Ever since my trip to Beijing during my Lower Year, my desire to consume Chinese food is rarely fulfilled. However, the culinary triumph that is Sichaun Garden II in Woburn, Massachusetts, offers such savory authentic Chinese cuisine that I feel like I am back in China, instead of a mere twenty minutes from Andover. Sichuan Garden II is located in a beautiful three-story colonial house called the Baldwin Mansion. The mansion was built in 1661 and remains one of the most well maintained antique houses in the area. The classic colonial front door of the restaurant is adorned with beautiful traditional Chinese fountains. Upon entering, a warm host is there to greet you and bring you into a grand dining room. The room, about the size of a classroom in Morse, is softly lit and covered with wonderful Colonial paintings. Even though the restaurant was beautiful. I did not go just for the ambiance. When I opened the menu, I was delighted to find many of the dishes I ate with my host family in Beijing. After conversing with my waiter, I sat back in my comfortable plush chair and awaited my first meal. It only took eight minutes for my food to arrive and when it did, I was not disappointed. My first dish was a favorite of mine: Spicy Ox Meat and Tripe. While the concept of cow stomach may seem gross, the meat and tripe were perfectly seared and served in a cilantro and chili oil sauce. Other dishes include tea smoked duck, sweet fried fish, traditional Chinese eggplant, Mooshu Pork and steamed pork buns. Sichuan Garden II is an incredible restaurant. For those who love authentic Chinese food, this restaurant is a cheap and delicious option. Even though it is somewhat far away from campus, the experience at this restaurant was most definitely worth the drive. Sichuan Garden II 2 Alfred St Woburn, MA 01801 Approx. driving time: 25 min
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