Szechuan and Grand Szechuan spicing up the suburbs

Dan Dan noodles might be the new pad Thai

I'd skip the sliced beef short ribs, which have a nice, meaty flavor, but I prefer a punchier marinade used in the Korean version, galbi. An off-the-menu dish our server suggested, of sole fillets in scallion-flecked ginger sauce, had a somewhat gelatinous texture but made for a nice respite from the spicier stuff. My favorite Grand Szechuan dish was an uncommon one: Milky Crispy Shrimp, in which the briny curls were batter fried and coated in a sweet, milky sauce. It was part seafood, part glazed doughnut, and made for a strange but delightful equation.

At Szechuan in Roseville, the Szechuan boiled beef and fish fillet in chili I tried were most memorable for their enormous portions, as they arrived in bowls capable of serving at least six people. The contents themselves, with their tender proteins and bean sprouts with a mild heat, were less remarkable, but that may have been due to our server's insistence on toning down the spice in spite of our protests.

In the end, I preferred several of Szechuan's vegetable and tofu dishes. Szechuan green beans are always a favorite, and these were textbook: The perfectly crisp, grassy strands were slightly blackened and glossed with hot, savory oil. A lightly salted stir-fry possessed similar snap with its medley of carrots, asparagus, water chestnuts, and pretty, snowflake-like lotus root discs.

Bringing the heat: (bottom to top) Grand Szechuan's Chung King, Dan Dan, cucumber-and-pepper salad
Jana Freiband
Bringing the heat: (bottom to top) Grand Szechuan's Chung King, Dan Dan, cucumber-and-pepper salad

Location Info


Grand Szechuan

10602 France Ave. S.
Bloomington, MN 55431

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Bloomington


2193 N. Snelling Ave., Roseville
appetizers $2-$9; entrées $10-$23

Grand Szechuan
10602 France Ave. S., Bloomington
appetizers $2-$9; entrées $8-$19

For a little textural contrast, Ma Po Tofu douses the silky soy cubes in chili oil and Szechuan peppercorns, whose fiery menthol has a woodsy, eucalyptus-like flavor and leaves behind a numbness that suggests your mouth may have just been treated for overuse after strenuous sports activity. The sensation is unlike that of any other spice, and it's one that many Minnesotans, says Szechuan owner Jessie Wong, have been eager to try. In fact, Wong says she's been impressed by how many non-Chinese customers have been putting themselves in their servers' hands and asking them to select dishes for them. "A lot of people are very brave," she notes. 

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