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Jun 23, 2009 08:39 PM

pf changs coming to cambridgeside

i was on my way to the pool at the sonesta and noticed some activity in the old paparazzi space. i asked what's coming, and for what it's worth, and from what i've read on the chains board, it's not much, it's pf changs . no idea on the time line.

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  1. PF Changs according to a recent WSJ article is one of the few profitable chains at the moment, defying gravity by bringing something thought to be new into the market. PF stands for Paul Foley, the chains founder and CEO. I have eaten there and while it pales in comparison to anything you might get at BLR or Peach Farm, I have to say the overall 'experience' while not chow-ish certainly has its lure.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsofatso

      It's Paul Fleming also from Fleming's Steakhouse.

      1. re: Shanti

        I stand (well, sitting actually) corrected!

      2. That makes me sad. Paparazzi was one of my go-to chains for work lunches in the area. Now everyone defaults to Cheesecake hell. And soon, it will be PF Changs. Luckily there are many more chowish things in the immediate area:

        Similans Thai -- not Dok Bua but not bad
        2nd Street Cafe -- great sandwiches, v good coffee
        Dante -- delicious food in a tranquil atmosphere

        And of course many many more within reasonable walking distance

        3 Replies
        1. re: yumyum

          Really, do you think Dante is delicious? I wanted to like it, but most of the dishes I tasted had one of two problems. Either there was one jarring note that was unpleasant. For example, I had something like this that was on the menu: "stuffed grilled squid, fresh chickpeas, pine nuts, chives, limoncello vinaigrette" except that I think it was a bitter orange vinaigrette, and if felt like it was dropped from someone's cocktail onto my plate. It didn't work at all.

          Or the conception on the menu sounded way better than the realization of it.

          The only thing I loved were the desserts. Those were fantastic.

          1. re: dulce de leche

            I do. I've only been for lunch but have enjoyed the lobster plt (prosciutto lettuce tomato), the cheeseburger, and various salads. Oh, and I had one fish special there in the winter that I loved ... forget the details but remember tiny roasted potatoes, green beans and a broken vinaigrette over a hunk of white fish.

            I should go back next week in the interest of research.

          2. re: yumyum

            We love Dante - from the food to the atmosphere. And they threw an awesome party with $3 drinks and free food 2 weeks ago on the deck! Great pasta and excellent drinks.

          3. Oh yes, I was going to mention the lovely lobster plt. What a decadent lunch! The prix fixe lunch at Bambara is also good.

            Shame that the Helmand isn't open for lunch. But there's always Boca Grande!

            I'm looking forward to PF Chang's opening. It will be nice to have another option in the mall, and we could do worse than PF C's on the chain front. They also have a gluten-free menu, which my friend the celiac really appreciates.

            1. I work near the PF Chang's in Park Square, Boston. I must admit that it is a guilty pleasure. How could it not be popular/profitable when virtually every dish is saturated in sugary sauces and oil. YUM!!!


              3 Replies
              1. re: TheScribe

                This notion makes me more depressed than 30 days of cloudy skies and rain.


                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  a friend informed me today that the papparazzi had been closed for months. that mall is such a dump, i never go over, so had no idea. another reason now not to go.

                  unlike cheesecake and cpk, it's the only restaurant that doesn't have direct mall access -- the only entrance is on the street.

                  if memory serves, it hardly seems that big for a pf changs. don't know, don't care, lol.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    It's been closed for years not months

              2. I'm not a chinese food purist, but on the other hand I'm not a huge fan of PF Chang's.

                I do, however, wish they would open a PeiWei (the self service baby brother of PF Chang's) in Boston!

                If you don't want sit down service, but don't want to get takeout, it's a nice option- semi- fast food and reasonably tasty and fresh.