Mon-Thu, 11:30am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-11pm; Sun, 1pm-10:30pm
B, Q at Seventh Ave.; 2, 3 at Grand Army Plaza
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Parkside Ave. to Third Ave., 19th St. to Flatbush Ave.
This handy local Chinese spot is serviceable, if generic, with low prices, reliable delivery, and hundreds of choices. Despite the name, the menu covers not only Szechuan dishes, but Cantonese, Hunan, and even Americanized items hearkening back to La Choy’s heyday with a long list of mock meat varieties. Inside, the stroller set sits side by side with longtime landlords and day laborers in an environment nicer than the drab storefront suggests. Wooden beams loom overhead while red tassels dangle from the walls and a ceramic pony sets an arty, if kitschy, Eastern tone. The food is better executed than the average lo mein mill, especially appetizers like meaty barbecue spare ribs—thick, chewy, smoky and sweet—and a hot and sour soup carrying a distinctive tang. Heavy-handed saucing marks the entrees, especially the Szechuan tofu, whose firm blocks stand up to the deluge while retaining the peppy, spicy seasoning. Vegetables, such as crunchy string beans sautéed in garlic, are given a welcome, lighter treatment. Flaws aside: Locals have been counting on this neighborhood place for over 20 years.Recommended Dishes
Barbecue spare ribs, $6.95; sautéed string beans, $8.50; hot and sour soup, $1.60