A trip to Flushing for real Chinese food has long been on my list of to-dos and just the other week, it finally happened. Spicy and Tasty is a Schezwan spot highly recommended by foodies who debate over whether it's as good as it used to be on Chowhound. Nestled in a neon-lit side street off one of the most transporting areas of the city, where nary an English word is muttered and enticing Peking ducks hang from all the windows, the no frills restaurant boasts a no frills staff that was patient enough to inform us that we were accidentally ordering dessert as entrees and that what we thought was pork was chicken, what we thought was beef was pork, etc. Not, mind you, that the menu is terribly confusing, but we managed to make it that way.
Oh, and that dessert we ordered was a wonderful mistake: four little dumplings with a sweet peanut sauce filled with a sugar black sesame ooze. I almost never care for Asian desserts, I think my palette is too fat-American based in unnatural processed sugars (I still ate pop rocks in between classes in college), but this was great.
Acting on internet recommendations we tried the dan dan noodles, which we were instructed to “please stir”. They were delicious with a strong flavor and spice, a definite must for return visits. Also highly recommended was twice cooked pork – a frightening mound of glistening pork slices that were most akin to fatty strips of bacon. A delicious one bite to be sure but, as my co-eaters can attest (who did not stop at one strip), not the wisest thing to make a giant meal of, I did, however, savor the accompanying scallions. Speaking of scallions, the beef and scallions was good, like excellent delivery-caliber Chinese, but not quite worth writing home about.
The real gem of the night was the Mild Spicy Chicken Schezwan Style. Hands down, this bold, crispy, intricate dish was the best Chinese food I've ever had and I can't recommend that you order it enough. It delivered exactly what I was hoping for: the kind of meal that makes you rethink a national cuisine that has simply been butchered by too many poor renditions.