then came the main event, with a good-sized platter of the double-sauteed pork coming out. I would basically compare it to eating a plate of bacon, but the best bacon ever, slicked with spicy oil. It’s normally $10.95 on the menu, and although I’m sure they give you more than at lunch, I still feel like they were giving this stuff away.
There are some nice green vegetables along with the pork, but they too are spicy. Basically, if you like hot peppers and bacon, you will like this dish.
I’m not 100% sure they are indeed the only restaurant in Chinatown specializing in Sichuan food, but I don’t care. This food was great and for $5.50, it’s a definite frontrunner in the search for cheap and delicious lunches.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Lunch is $5.50, including tax!?!
- You get three courses in said cheap-ass lunch.
- Even if you eat in and order a drink, you’re still getting out of there for $10.
THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- It’s in Chinatown, and that’s too far.
- You have to order $15 for delivery.
Famous Sichuan, 10 Pell St. (btw. Doyers & Bowery), (212) 233- 3888