I can't stop thinking about this place...
Earlier today I had dinner for the first time at Szechuan Gourmet... and I can't wait to go back.
I'm addicted to spicy foods, and this place is like heaven. I'm glad to finally have somewhere like this nearby (rather than having to travel all the way to Flushing and back for Spicy Tasty or Little Pepper).
My meal: Ox Tripe and Tongue (spectacular! amazing spice, mouth-numbing, everything was so crisp and fresh), Dan Dan Noodles (not the best i've had, of this standard szechuan staple.. i wanted a little tartness or tang, but it was still really good), Scallion Pancake (SO good, surprisingly. it was light and flaky, delicious. Not at all, thankfully, the typical soggy dense greasy version), Braised Lamb Fillets with Napa Cabbage and Roasted Chili (amazingly spicy! the lamb was extremely tender. all the different little vegetables were all cooked perfectly. the only negative thing i could say is perhaps it could use a little less salt)... I keep looking over the menu, planning my next visit (Spicy Sesame Noodles, Beef Tendon, Chef's Ma Paul Tofu, Double Cooked Sliced Pork Belly...)
The restaurant decor is nothing special, kind of standard, it could be Cleveland in 1980, but nothing is dirty or tacky.
The service was as helpful as they could possibly be. There was a cute moment where the server asked if he could take my plate and I sort of went ""yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no, okay"" (it's so hard to say goodbye!), we both laughed.
The clientelle was varied -- a hispanic couple who ordered safe dishes and pushed things around, not eating much. a jewish couple with sleeping infant who ordered safe (and a lot!) but loved every bite. a few chinese couples who were really enjoying themselves, and me... At one point the Chinese couple next to me complimented me, saying I really knew how to order the good stuff (aka I eat like them), and it's surprising how i could handle the extreme spice (which was too hot even for them).