Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chili Szechuan

4626 Baltimore Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(215) 662-0888

With the explosion of Han Dynasty, there was bound to be some new Szechuan style places popping up. This one is right in the hot spot of the Baltimore Ave Triangle, where some new and interesting places are always opening up. I felt it was worth a try.

There was a very small crowd for primetime on a Thursday, but the inside was reasonably well appointed, and clean.

They had the dishes made famous in Philadelphia by Han, so it was a must-try situation. Enter spicy cucumbers and Dan Dan Noodles.

The cukes were good, but not QUITE as good as the peppercorn master's.

The Dan Dan were also tasty, and a good substitute, but both of these dishes were the same price as Han's, so I just couldn't justify it, given the choice.

For the entrees, the hot sauce style chicken came out in one HUGE portion, which was not a bad deal, given the $15 price tag, and definitely brought the sour/heat that it should have. It was not a bad rendition by any means.

The hot pot style rabbit, however, had issues. I knew ordering rabbit from a place with one other table on a Thursday night was likely a risky venture, but my dining partner was in the mood, so far be it from me to discourage culinary adventure.

The issue with this dish, however, was that the rabbit was served bone-in. And the pieces were chopped so small that you were forced to try and suck a tiny piece of meat off of a jagged piece of bone and cartilage. It ended up being an effort in futility, and I can't say I was a fan. The flavor was there, but the tiny pieces of chewy hare just didn't seem worth it.

This was the "bone plate". Not so hot.

I can't say that I would definitely go back, given the proximity of the West Philly Han Dynasty, but some of the dishes were surely passable.

No comments: