10 May 2011

Grand Sichuan



Jersey City has a great place to set your mouth on fire, with its own branch of the ever popular and usually satisfying Grand Sichuan. Peach lights and napkins welcome you into the small dining room, packed with many of the town's Chinese population apparently.

I apologize for a post without photos, but I screwed up all my interior shots and will try to describe the experience well enough to get a sense of the place. The two other people I was dining with and I could not resist the temptation of the spicy rabbit head ($3.50 each). This dish is definitely not for the faint of heart, and despite my feeling I can handle most foods, this turned out to be tougher than imagined. You are presented the heads pretty much fresh off the body. The buck teeth and eyes stare you down as you wonder where to start. My recommendation is to start tearing it apart so that you reduce its facial qualities and can pick at the small amounts of meat here and there. And don't forget the brain!

Grand Sichuan does the specialties well, the ma po to fu with minced beef ($8.95) is very solid, spicy but not fiery. There is always something special and comforting about the texture and warmth of this dish. Also grab the cumin lamb ($12.95), sometimes northeast Chinese dish, but with a Sichuanese flare here.

The highlight of any Sichuan meal is the Chong Qing spicy chicken ($12.95), a mound of chicken and dried peppers. After eating about five or so of these peppers the waiter stopped by to tell me I was crazy. "We don't eat those, they are just for spicing the meat." I have had other out-of-body experiences with this dish though, and was headed there again, once you get past the third or fourth you really can't stop.

After we finished, our waiter returned to compliment our decisions, adding that "...to come into Chinese restaurant and order American Chinese is STUPID!" I like his passion.

342 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ

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