3016 Lyndale Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN
Szechuan Spice, Lyndale and Lake. We used to come here a lot when it was the Zen Restaurant. The owner had a Chinese fusion theme and it was pretty good but very few people other than Nancy and I came. In 2010 Chef Chang Fu and his wife Jenni Shi took over the place and rechristened it Szechuan Spice. Nancy and I kind of drifted away because we like the previous owner and felt bad he lost his restaurant. Yesterday – Monday – we had to have Chinese food delivered – neither of us wanted to leave the house, but soon discovered that every Chinese restaurant we know of is closed on Monday. Then I remembered the neon sign in the window proclaiming “We Delivery.”
Their web page proclaims that they are open every day except Thanksgiving Day. We dove into their website. It is by far the worst web ordering experience possible. When after several attempts of losing the order or ending up with 6 egg rolls when we only wanted 2, we made it to the finish line and then their web page refused every credit and debit card in the house. The trick: read their online menu and then call them on the phone (612) 353-4281. They deliver within a five mile radius of Lyndale and Lake.
The results are worth it. Their new Chef Xue trained in China for 30 years and was the head Chef of the Chinese Government Offices in Szechuan. My department during my grad student days at the University of Toronto sat half a block north of Old Chinatown, one of the top China Town’s in North America and a perfect area for impoverished students to forage. Nancy and I have spent a lot of time in Chicago’s China town and also have visited the Chinatowns in London, Vancouver and Victoria. Chef Xue can hold his own against chefs in any of these places.
The menu is one of the least descriptive I have seen – you get the name of the dish in what I believe is Cantonese and then English and 0 to 3 chili peppers to let you know the heat of the dish. We ordered way too much. Two egg rolls - $5, probably the best in the Twin Cities and definitely the best delivered. Ditto on the Szechuan Dumpling in hot sauce (one chili) (6 for $6.75) and the Shanghai Mini Juicy Buns (6 for $7.50). Their menu included 19 hot appetizers and 14 cold appetizers. The appetizer menu has some items for the adventurous like Stewed Sliced Beef Stomach ($8.95), Shredded Pork Stomach in Spicy Sauce ($8.95), Szechuan Ma La Beef Tendon ($8.95), and House Special Sliced Beef & Stomach ($9.95). With a little more description on the menu or a few more beers before ordering, I might have tried one of these.
They have an enormous selection of seafood, beef, lamb, poultry, pork, vegetable, noodle and soup entrees. Nancy and I settled on a Minced Chicken Lettuce Cup ($10.95) and Crispy Fried Noodle with pork ($10.95). The pork was the most tendet and flavorful I have had anywhere. For $45 we enough food to feed at least one other couple – perhaps two, the order arrived in 30 minutes, and it was some of the best delivered Chinese we can remember.
Open 7 days a week
Phone: (612) 353-4281
To reach Szechuan Spice webpage click here