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Remembering Those Szechuan Gourmet Friday Nights

November 10, 2011

For one of the dinners during LZ’s visit last weekend, we decided to hit up an old favorite of ours back when in the days.  Szechuan Gourmet takeouts on Fridays became a tradition shortly after we discovered the spot in 2008.  I am so glad that all three of us (LZ, SB and I) have a penchant for mouth numbing bordering on painful spiciness because SG is addicting.

SL joined the three of us on Saturday night for a walk down memory lane.  It was surprising to see a small crowd in the lobby of the 39th street location of SG but we were seated fairly quickly.  There was no need for the menus that the waitress handed out because we already knew by heart which dishes we had come for.  Come on, we are regulars after all.

The first dish to come out was the sauteed green beans.  As always, these were cooked to just the right amount of tenderness, just avoiding being mushy.  They are sauteed with a preserved vegetable to give them a level of savory beyond just salt.

Next came the mapo tofu and the start of the spicy.  This is pretty much a staple at any Szechuan restaurant and SG does it right.  The tofu they use is the ultra soft and every bite of it just melted in my mouth.  The sauce had both chili peppers and Szechuan peppercorn which brought heat at the same time as a numbing and cooling sensation to the tip of our tongue.  Even though we had only a few bites, it was starting to hurt.

The braised fish with chili that followed was like putting oil on a fire.  Do you see that layer of chili at the top?  It’s not just for show.  This dish is spicy and was always present every time we ordered SG.  Buried under a thick layer of tender white fish were a variety of vegetables including napa cabbage and enochi mushrooms.  The fish was flavored thoroughly and I just wanted to eat the entire thing by myself.

Szechuan Gourmet has a whole section of noodles and after having tried most of them, I have concluded that the braised noodles with pork is by the superior dish to have.  I was eagerly awaiting this particular arrival at our table.  The clear cellophane noodles came in a spicy (of course) broth filled with minced pork and green onions.  They hit the noodles with a hint of black vinegar to cut the oil which is quite refreshing.  There is something so addicting about these noodles that makes me crave them every so often out of the blue.

Between the four of us, we managed to lick all four dishes completely clean.  Not a hard feat given how delicious everything was and it was exactly what we remembered.  Dinner here instantly brought us back two years and it felt like it is Friday night again back in that tiny little living room with a counter full of Szechuan Gourmet.

Szechuan Gourmet | 21 West 39th Street, New York, NY 10018 (second location on West 56th between Broadway and 8th) |

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 12, 2011 7.23 pm

    ❤ SG

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