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PF Chang --Disappointing meal

I try to avoid chain restaurants but after the first meal at PF Chang's with their vegetarian lettuce wraps and asparagus stir fry side that was pretty good, I decided to go back. Big mistake!

This time around we tried the garlic noodles. It was terrible! It was a sweetish gloop with just no taste of garlic. We tried to check with the manager to see if the order was mixed up. He said it was supposed to have a sweetish tinge but he would have the dish made again if we wanted.

We said okay. The second time it was even sweeter! We just couldn't eat it!! Worse, the manager billed us for both the dishes and never even checked back to see if we ate any of the second version.

So in the end we had two plates of "garlic" noodles that we just didn't eat at all and had to pay twice for it!!!!

Their service was all about having a plastic smile and limited to "how was your meal?", without really trying to understand we were having a bad meal.

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  1. If they remake/replace a dish for you, no way should you have to pay for both.

    I don't really like PFC at all, but if I'm dragged there, I can stick with the lettuce wraps and not starve.

    1. when dragged here, i either stick with the steamer bowl w/ scallops or that scallop dish that's on the health conscious menu. both i can stomach... i find the lettuce wraps a little too fake tasting.

      1. lets be realistic - its a chain. The food is not supposed to chinese or pan asian any more than Carrabas is Italian. It is what would appeal to most American's taste buds - which is actually pretty low. Ride past an Applebees, Chilis, Longhorn et al and see the line that is forming. Most of that food is miserable

        I spend about 80-90 nights a year on the road eating at all sorts of places - chains included. Believe me, PF Changs is above the line when it comes to chain food. Applebees, Chilis, Bennigans are all greasy spoons. Changs, McC & Schmick, Houstons are chains but at least there the food is better, no one is singing "Happy Birthday" while clapping, the drinks are good and suprises are minimal

        Taking a quick look through this board, the only places that people like are burger joints for the most part - you will be dead eating at those after 5 years

        1. I like the orange peel chicken and black bean chicken there, and I think I've had the same asparagus dish that you mentioned and enjoyed it. I prefer their chicken dishes to what I get at the local Chinese take-out place, because it's actual white meat and not gristly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: shellyesq

            After reading a bunch of reviews on Chow about PFC I had pretty low expectations but I wanted to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised. My meal was good and the dessert was excellent. I had the lemon, honey, and orange chickens, oolong tea, and the banana dessert. The ice cream was a very interesting and tasty blend of pineapple and coconut cream.

            Go to chain restaurants with the expectation of chain food. I'm so tired of hearing people rant about chains. If you don't like chain food, stay out of chain restaurants.

          2. sounds like the typical meal @ PF Changs. A couple of visits to PF Changs for business lunches(outvoted again, I gotta get new co-workers with some taste) was enough for me to write it off on the do not return list forever.

            2 Replies
            1. re: swsidejim

              If you still have your credit card receipt I'd go in when they're not too busy and speak to the manager. You should not have had to pay for dishes that were not to your liking.

              The only thing I order regularly at PF Changs is the steamed veggie dumplings (I live in a dumpling wasteland.) Otherwise, it's the salmon salad 9 times out of 10.

              1. re: brendastarlet

                Its like any other chain I can find something decent.

            2. If you check out the PFC threads on this board the most universally praised menu item are the lettuce wraps. That's just weird that it seems to be the only thing they do consistently well.

              1. Absolutely ridiculous that you were charged twice, unless you made a large dent in each dish! Still, I would have said something. You really have no recourse now that we are a few days removed, although if you are still very upset it could not hurt you to complain.

                From what I've gathered, you are sticking with vegetarian dishes. I have had a few good meals there, but every dish was fish, shellfish, or a lighter chicken dish.

                1. i liked the asparagus side too, and it was cheap. the dumplings are disgusting. i can buy better frozen dumplings. i liked my honey wine shrimp (forget the name, it was not the one with melons). stay awy from the orange shrimp and the mongolian lamb. it's a hit or miss, but i would've made much more of a stink for being charged twice. you don't have to PAY until the bill is correct.