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Ma-po Pete Gives Two Stars to Little Pepper in College Point

The Times critic is smitten with the spicy fries and the smashed cukes.


Little Pepper is a 20-minute bus ride away from the closest subway station. But Pete Wells argues that the spicy Sichuan fare is worth the special trip:

Some New Yorkers grade Sichuan food by its firepower. When their tongues have been reduced to smoldering ruins, they declare themselves (through sign language) to be in a great restaurant. Little Pepper is capable of inflicting great pain when needed. Its Chong Qing chicken, which weaponizes capsaicin in just about every known form and should not be faced without a full glass of water or beer at hand, is proof of that. But what sets Little Pepper apart from the many other good Sichuan restaurants in the city is its skill at bringing spicy forces into tense alignment with sweet, sour and salty ones.

The critic recommends the silken tofu, the "lamb with hot and spicy sauce," the cold smashed cucumbers, and the spicy fries. Skip the shredded potatoes with green peppers. Wells also points out that "English is not one of the restaurant’s core competencies," and that during one meal, a waiter asked his guest to help with a take-out order.Two stars.

On Twitter, Wells remarks that this is his favorite Sichuan restaurant right now.

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