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pei wei

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i hate to post this because of the "chain" nature of this restaurant.........but........
need to know two things.

1. Does anyone have any comments about it?
2. Isn't it owned by the PF Chang Gang?

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  1. I'll answer out of order.

    2. Yes. It's their fast casual concept. You place your order at the register, grab your own drinks, they bring out your food.
    1. I think it's ok. PF Changs is by far not the real deal, but I what I do like about Pei Wei is everything is fresh. When I order the Orange Chicken, the pea pods are bright green and still crispy. And my kids like it. Finding a spot for us as a family that doesn't serve McNuggets or a Chili's is important. They also give you the brown/white rice option. I wish my local joint did that.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mamamia

      How's it pronounced?

      1. re: chucklesmcfarland

        "Pay Way"
        I've been to the one at Lamar and Ben White. It was okay but not great. I tend to like Firebowl better (similar concept).

    2. I love the Kung Pao Scallops and the Dan Dan Noodles with extra sauce....ooohhh spicy!

      1. I find Pei Wei's food tasteless. I don't like spicy, but I don't like bland either. I do love PF Chang's, on the other hand, authentic or not.

        3 Replies
        1. re: starbucksbrew

          I feel the same way. There are a couple of things on the menu at PF Chang's that I really enjoy, but the food at Pei Wei is completely tasteless. It's strange to me that they're owned by the same folks.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            I agree w/ molly and starbucks. Utterly unimpressive. They may have fresh veggies, but beyond that there's nothing remarkable to say about any of it. Blah.

            1. re: lynnlato

              It works for us and the kids like it. It will take Pei Wei over Crapplebees anyday.

        2. By now you know it is owned by PF Changs
          So if you like PF Changs then Pei Wei may be for you too. It is most of the same menu items but rather than waitress service it is more like service from a Sizzler. You order, get a number and then someone brings it to the table you found for yourself. They also offer take out.

          For some it is a chain and if PF is not there thing they wont like it, for me and may family we enjoy it. We are from the North East and they dont have any up here, but we found them in Dallas and have enjoyed them - I think they make a perfect work lunch stop.

          1. I love it, any co-worker I bring there loves it. Granted, there are many other Asian options in LA/OC, but when you've just got a lunch hour - it does it in a pinch.

            I go for the Mongolian veggies and tofu with brown rice.
            We all fight over the honey seared shrimp.
            Can't beat a good Arnold Palmer over there.
            Everybody (but me) loves their spicy entrees.

            Yes, it is from Paul Fleming (i.e. PF) who also overseeis Fleming's Steakhouse, Roy's Hawaiian, and Blue Coral. He gives Culinary Adventures a run for its money.

            1 Reply
            1. re: brekkie_fan

              Their spicy entrees aren't nearly spicy enough even when you ask for "extra spicy". Not surprising given their mass market target.

            2. F- Vietnamese Salad Rolls - terrible, never again!!
              D- Japanese Udon Noodles, anything with shrimp, Spring Rolls, Sweet and Sour
              C+/B- (edible but better at a real ethnic place) Pad Thai, Mongolian, Coconut Curry, Lo Mein, Teriyaki Chicken, Ginger Broccoli, Dan Dan Noodles

              More popular at our house in the summer because in Phoenix they have Curbside Service so you don't have to get your lazy bum out of the car to be served.

              1. Pei Wei is okay. Most of the food tastes the same to me. It's great for the kids and great for last minute.

                1. I tried the Pei Wei (P-W) in Naples, Florida.
                  The food's taste was acceptable, but lacked the "zing" of authenticity I've had at Charlie Chiang's or other comparable spots that have more authentic Chinese cooking.

                  PF Chang's is a "blend" of Asian styles, and not Authentic Chinese, Thai, or Japanese. The P-W menu is 30% that of the mothership, PF Changs's, per the chef.

                  The price is cheap at P-W, most things are $8-$10, and at that breakpoint, it'll be competition for the Mom and Pop restaurants for take out.

                  I am glad I tried it, food wasn't bad. I just won't be back, as I prefer authentic Chinese, Japanese or Thai foods, and will happily spend $2 more for that taste.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                    We tried Pei Wei for takeout a few nights ago as a cheaper alternative to PF Changs. It was ok, not horrible, decent for the money. But no competition for real asian food.

                  2. On two visits in Tampa, it was ho-hum. On the first visit tried the sweet and sour chicken, less than tolerable. Second time, Lemon Pepper Chicken, it was better than the sweet and sour. It reminds me of airline food when they used to give you meals in flight.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DonnaFL

                      Ho-hum says it...better than take out, maybe. Different variety of foods, but for the same I'd rather go to Mama Fu's - it's lighter and the sauces don't coat my mouth. It's ok. I do like that they have Fresca on tap.

                    2. blech! too much protein not enough veggies.

                      1. I'm not sure how they're doing across the country but the one here closed last year.

                        We used to go because my kids liked it. I don't agree with the posters who said it's tasteless, but it's hardly authentic. If you're looking for real Asian food of any kind, steer clear. But the dishes are definitely fresh, some are better than others but everything I ever had there was at least decent.