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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happiest pepper in town

Spicy cold noodles
Cold pickled wood ear fungus with chilli
Hot and spicy fish soup with mushrooms and bean sprouts
(make sure it's the 'ma la' one with sichuan peppers - there are 2 versions)
Dry-fried Chongqing style chicken
'Ants climbing a tree' (minced pork and bean thread noodles)
Sautéed shredded potatoes
Dumplings in chili sauce
The owner and chef (left), his wife and manager (middle)
and the confused and 80% non-English speaking friendly waiter (right)
Interior (sparkling and so clean!)
The Little Pepper logo - happiest pepper in town
LOCATION: Little Pepper, 18-24 College Point Blvd, Flushing, Queens, New York
CATEGORY: Chinese, Sichuan
DRINK: Tea and ice water
WE THINK: Finally! After a long, focused and disheartening hunt for a good Sichuan Chinese restaurant in New York City (sure, there may be some that missed our radar but it can't be many) we found our spot. Unfortunately, like many good Chinese restaurants, it's a bit of a trek unless you live in Flushing. Newly reopened after the owners moved the restaurant a few miles north from Roosevelt Avenue, Little Pepper is by far the best and most authentic (and cleanest!) Sichuan restaurant we've been to in NYC and among the top 5 we've been to outside of China. We ordered some good old classics (all highly recommended) which were very well prepared, spicy and numbing (lots of Sichuan peppercorn) and surprisingly light and clean. Happy little peppers! As happens so often when we eat out, we over-ordered by 200%. No big deal - the leftovers were almost better the next day. Especially the ants climbing a tree which we ate cold so the noodles and the ants (minced pork) were nice and springy. We are already booking a Zip Car for our next visit. 

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