Minnesota Chinese food spent many years in a sludge of low expectations; the biggest debate was often whether "chow mein" could be spelled "chow main." Then we entered an era of separate but unequal: There were splendid things done with river fish and adorable little cuttlefish, but only for tables of Asian guests who showed up at the right times on the weekends. For everybody else? Let them eat cake—or at least cakey clumps of sweet and sour whatever. Little Szechuan vaulted onto the scene this year with a menu offering equal pain and suffering to all: If you wanted the numbing, burning bliss of Beef and Tofu cooked with Spicy Tasty Broth ($10.95) you'd get said bubbling, numbing chili inferno whether you were white, blue, spotted, or whatnot, and whether it was Tuesday lunch or Sunday dinner. Eureka! Bring on the delectable, paper-thin beef short ribs, trot out the platters of emerald-green pea tips, and load up on sea-foam-green meadows of cucumber topped with handfuls of black-red chili pods. Real authentic Szechuan cooking for all? Call it a miracle, call it a joy, but be sure to call for another beer to numb the heat—you'll need it.

Location Details

422 University Ave. W.
St. Paul MN 55103


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