Little Szechuan adds heat to Stadium Village

Grant Tillery

Most Chinese restaurants around campus are inauthentic, serving up ladle after ladle of $6.95 lunch specials.  Sesame chicken reigns king, and MSG-laden egg rolls somehow pass as acceptable starters.  The offerings range from the mundane (Shuang Cheng's castrated version of American Chinese) to the downright disgusting (at Village Wok, General Tso Chicken is probably General Tso Cockroach).

The arrival of Little Szechuan bucks the trend, serving up hearty, fiery Szechuan dishes.  The third outpost of a local chain, Little Szechuan is rated as one of CNN's 50 Best Chinese Restaurants in the United States.  If the "Taste of Szechuan" Chicken is any evidence, Little Szechaun deserves it billing.

The chicken is presented on a gargantuan platter, and can easily be turned into three meals.  It's liberally interspersed with dried chili peppers, which give it a throat-burning bite.  The chicken is fried, but not battered, which sets it apart from its competitors "chicken".  Though at $12.95 it veers out of lunch special territory, it's worth the extra money.  This is as good as Chinese food gets in the Twin Cities.  Little Szechuan offers many other Szechuan specialties, including Ma Po Tofu, Chung King chili beef, and dan dan noodles.

Besides authenticity, Little Szechuan's strength is that it won't give you Montezuma's revenge.  When I woke up this morning, I wasn't nauseous.  This is a welcome change to typical reactions to the food from campus-area Chinese restaurants.

What: Little Szechuan
Where: 304 Oak St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11AM-11PM, Friday 11AM-12AM, Saturday 11:30AM-12AM, Sunday 11:30AM-9:30PM