It’s a classic Chinese eatery, Little Szechuan is, one of those forgotten places that Gene Lee once spoke of, once high on foodie’s lists but too old, too familiar to consider hot anymore. These days they proudly post that they are one of America’s top 100 Chinese restaurants as chosen by Chinese Restaurant Review, over a 5 year span by Yan of Yan Can Cook (is he the new hottie on the Food Network?), and older AJC articles praising their string beans have yellowed and faded away.
I guess I really should be reviewing Bocado or Yeah! Burger, but Howell Mill Road just isn’t that close to Snellville, and I’m still recovering from relatives.
What Little Szechuan is, is a place whose clientele is still far more Asian than Causasian, whose servings are simply enormous, a place that understands how to make foods spicy and good in a town allergic to well spiced food. Yes, the staff sometimes are more enthusiastic than pretty, and they don’t understand English particularly well. Maybe people prefer the well bred young male staff you can find in “What the Pho?” or the graceful elegance of, oh, Sushi Nami, but in sheer quantity and quality of food Little Szechuan delivers.
It’s also one of my wife’s favorite restaurants and she gave me grief for not calling her when I was there. Yes, it clearly was a mistake. I have no excuses, other than I’ve been getting off work hungry these days.
Once seated the staff placed a starter on my table. Sprouts, carrots, daikon, but I ate them eagerly. The egg rolls that followed I split open and pulled out the good cabbage inside. I can’t get enough of cooked vegetables these days. The side of rice was enormous, and of course I could have about two spoonfuls of that. My entrée was steamed mussels in black bean sauce. The mussels were large, the largest serving of seafood that’s been placed in front of me since I was hospitalized. I ate all of it, with gusto.
I had skipped lunch this day, so it didn’t interfere at all with my diet, and purine rich or no, after having lost 4 stones 2 pounds since February, I just don’t seem as sensitive to high purine foods as I once was. 3 ounces of mussels, I understand, have 700 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, and this is a bit more than 3 ounces of meat. I think I counted 15 mussels in the batch. I may have skipped one or two.
In summary, not a hot restaurant anymore, but still a good food value. Entrées here still can feed two, or one exceptionally hungry salary man.
Verdict: The old warhorse is still going strong. Highly recommended, perhaps very highly recommended.
5091-C Buford Highway
Doraville, GA 30340
Note: Amy on Food has a nice review of Little Szechuan. And my wife made me pick up food from here the day after this review was written.