Cheap Eats 2010: Sichuan Village
100 places that offer great food at low prices.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published June 16, 2010
Cheap Eats (2010) Cheap Eats 2011
Sichuan Village
Address: 14005 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy., Chantilly, VA 20151
Phone: 703-631-5888
Neighborhood: Chantilly/Centreville/Clifton
Cuisines: Szechuan, Chinese
Opening Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 10 to 10 PM; Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 11 PM.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Steamed pork shank; Szechuan street dumplings; Green Bean Jelly with black pepper; cumin lamb; ma po tofu; spicy potato noodles; Kung Pao chicken; Chengdu pork; "ants on a stick."
Price Details: Entrées $6.50 to $21.95, lunch buffet $8, dinner buffet $9, weekend buffet $10.

Why go: This family-owned two-part restaurant—a server-attended dining room and a less-appealing buffet—puts the Szechuan province and its namesake mouth-numbing peppercorn on vivid display in dishes assembled with fresh produce and experienced hands. The signature Chengdu sauce, ablaze with red chilies and scallions and available with almost every protein, proves that Chinese cooking can be way more than orange chicken.

What to get: Chengdu beef, fish, or pork; sweet-onion cake, whose fried dough is good for sopping up sauces or cooling a burning palate; a vinegary version of dan dan noodles; pea shoots stir-fried with garlic; pork belly with ginger and long beans; ma po tofu.

Best for: Large groups of intrepid eaters who aren’t afraid to try such dishes as Ants on the Tree (pork with noodles) or green-bean jelly.

Insider tip: Don’t let the staff steer you to the Americanized buffet; ask for suggestions from the Chinese menu instead.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here  

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 06/16/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews