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PF Changs

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BridgetC Jan 15, 2010 11:34 AM

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.

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  1. NellyNel RE: BridgetC Jan 15, 2010 11:43 AM

    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. menton1 RE: BridgetC Jan 15, 2010 12:31 PM

      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. Chemicalkinetics RE: BridgetC Jan 15, 2010 12:58 PM

        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. Fred19 RE: BridgetC Jan 15, 2010 05:59 PM

          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
            Chemicalkinetics RE: Fred19 Jan 15, 2010 06:28 PM

            Fred,

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

          2. RetiredChef RE: BridgetC Jan 15, 2010 08:57 PM

            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
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              Emm RE: RetiredChef Jan 16, 2010 03:30 PM

              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
                NellyNel RE: Emm Jan 19, 2010 07:31 AM

                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
                  menton1 RE: NellyNel Jan 19, 2010 07:54 AM

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

                  1. re: menton1
                    NellyNel RE: menton1 Jan 19, 2010 11:02 AM

                    Oh ..okay

                    I still like it!!!

                  2. re: NellyNel
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                    Emm RE: NellyNel Jan 19, 2010 09:26 AM

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

              2. j
                jeanmarieok RE: BridgetC Jan 31, 2010 07:40 AM

                I like the lettuce wraps, the dynamite shrimp, and the pin-noodle soup. Our PF Changs is in a mall, so I like sitting at the bar, and grabbing a bite. I don't love any of the entrees I've tried, but the soup and appys keep me coming back.

                1. j
                  Jcohen552003 RE: BridgetC Jan 31, 2010 08:01 AM

                  Hi all,
                  As i live close to NYC and work in NYC alot, I get to china town. I hit Wo Hop all the time. If your looking for that kind of food at PF Chang's just back away from the resturant. Its not like that. It happends to be a fussion of asian. The other thing i travel for business a lot and i can always find the food pretty much the same quality. Try getting good chinese in Florida or Georgia, Better going to supermarket and getting frozen for the microwave.
                  Yes i have found each resturant has employee problems. As when i do travel for business i usually sit at the bar and the service is much better. When there with family we know the drill and execpt the server to do better. We do ask a lot but when your paying for food you should get what you execpt.
                  As for the dishes my family and i love, plus have turned a few friends on to are Walnut shrimp, Dan Dan noodles, most for the Lamb dishes, and there version of Egg drop soup.
                  Any way just wanted to throw my 2 cents into the mix.

                  1. Tonka RE: BridgetC Jan 31, 2010 08:22 AM

                    The PF Changs in Boise, ID is fine. Very clean, good service. The food is good but nothing to write home about. I would go again.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Tonka
                      enbell RE: Tonka Jan 31, 2010 03:26 PM

                      Hi Tonka! Good to see another Boise hound around here :) Never been to the Boise PFC, but have you tried Twin Dragon downtown,or even Thai Cuisine on Overland?

                      1. re: Tonka
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                        Bakersfield Hound RE: Tonka Feb 2, 2010 07:50 PM

                        I've eaten there too and thought it was better than what we have in Bakersfield.

                      2. c
                        Clarkafella RE: BridgetC Jan 31, 2010 08:27 AM

                        We ate there last night. I don't like chains- period, but I can't say that there was anything wrong with the food from a taste standpoint. My wife and I each had a cup of hot and sour soup (really good), split a lettuce wrap appetizer (screw the chicken- the vegetarian made with tofu is the way to go on this- excellent), and split the sea bass, which was very good.

                        The service was excellent- as it almost always has been every single time we have gone.

                        I'll still go to Ding How or the Golden Dragon (two locally owned places) whenever I have a choice in the matter- I just like local places better- but I certainly won't turn down a meal at PF Chang's either.

                        By the way- anyone considering going to PF Chang's might want to check out the nutrition info on their web site- most of their portions are designed for 4-6 people- *loaded with calories!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Clarkafella
                          decolady RE: Clarkafella Feb 13, 2010 08:49 AM

                          IMO, PF Changs is above average for a chain restaurant. We've been to several around the country (Los Angeles, New Orleans, Birmingham, Huntsville, Nashville and a couple of other spots I don't recall at the moment), and find them to be pretty consistent on both food and service. I order these things:

                          Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps with Tofu
                          Sichuan Style Asparagus
                          Stir-fried Spinach with Garlic
                          Shanghai Cucumbers (sometimes)
                          Jasmine Blackberry Unsweetened Iced Tea

                          Is this authentic Chinese? No, but I don't expect it to be. I like it for what it is. My college age daughter likes to have lunch there and I don't turn down requests to go out to eat with her.

                          1. re: decolady
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                            Clarkafella RE: decolady Feb 14, 2010 05:29 AM

                            You know, the iced tea is something that I can't stand at P.F. Changs. It might be because tea is almost always great at every hole in the wall Chinese place in the country- it's hard to improve upon that!

                            1. re: Clarkafella
                              Chemicalkinetics RE: Clarkafella Feb 14, 2010 07:45 AM

                              Hmm, never tried their iced tea. I got to try it and see how bad it can be. I love hot Chines tea, I love Indian spiced tea, I like South sweet tea, maybe I will like the PF Chang iced tea...

                              1. re: Clarkafella
                                decolady RE: Clarkafella Feb 14, 2010 08:10 AM

                                The jasmine blackberry is the only one I have liked. To me it has a nice flavour. Some herbal teas taste good to me and some do not. I think I've only had this particular one at the Nashville location. And I was glad to find it in an unsweetened version as I do not like sweet tea.

                          2. s
                            starbucksbrew RE: BridgetC Feb 4, 2010 05:18 AM

                            I appreciate PF Chang's for what it is. When I want thick-sauced orange beef, that's where I go. I like the chicken wraps too.

                            When I want dim sum or more authentic Chinese, I go to a local (in Florida) authentic Chinese restaurant owned and run by Chinese people.

                            1. m
                              mom22tots RE: BridgetC Feb 14, 2010 04:53 PM

                              Have only been to the one in Hackensack, NJ, but have been there several times (my husband has celiac and they have a gluten free menu, so he likes it) and each time I was disappointed with my food and even more so with the service. Not a fan!

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