So, the next day, I ordered lunch from the most local of the locations for me, the initial Pepper Twins on W. Gray, happy to see that the lunch specials were back available from the online ordering. A terrific deal when avoiding a few of the missteps, with menu prices of just $9.99, you will get you a choice of almost ten entrées the comes with the requisite steamed white rice and a side of fried spring rolls or sliced cucumbers with garlic, sesame oil, and red oil.
I got the Pepper Twins Chicken – small chicken pieces sautéed with Sichuan peppercorns, fiery Thai chiles, strands of scallions, garlic, ginger, plentiful Sichuan peppercorns, and bits of green bell pepper – and a couple fried vegetable-filled spring rolls. It was a excellent, as it had been before, almost incredibly so given the low price. This dish is emblematic of what Pepper Twins does at its best: a preparation rooted in Sichuan that features typically spicy and often numbing flavors with recognizably high-quality proteins, fresh vegetables, evident skill in the kitchen, and a delicious result that can be an outstanding value. Easy to notice with my order, the meats are much better and much more flavorful than at most area Chinese restaurants, in particular. The chicken comes from Springer Mountain, no hormone and no antibiotics, and tastier thighs are used. The beef is Certified Angus Beef. The pork is from the Berkshire breed.
Seemingly more so than other cuisines, a meal enjoyed with others at most Chinese restaurants improves the experience, as most preparations are meant for sharing – the entrées are large – and several dishes can be sampled. Dry-Fried Green Beans, Julienned potatoes sautéed with scallions, vinegar, and salt, Hot Diving Fish, Mongolian Beef, Ma Po Tofu, Fried Spicy Chicken Cubes, the Mountain City Hot Pot are the items that have nearly filled the tabletop when I’ve dined at Pepper Twins with my co-workers from China. But, a meal is still usually very enjoyable when dining solo, as the other day, and during the pandemic.
Another benefit with Pepper Twins, again with most Chinese restaurants is that most dishes travel well, better than most places, and are usually delicious eaten at home.
About the only drawback is that the restaurant like a couple of other places I like, The Breakfast Klub and Pinkerton’s, uses Menufy as its ordering software that tacks on a “Convenience Fee” of $1.50. Maybe this is for the privilege of ordering from the restaurant. This annoyingly ridiculous charge is a very small price to pay given the overall value and the quality.
The aforementioned Pepper Twins Chicken