Restaurant Review: P.F. Chang’s

Soy sauce, the flavor explosion of many Asian cuisines makes me raise my fist in fury.  Why must it be in everything and why must it contain gluten?    I have dined at a number of Chinese restaurants and in almost every case; I have been limited to steamed veggies / chicken and white rice.  It’s beyond bland and I end up drooling, just a little, as husband consumes sesame chicken and fried rice. 

However, if you can get to your local mall, you can eat actually eat Chinese food and I am not talking about that orange chicken place in the food court, but rather P.F. Chang’s.  P.F. Chang’s has had gluten-free menu for longer than I have had Celiac.

P.F. Chang’s is very standard mall establishment.  It seems like they are tapping into the Cheesecake Factory aesthetic with dim lighting mural paintings.  While they don’t use the same chairs, the ones they do use are equally uncomfortable and may cause numb butt after about thirty minutes. 

We ordered a few drinks at the bar, which took about 10 minutes.  The bar was short on staff.  To be fair, we did see one girl be escorted out from the kitchen to a waiting ambulance during this time, so they may have been preoccupied. 

I ordered a Manhattan, which was okay.  The bourbon was not that great and a Manhattan really hinges on nice bourbon.  On the plus side, the proportions were right and the drink was not watered down.  Husband’s pear mojito was also really nice; better than the Manhattan.  The mint was fresh and pear juice was not too sweet.   The tequila was barely noticeable in taste; it’s the kind of drink that sneaks up on you after a while. 

The menu contains a wide range of options.  While the appetizers and desserts are lamentably limited, they do have quite a breadth of main courses.  On various occasions I have tried the Singapore street noodles, the spicy chicken and the lemon chicken.  All are really tasty.  The sauces are flavorful and the food is not overly greasy because everything is pan fried and not tossed in the fry-olator.   The dishes are not amazing, it’s not going to knock your socks off, but it is good, standard Chinese food fare.

As a gluten-free diner, this is a good experience.  The staff is all well-trained.  The gluten-free menu is on the back of the regular menu, so no need to even ask them to bring over another menu.  Gluten-free items are prepped in a separate area of the kitchen and come out on different plates than the gluten-y goodness. 

g/f friendly: 5 out of 5

taste and quality of food: 3 out of 5


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