EAT (out)

Sichuan Chili Chinese Restaurant (A Must Eat)

Located on Reading Road in a modest strip mall, the flavors at Sichuan Chili are anything but small.  This Chinese restaurant brings the heat (in all the right ways)!  Diners can order from two menus at Sichuan Chili.  One highlights the authentic Chinese dishes of the Sichuan providence and the other features what we Americans would call traditional Chinese fare.  And, let me say, I am picky about Chinese restaurants and thus I don’t eat it as often as I’d like.  Sichuan Chili is the game changer.

American and Authentic Menus

We’ve been to Sichuan Chili four times in the last two months, trying some familiar dishes, but mainly finding new favorites.  The menu is HUGE; honestly, I could eat here daily and it would take me a couple months to try all the dishes I’m interested in.  For now, here are some of the dishes we can’t wait to eat again:

  1. Stewed Beef with Noodles- I don’t know exactly what this dish is, but it is a-maz-ing.  Buyer be warned, the heat is intense, but worth every single bite. So much flavor in that broth.
  2. Sautéed Green Beans- Best green beans I’ve ever had.  Hands down.  Some addictive spice in there.
  3. Sichuan Mini Hotpot with Beef- This one finishes cooking right in front of you.  The broth is rich and packed with spice.  You also have a choice about the type of meat and the vegetables included in this dish.
  4. Garlic Bok Choy- I’ve never eaten bok choy that wasn’t part of a stir-fry.  Cooked like this, it stands on its own perfectly.  The bok choy is the star and I devoured the plate.
  5. Sichuan Mala Chicken- This one has chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns; it’s the kind of heat that hits you as you go and kind of makes your tongue numb.  It sounds strange, but it’s addictive.

I think in this case, pictures really can say vastly more than my limited words.  My recommendation?  You just have to try it for yourself.

Stewed Beef with Noodles

Sautéed Green Beans

Mini Hot Pot with Beef

Garlic Bok Choy

Sichuan Mala Chicken

At Sichuan Chili, you can eat family style.  This is a great place to go with a group; pass the dishes around the table and everyone feasts. Just remember, if it says spicy, it is indeed spicy!  I can’t say it enough- this Chinese restaurant is the REAL DEAL! I am often the minority diner at Sichuan Chili, and to me, that says a great deal about how good (and authentic) the food is.

GO THERE (Sichuan Chili in Sharonville)!  TRY THAT (Bok Choy, Garlic Green Beans, Stewed Beef with Noodles)!
Sichuan Chili Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

EAT (out)

Arrechissimo

I wrote this original post a couple years ago before I knew that the owners have kids in my school district.  This makes me love this restaurant even more.  Check out the post, and most importantly, stop by and get some food.  Arrechissimo is authentic and delicious! Plus, there is an OTR location coming soon

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Sometimes when my husband and I are out and about and it’s time to eat, we search for restaurants in our surrounding area for the sole purpose of trying something new.  We like to be adventurous. This is how we learned about Arrechissimo in the Blue Ash/Deer Park area.

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Arrechissimo is a small Venezuelan restaurant not far from Kenwood.  This is truly a Mom and Pop place meets the American dream.  The owners are a Venezuelan couple who moved to the United States a few years ago to seek health care for their daughter at Cincinnati Children’s.  From there, they opened a small restaurant using family recipes.  Now, when I say small, I mean carry-out or sit at one of three outside tables.  There is no indoor seating.  Please do not let this deter you from trying this food though.  It is incredible!

These eats are cooked from scratch; it’s like Lorena, one of the owners, invited you into her kitchen for dinner.

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So far, we’ve sampled the traditional plate, the arepa, and the empanada.  I also tried the passion fruit juice (made from scratch daily).  I basically guzzled the juice while I waited for my order because it was that good and that refreshing.  Not ashamed to say I got a second juice for the road.

The traditional plate ($11.00) comes with juicy, seasoned, tender beef, a side of stewed black beans, a side of white rice, and some sweet plantains.  The meat is delicious, and while I’m not a black bean lover, my husband thought they were really well-seasoned. The rice is light and fluffy- just the way it should be.  The star though, for me, is the shredded, slow-cooked meat! Crazy good.

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I’m pretty familiar with empanadas, but those served at Arrechissimo are by far the largest I’ve ever eaten and it’s only $3.50!  Mine had tender, savory beef with garlic, red pepper, and a sofrito sauce.

The arepa, which I learned is a staple in the Venezuelan culture, is like a really great flatbread filled with your choice of meat, cheese, salsa, etc.  I got the pork, cheese, and spicy cilantro salsa.  So good my friends!  The arepa is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and the fillings are hearty.  The salsas are a must with both the arepa and the empanada!  And, this “sandwich” is only $5.00!  Definitely don’t skip the spicy cilantro sauce…this creamy green condiment could be an addiction for me!  Luckily it’s only 50-cents! Order a side of fried Yuca (a root vegetable) and drizzle on that cilantro sauce! Rice? Add some cilantro sauce! You get the idea!

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For dessert, because I love flan, I decided to try Arrechissimo’s custard, which on this night, happened to be a really bright tropical fruit flavor.  This was creamy, subtly sweet, and very summery.  Somehow, this got eaten before a picture could be taken! Sorry…

The prices at Arrechissimo are very affordable and the food is fresh- and this is a far better, healthier choice than fast food!  Get something to go, sit in the car and eat, or eat outside; I think this filling, authentic Venezuelan food will please your palate!

Tip 1: get a side of the sauces/salsas and drizzle them on everything. You won’t regret it.

Tip 2: This is way better than fast food, but it’s not a fast food restaurant so it will take 10-15 minutes to get your order. Order a freshly made fruit drink and enjoy!

GO THERE (Arrechissimo)!  TRY THAT (Arepa, cilantro salsa, fruit drink)!

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