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PF Changs vs. Pei Wei

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Thoughts? Anyone prefer one over the other (i know they are owned by the same company)? Anyone eat at Changs less often and go to PW instead?

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  1. We just had a Pei Wei open here recently, and I had a chance to go over to try it out. I think their cooking woks and cooks need a bit more experience, but the food is comparable if not better than PFC. I loved the Iced Mandarin Green Tea. We split an order of the crab wontons which were very good, especially the highly addictive dipping sauce (is is appropriate to lick the plate?). My entree was the honey seared shrimp with white rice (brown optional) and really enjoyed it. Some of the larger groups did dinner family style, and the staff brought out large dishes of rice instead.

    The prices were about 40% cheaper at Pei Wei, and the service was much faster. Also, they have a very good takeout option with dedicated parking next to the door. The ambiance and drinks are much nicer at PFC, but the food is nearly identical at Pei Wei.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sacto_Damkier

      I agree the food is almost identical in some regards. It really depends on what kind of ambiance you are looking for. I rarely go to PFC's partly because it is very see and be seen at the local outlet, plus they have a ridiculously small, poorly designed parking lot and INSIST on having a valet. It's just a headache. Why put up with the crap when I can get in and out of PW much faster or even take it home.

    2. I love their iced tea. My fave dish is the Kung Pao Scallops with no rice and the Dan Dan Noodles with extra sauce....spicy, soooo yummy!

      1 Reply
      1. re: KellBell

        I feel it is a fair price VS PFC. I did notice though that quality control is a little low. The Veggies were barely cooked and rice was a little firm. It was my first visit so I wont hold it against PW. Very clean though, I only wish they had Dali chicken mmmm. If I had too choose I would still go to PFC for lunch because of the consistency and atmosphere. Also when comparing PW with PFC lunch menu it is worth the few bucks extra.

      2. Just started to open in DC area. Thanks for ownership info. My one experience in Ashburn, VA was positive. Decent food and value. I'd rather go to a locally owned family asian full service place than go to PFC, and agree that it is a scene rather than a Chowish destination. I compare PW to the Noodles chain in some respects, and wonder how soon I would tire of it, asd I have Noodles, if there was one near where I live/work.

        1. Was doing 'research' a little while ago and tried both. Not my cup of tea, but Asian food as a whole isn't either. We ordered almost everything on both menus over a couple days and yes, everything seemed pretty similar. Of course at the time we knew that Pei Wei was started from the same person that also started PF Chang, so it was no surprise they were very similar.