Anyone who has meticulously scoured Chowhound for the best Chinese restaurants in Boston (guilty!) has surely heard of Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham. Anyone who hasn't just did, and everyone should go there.
Pictured above is what I couldn't finish from my leftover smoky hot shredded chicken with cayenne. I loved it, but no one who grew up on "barbarian pepper" could ever eat (or digest, I should say) equal parts chili and chicken, which is how the dish is served at S.G.
Zoe's in Somerville is still my top pick for one stop shopping Chinese food (range, price, location, jellyfish), but at Sichuan Gourmet I tasted the single best Chinese dish I've ever had within 416 miles of Boston (the distance to Grace Garden, the best Chinese food within 7,000 miles, the distance to China). That dish was Dan Dan noodles.
The chef had expertly combined sesame, garlic, and chili, all present, none overpowering. The noodles were dressed with the perfect amount of sauce then topped with crispy ground pork, and for the first time I understood why Fuchsia Dunlop is so crazy about them.
While I haven't made a completely exhaustive search of Chinatown, so far I generally agree with the notion that the best Chinese food in Boston lies in the burbs. But if you're like me and Ezra Klein (favorite political blogger!), and you really like Sichuan cooking, go to Framingham.
If you can't make it there, the stuff in Chengdu is probably good too.