Even with a shortened work week, it felt like a long one. Friday night after work, we headed up to Great Wall on 14th Street to pick up Sichuan takeout. I called in the order when we were on our way, and it was ready by the time we finally battled through the traffic.
We love Sichuan food, and have tried Sichuan Jin River in Rockville, Hong Kong Palace in Seven Corners, Sichuan Pavilion on K Street; as well as Uncle Liu's Hotpot in Falls Church and Mala Tang in Arlington. We ordered our usual favorites to base our comparison on.
Dan Dan Noodles, Boiled Beef with Vegetables, Mapo Tofu with Pork
The Dan Dan Noodles are topped with ground pork and two sauteed yu choy.
The sauce is nice and spicy with a good hint of vinegar bite.
The noodles do get a bit too soft, and I think I prefer the super thin noodle version at Sichuan Pavilion.
Boiled Beef with Vegetables is laden with spice and flavor (and oil).
Solid version, in a three-way tie with versions from Sichuan Pavilion and Hong Kong Palace.
Mapo Tofu with pork and visible black beans.
Topped with a layer of oil that congealed during the time it took to travel from the restaurant to home.
When we got home, this definitely needed to be reheated on the stove to bring all the flavors into harmony and temperature back up to fiery inferno.
Mala Wontons and yu choy with garlic.
Admittedly, this is a lot of food, we spread it out over two meals. If you're in the Dupont or Logan Circle area, definitely check out Great Wall. Skip the Americanized Chinese and feel the ma-la burn. If you're closer to Foggy Bottom-Farragut West, check out Sichuan Pavilion. They have much more seating available and also a small private room if you need to host a dinner for 10-12 people. The Sichuan places we go to in Virginia do a comparable version with appropriate heating and spicing. No need to drive up to Rockville to Sichuan Jin River if you're in the DC or VA areas.