HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

PF Changs

I think that is the name, in the Westchester. Went there for the first time last Saturday for lunch but only had two apps. I was very disappointed with the chidken wrapped in lettuce, even though it is supposed to be thier signature app. The Dynamite Shrimp in a martini glass were simply out of this world. Just curious about what others think of this place. I definately want to go back.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I am shocked at myself for liking a place like this...usually I can't bear chains and any place with this kind of schicty feel BUT I have to say I have always really enjoyed whatever I have had at PF Changs...I think the food is consistantly delicious.

    I'm surprised you didnt enjoy the lettuce wraps as they are usually fantastic.

    This place gets allot of criticisim here on CH because it is a chain....but I can't fault the place..good drinks too!

    1. Went once to the PF Changs in Hackensack... one AWFUL experience! Food was fair, service was poor, and the noise level was like a ball park. Most wait staff appeared under 20 years old.

      There's not a reason in the world to go to Changs, no matter which location you go to there is a better alternative close by!

      1. Bridget,

        One question. You said "I was VERY disappointed" yet you also said "I DEFINITELY want to go back”, which begs the question: Why?

        I have been to PF Chang about a few times. It is not a super, but it is a good place. I think people need to enjoy restaurants in their own way. For example, the best quality Chinese restaurants are not in China town, but the China town restaurants have their charm. They don’t use any fancy ingredients and yet the foods are tasty under $5-6. I like knife enthusiast and there is no doubt a $1000 Japanese knife are much higher quality than a Dexter-Russell $50 knife, but a Dexter knife has its own charm too.

        PF Chang is not an authentic Chinese restaurant. It is a fusion restaurant which combines several Asian cuisines along with an American twist. It uses good ingredients and has good presentation. It is fair for its price. It really is not a bad place. It just depends if you like that niche.

        1. There is an excellent story about the origin of PF Changs in a book called "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles". According to the chapter about PFC's, there was once a Chinese person associated with the founding business partners, but they dumped him. They changed the spelling of the name to Chang from Chiang. Almost everything about the restaurant is American inspired or an American idea what a Chinese restaurant should be.

          I ate in the one in the Palm Beach area a few years ago and I was not impressed. The wait was long to get in, service was amateurish and the food was overly sweet, salty and oily with overly thickened sauce. It was pseudo-Chinese food cooked with a very heavy hand. I have to say that I have had much better Chinese food many times at small take out restaurants.

          ~Fred19

          1 Reply
          1. re: Fred19

            Fred,

            That is the point. It is not an authentic Chinese restaurant. It is a fusion restaurant.

          2. Fred19 gave a very accurate assessment of PF Chang’s for Asian/Chinese food aficionados.

            >>> the food was overly sweet, salty and oily with overly thickened sauce. It was pseudo-Chinese food cooked with a very heavy hand. I have to say that I have had much better Chinese food many times at small take out restaurants.

            Chinese/American/Fusion-ish big box food. I find that people who like Panda Express and the Chinese you find at the food court in the mall generally love PF Chang’s. However, those who have had the good fortune of eating at authentic Chinese restaurants or better yet been over to China and enjoyed the cuisine over there will be less impressed.

            This is on my avoid list for chain restaurants, personally I am always less than satisfied with the food and always shocked at the price.

            5 Replies
            1. re: RetiredChef

              I like a big, satisfying glob of sugary, oily, deep-fried Chinese-American food as much as the next person. And I'd also rather eat decent chain restaurant food than some of the truly abysmal offerings at the worst of the locally owned places. All that said, PF Chang is noisy, overpriced, trendy in an annoying way, and everything except the lettuce wraps tastes like it's smothered in an unbalanced barbecue sauce. I'd much rather eat at the mall food court.

              1. re: Emm

                I have to wonder if the recipes vary from francise to francise because there is surely NO bbq sauce at all on the lettuce wraps I have had at PF Changs...

                And BTW - I grew up in Brooklyn which is home to many different types of Chinese reaturants....I know the difference between good real authentic Chinese food, and sugary oily deep fried Americanized Chinese food - and I have to say I can enjoy both!

                It depends on what i am in the mood for.

                There is nothing better than home-made French Fries and a home-made burger on the grill - but sometimes a McDonalds is what i crave..
                They are 2 totally different experiences

                1. re: NellyNel

                  PF Changs is all Corporate owned and run. No franchises. (That's why it's consistently awful!)

                  1. re: NellyNel

                    There was no barbecue sauce on the lettuce wraps I had at PF Chang, either.