Does PF stand for Phony Food? – PF Changs

Susan says…

Yes, Daniel, it’s a chain.  But it’s a non-local chain.  Does that redeem the review even a little bit?

building-pf-changs

Ron and I spent Valentine’s weekend in Columbus, Ohio at Easton Town Center.  We have built a lot of history at this place.  I bought my first Brighton set at Easton.  I bought my first pair of True Religion jeans at Nordstrom.  Hope once ate a hot fudge sundae as big as her head at the Cheesecake Factory.  We have spent hours playing skee ball at Gameworks. I fell in love with Two Three-Buck Chuck at Trader Joe’s.  Most of Ron’s history at Easton, however, involves Adobe Gilas and their happy hour specials.

We enjoyed our first meal on a trip like this at Brio Tuscan Grille, a fine eatery.  Fado’s Irish Pub was a great place to enjoy Guiness wings, a Smithwick’s and a Glenlivet.  California Pizza Kitchen serves up a tasty pizza and the Cheesecake Factory is one of my favorite chains of all time.  But on this special occasion, I wanted to try something new.  Something Asian.  PF Changs.

The interior of the restaurant is modern and stunning.  Even the plates are super-attractive with their stark white finish and their rounded rectangular shapes.  I knew I wanted three things in this meal: spicy, non-breaded chicken, and lots of veggies.  I scoured the menu for a dish that would fit the bill while waiting on our table at the bar. 

We were told it would be about an hour wait.  I expected that.  Realistically, we were in a highly populated area on a holiday.  We enjoyed a couple beers and an appetizer of crispy green beans for $5.95.  The green beans were lightly coated with a crispy tempura batter.  I felt they were underseasoned and asked for a salt shaker which apparently does not exist at the bar, but our friendly bartender hooked me up with some kosher salt.  Much better and yummy!  It’s amazing how delicious a healthy veggie can become when breaded, fried and salted!

It was right at the hour mark when our doohickey lit up and began to vibrate, alerting us that our table was ready.  When we snaked our way thru the people, carrying my purchases and two beers, we wished we had stayed at the bar.  I swear, we had the absolute worst table in the joint.  We were positioned at an oversized table-for-two directly behind the hostess station and directly in front of the restrooms.  Being right behind the hostess station means that only three skinny young ladies separate your table from the cold air rushing in every time the doors open, which is continuous.  Even Ron was cold, which is highly unusual.

Having ample opportunity during our wait at the bar to examine the unfamiliar menu, we ordered right away. I asked a few questions to determine my selection from the options that interested me. 

Question#1: is the chicken in Chang’s Spicy Chicken breaded?  The answer: yes, it’s lightly breaded.

Question #2: is the chicken in Kung Pao Chicken breaded?  The answer: yes, it’s the same. It’s lightly breaded. (At this point I am thinking they only have one kind of chicken.  You guessed it: lightly breaded.)

Question #3: what vegetables come with the Kung Pao Chicken?  The answer: scallions.  (I consider scallions more a spice than a vegetable, but…)

I think our server knew where I was going with this so to minimize her personal agony, she explained that I could add veggies to my order.  For $1 each I could add asparagus (I immediately perked up – you KNOW I am ordering asparagus), broccoli, snow peas, and something I can’t remember.  For free, I can ask for water chestnuts, mushrooms, green peppers, and there may have been a couple others.  I usually quit listening when people start talking about horrid water chestnuts.  Blheck. 

Note to PF Changs:  Put more detailed descriptions of your dishes in the menu.  “Don’t eat the chili peppers” is not a description.  Especially when your “version” of Kung Pao Chicken is so vastly different from that of every Chinese place I’ve ever patronized.  I would have been completely disappointed if I had received a plate of chicken only.  I am a confessed carnivore, but come on – balance is the key.  Secondly, you need to let the customers know they can add the veggies, and that some are even FREE! 

I ulitimately decided on the Chang’s Spicy Chicken (spicy being the winning element here), adding green pepper, broccoli, snow peas, and of course, asparagus.  The total price for this culinary masterpiece was  $12.95 plus two $1 add-ons, equals $14.95.  They forgot to charge me for one of my veggies.  I said nothing.  You will understand how I justified this decision as you read further.

Our wait was a reasonable one.  We had time for some lively conversation and one trip to the ladies’ room prior to the arrival of our entrees.  (So that’s not saying much, since it was only a few steps away from my seat.)  At some point during our wait, our server brought us a mysterious tray of sauces.  I say mysterious, because she presented them in a sort of ceremonial manner, adding one spoonful of the chili oil into what appeared to be soy sauce, along with a spoonful of a light-colored thick sauce which remains unidentified.   I felt as if I was expected to observe this procedure in silence.  She explained nothing.  I asked no questions, even though I wanted to.

My entree arrived on one of the super-attractive rectangular white plates.  I told her they could hold the rice, but the kitchen sent it out anyway.  Our server presented it to Ron along with his order of brown rice.  I thought it was nice to offer brown rice in addition to the higher-glycemic white rice.  Not that I was being nosy or anything, but I did notice that the woman seated next to me at the bar had a gluten-free menu.  Also, nice.  I wonder if they had a low-carb menu?  I should have asked!  Gluten-free’s date was trying to talk her into eating at the bar the same as Ron was trying to convince me.  Don’t tell him he had a good idea.

pf-changs-spicy-chicken

Chang’s Spicy Chicken was only mildly spicy.  Sure it would have lit Misty up like a Christmas tree, but not normal pepper-eating folk.  I was not getting the adrenaline rush I craved from this dish.  I decided to add some of the straight, suspected, chili oil from the tray of mystery sauces.  No flavor at all.  It was better without it.  The chicken was indeed lightly breaded, tender, and there was plenty of it.  I noted all the players on my plate, as requested.  Broccoli: check.  Green peppers, how I delight that you were free: check.  Snow peas: check.  Hello lover….asparagus: eeewwwww!!!!!!!!  It was like trying to bite through a number 2 pencil. Woody and tough.  I couldn’t eat it.  I had one tip, which was fine, but the rest of the four or five 2″ sections were all but inedible.  Ron agreed it was horrific. And he doesn’t snap off the woody ends whe we cook it at home.   This is why I didn’t alert our server to the error on the bill.  I shouldn’t pay for asparagus that crappy anyway.

I had plenty of food to fill me up, even without the rice.  The sauce was entirely too sweet, however.  I transferred all the food to another plate, attempting to leave as much sauce behind as I could.  I purposefully chose a dish with the “spicy” symbol beside it.  I can’t imagine how sweet the other sauces must be if mine made me fear a sugar-induced coma.

Bottom line: this was the most Americanized Chinese food I’ve ever tasted.  It shouldn’t even pretend to be Chinese.  Chinese restaurants should sue PF Changs for impersonation.  A bad one.  The Chinese people are likely embarrassed that their good culinary reputation has been associated with this farce.  I am so over PF Changs, that we need a new word for “over”.  What does the PF stand for?  Phony Food?   I’d believe it.

I have absolutely no desire to ever go back to a PF Changs, even if it is beautiful and reasonably priced.  I think the main reason for this score is that my expectations were not met.  I expected Chinese, I got…..something not Chinese.  TWO FORKS.

Ron Says…

02.14.09

Well once again I’m torn on how to review this place:  PF Changs.  Right now I have several thoughts floating in my head that do not coincide with each other.  Thus this review will probably be full of conflicting statements all wrapped up in a ball of hypocrisy.

Where to start, once Susan mentioned what she wanted to eat for lunch and when she wanted to eat it, I began to have fits.  Typically I like to eat late.  It’s always been that way, from my days in college to when I began my career.. I typically do not like to eat dinner before 7 or 8 PM.  Later if I could, and this causes my impending domestication fits (just to let you know, we’ve been doing pretty good at eating at 6:30PM).  

So when Susan told me she wanted to eat at 2 my first response was “WHAT???”   Yes it is Singles Awareness Day, so the places will be crowded but if I eat late I get to have a nice sit down dinner that is hearty, bold and filling.   Then as my mind is reeling I hear “…F Changs”,  and I think “Chang, that’s going to be Asian for sure”, and thus  some over priced Asian joint that’s going to serve me food that I don’t really find all that great.  So much for bold hearty and filling.  Remembering the wise words of a recent comedian we saw “Happy Wife, Happy Life” I say Sure Honey, that will be great”.

PF Changs is on the far end of the Easton Plaza from where we parked on the corner, and we walked right by Fado’s  Irish Pub. which was where I wanted to go to.   When we get to Chang’s, there are a few patrons waiting outside smoking, most huddled inside the whatever it’s called, the “Holding Tank”, you know that area between the two double doors.  As Susan mentions we were told it would be an hour, so this place must be good as I can’t imagine anyone waiting an hour to eat Chinese.  Plus I see several open spaces at the bar.  No Problem.

The “Problem” arises upon the arrival of my first (and last) $4.50 16oz Samual Adams.   Admittedly this isn’t an exhorbatent amount to pay as I’ve paid this before for cheaper beer, but I was either being danced to by a scantilly clad lady or watching Pat White make defending players look like clowns at a New Years Bowl Game.  The price wasn’t so much problem as was the Cost/oz. X Consumption Rate X Duration of Wait = A lot Of Money  that could be spent more wisely elsewhere (Gameworks for instance).

I notice that the place is actually very nice inside, and noticing a few other meals that pass by they look very filling and you get a lot of food.  Prior to checking out the menu I’m thinking “glad this is coming out of the joint account“, but after reviewing the menu, the prices were not half bad.  The majority of meals I think were less than or right around the $14.95 price point.  So how bad can it be? I do like Asian, and even though it doesn’t blow my skirt, this may actually be pretty good.

While we wait, Susan orders an appetizer of – get this – GREEN BEANS.  I recalculate the cost / oz. on beer and order a 20 oz. Sapporo as it was only pennies more on the oz. than a Bud Light and after calculating the lag time between purchasing and recieving, the Benefit /Cost Ratio was better with more quantity delivered fewer times.

The Sapporo arrives and so do the Green Beans, naturally they’re battered lightly in that unsalted batter that the Asian Folk call Tempura.  Luckily it was served with, what tasted like, the same stuff that the Outback serves with their Bloomin’ Onion, making my crispy green beans tolerable.  To be honest they were not bad, but it just doesn’t suit my palette.

Not long after that we are seated, and as Susan mentioned it was one of the best seats in the house.  They were kind enough to seat us near the Wait Station, Restroom, and the Entrance.  Their assumption was that these people needed to be served quickly, thus causing frequent runs to the restroom, and we will not want to navigate our way through several standing patrons while exiting.

This worked good except the wait staff began to fall behind.  I ordered the Chicken Dali, or the Dali Chicken ($12.95), as it was advertised as their spiciest dish.  Upon ordering the waitress even stressed that.  I said that’s fine.  I also wanted brown rice, not white, as I had previously overheard a wait person tell a patron they were out, my hostess says they are not, and thus causing my concern I warned her that if I get white rice I’m sending it back.

We wait, did I mention it’s nice inside?

The food eventually comes and I get a heaping plate of chicken, rice, these like potato chips – think thinly sliced fried potatoes – in my food.  Looks good.

I dig in.. It tastes good and it is spicy.   But…

Isn’t there always a “but” (and yes I realize I’m the Butt of this review), but it tasted like something I’d get at BW3.  It was all buffalo flavoring.  Do they eat that in Asia?

Hmmm the food was good, it wasn’t expensive, the service was decent, yet why am I so dissatisfied?  Was I lead to believe the food would be great?  I was definitely thinking it would be expensive.  Shouldn’t all service be at least decent, wait.. shouldn’t all service be good?  Or could it simply be that I was wanting Asian and I got The Cold Spot?  Would I eat here again?  Why wouldn’t I eat here again, it was cheap and I liked it?  Oh like a woman picking out her shoes – I don’t know what to do.

If my review was based on price and quantity it’s at least a Three.  (not counting beverage price – I subtract One Fork for beer prices that are competitve with strip clubs and ball parks)  If it was based on expectations well then I’d give it a Two, as I’d heard a lot about this from Susan, and other places and by the looks I was really expecting my meal to be on the next level, yet I come away with thinking that maybe Taste Of Asia is better?  Could it be?  (Keep in mind by saying Taste of Asia is better than PF Changs, I’m not saying Taste Of Asia is better than Main Kwongs, nothing beats their L21)

I’m going to go with Two Forks.  If the beer was $2 definitely Three.  Or maybe if the place was called PF Chums (something to distract me from thinking Asian)  I would probably give it a Three also. 

But I have to go with Two Forks… if I go back I’ll order something different, I’ll get the Kung Pao and then I can compare Apples to Apples.

TWO FORKS

PF Changs China Bistro
Easton Town Center
4040 Townsfair Way
Columbus, Ohio 43219
614-416-4100
P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon
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32 responses to “Does PF stand for Phony Food? – PF Changs

  1. Nice writeup. Mirrors my experience at a PF Changs in Santa Monica last year: bland, bland, bland. And far too sweet.

    I did rather enjoy the lettuce wraps I had as an appetizer, though, and I agree the brown rice is a nice touch. Beyond that, I’m not exactly desperate to go back.

  2. I liked how detailed the review was, I live in northern California and have eaten at PF Changs. I think you may have been a bit too hard, but it’s difficult to say. Even though it’s a chain, I don’t know how similar the experience can be. I have never been to Ohio, but the one restaurant in Walnut Creek is pretty popular. I always enjoy my food and find it to be quite tasty. I will say though since changing the menu the portions have gotten smaller, which could be good or bad depending on whom you are. For me I loved the overfilled plates oozing with sauces and yummy treats. I’m sorry it wasn’t so good for you maybe next time you come out to northern california stop by PF Changs in downtown Walnut Creek…I guaranty your meal will be better. Happy eating! Btw, this was the longest comment I’ve ever posted. Oh and one more thing, you mentioned Cheese Cake Factory. They are opening one this week in our town. I have never been but am looking forward to trying it!
    Janine-

  3. Janine-

    I thought the food tasted fine, we received good portions, and the prices were reasonable. My problems with it were: 1) pathetic menu descriptions so you don’t know what you’re getting and lack of info about veggie add-ons, and 2) I expected Chinese food and IMO it was nowhere close to authentic Chinese food. If I had gone in there expecting some kind of Asian – American fusion, I wouldn’t have been nearly as disappointed.

    I have never gotten anything at the Cheesecake Factory I didn’t like.

    On this trip to Ohio, I ordered the grilled chicken with vegetables. I chose it because it fit into my low-carb diet. I received three chciekn breast halves and a LOAD of crisp-tender veggies. Not the el cheapo kind either. I got asparagus, broccoli, snow peas, etc. Even without eating the massive mound of rice on my platter, I was stuffed. I took my slice of low-carb cheesecake home with me!

    Other dishes I’ve tried and enjoyed at CF include the chicken parmesan sandwich and I love the Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp.

    We have a review on the Orlando location of CF. The one downside to CF: no kids’ menu. Can’t they slap together 3 or 4 smaller portioned meals together out of what they already have?

  4. Good review. Keep up the details.
    Next time in Columbus try City BBQ if you haven’t already. Really good smoked meat.
    Columbus aint much of a food town. . . a few decent places but I prefer Cincinnati.

  5. Cincinnati??

    So do you like it – Two Way? Three Way? Four Way? Or Five Way?

  6. So the food was good, but it wasn’t what you expected, so you didn’t like it? I’m confused. I understand having expectations about a place and not having them met, but that’s kind of like going to see The Reader and then not liking it because it didn’t have enough action sequences. I don’t know, when I look at the outside and interior of that place, I don’t think “authentic Chinese.”

    I’ve only been to P.F. Chang’s once, so that’s all I have to judge them by, but I really liked my meal. I had an appetizer, but I don’t remember what it was. My entree was grilled lemongrass prawns with garlic noodles, which I absolutely loved. The prawns were really big and had nice blackened grill marks which tasted great with the lemongrass. I’d like to try to recreate it at home. I also had a really yummy dessert–I think they called it a banana eggroll. It was banana pieces wrapped in wonton skins and fried, served with coconut ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce. It might sound like a weird combination, but it tasted great. I don’t usually get dessert, but it was my birthday. Anyway, I still dream about those prawns.

  7. Ragin’

    I said I was confused? I said my review would be hypocritical.

    Jeez, I can’t please anyone.

  8. 5-way at Camp Washington.
    My fellow travelers usually roll their eyes and order hotdogs or burgers when I drag them to Camp Washington for chili.

  9. Hey, that came off a little harsher than I intended. It was my attempt at humor. Sorry about that.

  10. Raging Red-

    My daughter, another redhead, saw your avatar and gasped: “Mommy, Who is that??”

  11. Redhead power! Tell her I said hello. :)

  12. demosthenes.or.locke

    The german food in Columbus is phenomenal. Whips any greek-ghetto-spaghetti-chili that Cincy has to offer.

    Ron, you are very punny in this update. Palette instead of palate? When you ordered Salvador Dali chicken? You are either a poor speller or that is some high brow pun-humor.

  13. Demo-

    you are giving Ron waaaaaaay too mcuh credit.

    First, I don’t think he realizes there is a famous artist named Salvador Dali. Secondly, I don’t think he has ever used the word “palette” except when misspelling “palate”.

    On this one momentous occasion, Ron’s horrific speling resulted in a joke he woudln’t even get.

    (His blog, http://www.bottleofpills.typepad.com contains a plethora of misspellings, grammatical errors and words used in all the wrong ways. It’s quite amusing to me. Obviously I don’t proofread that one.)

  14. Dandy Dem, just when I thought I had one you, I can sleep better knowing that I haven’t.

    I need to pick on Susan here also…

    First Demo – It’s not called Salvador Dali chicken.. it’s simply called Dali Chicken.. check the menu for yourself. (i just double checked).

    Second – In this particular instance I did not spellcheck, as I was under a deadline and had to rush this review before noon. I also have a job that actually pays bills that also required some attention on this particular morning.

    Please be rest assured that when submitting the article to my editor I informed said individual that I did not spell check.

    Here is the direct quote (Susan, please review this for your records):

    “I have a meeting the rest of the morning. PF Changs is done, but not spell checked.”

    “Pallete, palate, pellate, pilate, plate, pellet, ” whatever wasn’t really my concern….. never is never will be.

    I probably know more about Dali than Susan does.. I have Stoner friends.. She never heard of Salvador Dali until she read (oops I mean listend to) a Steven King book on the way to the beach.

  15. Ron forgets that I was an art major prior to studying accounting.

    And, DUH, we know the dish is not called Salvador Dali on the menu – that’s why it’s funny.

  16. Don’t wanna eat crappy food? Then stop eating at chains! Even non local chains are still just mass-produced bullshit. Any “review” of a chain takes away any credibility you might have had. You had such a variety of interesting food in Columbus, and you go to PF Changs? Hilarious!

  17. I was going to work “Dali Llama” in my post, but I thought I’d piss off some misguided Buddah or Tibetiligion or whatever, and get all the PC folks’ panties in a wad much like my great “geisha” comment.

  18. Dear “Me”,

    We aren’t food snobs – we like all kinds of food. We aren’t pretending to be high-falutin’ foodies. We’re just regular people and most regular people eat at chains occasionally.

    Several of my regular-people friends recommended PF Changs to me, saying it was fantastic. (A lot of people must like it since they have locations all over the place.)

    We don’t venture away from Easton (which is all chains) on a weekend like that because I don’t want to be too far away from the shoes.

  19. People like it, and chains in general, because the vast majority of people in this country like generic, fatty, over-salted food. If you want to make your column relevant, don’t do a review someone can just google and find hundreds of reviews just like it.

  20. Please understand that we don’t get paid to eat out – it’s our money, our time…so we aren’t always eating out solely to please our most discerning readers.

    You are correct that you can access of reviews of chains much easier than locally-owned restaurants. But don’t people also read the blog ’cause they dig Ron’s sense of humor? We do a much greater percentage of local reviews. Can’t we all live in harmony, though?

    Ron hates it when I suggest going somewhere solely to review it for the blog. Unless I am paying, of course!

  21. WOW, finally Susan got someone’s Panties in WAD..

    poor Me…

    Define a Chain? If you ask me a Chain is kind of like that cool band you found out about. You know the one that really kicked ass. Then they write that kick ass song, and before you know it, it’s being played in Stadiums, Car commercials, etc. Then someone bestow’s the term “sellout” upon them.

    ME – if indeed that is your fake name, I guarantee you almost all the mom and pop stores. Would love to be as popular as the so called chain stores.

    Uno’s was once one place. The Cheescake Factory. I’m sure the owners of the Tricky Fish would be chomping at the bit to open up a that poor excuse of an eatery on every corner. Would you then call it a “Chain”?

    Does a so called Mexican Restaurant that has the same menu as 20 other mexican restaurants except by a different name, does that not constitute a chain?

    Do those places that Sohovich opens not constitute a chain? Afterall they are probably using the same accountants, buying from the same suppliers, same attorneys, etc etc. Probably all under the same company ID number (keep in mind I know if none of that is true or not, I’m just ranting, I LIKED BILLY’S)

    Personally I like my chain places, I know what I get, I get it at price that’s not going to change drastically from day to day. Plus they’re easy to pick on. I don’t live in NYC where there are thousands and thousands of “non chain” eateries to pick from.

    As far as I’m concerned “ME” you have no stinking credibility yourself. To pick on us who waste our days trying to give you something to read with credibility be damned. I think you’ll find that most people on here would much rather eat at a non chain place, and in fact they have given way more time devoted to those places and several of them didn’t deserve byte of storage space they recieved.

    Me what are your top ten “non chains” in the area that can serve lunch and dinner both, no reservations required (there’s probably only two of those around here anyway), and at a moderate price point (entree’s less than $25)

    put up or shut up.

  22. This is Charleston… home of the worst chains and least variety of restaurants in the entire State. So no, I don’t think I’m going to waste my time with your silly list. And by all means, eat at chains. But does that mean you have to write a whiny review about them all, especially when it’s filled with something even my two-year-old knows? I guess I thought this blog was to help us find quality and unique places in the area and I was wrong.

  23. ME-

    Here are some recommendations of good local places (we have reviewed them all, if you care to read them.):

    – Alladin (Middle Eastern)
    – Delish Express (upscale sandwiches)
    – Lola’s (pizza/salad)
    – Sitar (Indian)
    – South Hills Market & Cafe (sandwiches by day, fine dining at night)

    And some neat places that may not be on your radar but deserve a visit:

    -The Grill
    -The Sub Shop
    -Trivillian’s

    Not in Charleston, but don’t miss them if you are anywhere close:

    -Cafe Cimino (Sutton)
    – Food and Friends (Lewisburg)
    -Sirianni’s (Davis) and hit The Purple Fiddle afterward (in Thomas)

  24. If at Easton, I have a tip for you–don’t eat at a chain (well, maybe Cheesecake Factory). Ok, Ok, let me rephrase that. Eat at the Ocean Club or Brio’s.

    Plenty of excellent restaurants in Columbus for your money. Hyde Park for steak (or overpriced yet very satisfactory Smith & Wollensky’s at Easton) or always-reliable Rigsby’s in Short North or the venerable Church House up north (outstanding wine list).

    And I don’t agree that Cincy is a better dining town than Columbus. Just don’t agree with that.

  25. Susan-I echo your list. Very impressed with quality of food at Sirianni’s, by the way. Cornbread and beans at the Grill is something I think about all the time–it’s that good. Try it.

    Cafe Cimino’s–you have to make the trip. Worth it.

  26. Lovetoeatout-
    Thanks for the Columbus recommendations. We have been to Brio (although it is also a chain) several times and I really like it.

    You are the second person to recommend Mitchell’s Ocean Club – menu looks great. Only problem with the Ocean Club, or S&W, is that my shoe budget will have to take a hit if I spend very much on dinner. ; -)

    We went to Bar Louie once and it was a complete disappointment.

  27. I think “Me” needs some cheese to go with that wine.

  28. I have been to several PF Chang’s. The menu, the decor, let alone the descriptions from other people who have eaten there, scream “not authentic Chinese food” — I pretty much expected “fusion.” After all, what authentic Chinese restaurant makes what sounds pretty much like an egg roll wrapped in lettuce? For that matter, what Chinese restaurant makes anything wrapped in lettuce? Your experience with the dipping sauces seems to me to be a little bit unusual. Maybe I asked, but I do remember fairly elaborate explanations for each one. Additionally, I pretty much know what I want when it comes to chain restaurant food.and If in doubt, I am not shy in asking. Finally, I have wasted a ton of money on beverages at restaurants. I cannot make the dishes typically served at a restaurant like PF Chang’s at home. I can pop open a can of Pepsi Cola I bought at the grocery store for $.50. So I stay away from 500% beverage markup at restaurants. I would rather spend the $3-7 for a soft drink or elaborate alcoholic beverage on an upgraded entrée. If I want to drink out, there are places that provide a good deal on the drinks and steeply discounted appetizers. :-) By the way, when the Cheesecake Factory comes to your town, do not expect only cheesecake. They have the largest menu I have ever seen. They have the largest portions I have ever seen in a chain restaurant. Their potstickers are yummy. To each his own. Thanks for the nice comprehensive, personalized review.

  29. Woe Woe Woe…… Hold up.

    I am a server at a P.F. Changs. Your server did not properly explain anything to you. We have like 10 variety’s of chicken; potato starch dusted cubes, sliced and potato starch dusted(if you want), sliced stock velveted, stripped chicken, and ground chicken.

    Also about the vegetables, P.F. Changs follows a simple “Family Style Dining”; basically the food is meant to be shared, your server or bartender should have explained the portions were larger and encouraged you to get a few different items as well as a veggie side or a noodle dish to balance out the meal. They obviously dont know their Fan and Tsai foods and that made the experience not as good.

    Also a few more answer’s;
    1. The sauce platter was a trio, your server didnt likely explain the Chili Paste, Chinese Hot Mustard(smiliar kick as horseraddish), Chili Oil, White Vinegar(kills spice), or how to make and modify your dishes to the spice levels that you wanted using these.
    2. Low Carb can be done but is hard; stock velveted dishes with light sauce is the way to go here!
    3. Every dish can be made spicy or less spicy if you want us too; only exceptions include dishes with the Carmello Chili Sauce or a Sichuan Sauce which can not be toned down. EVERY VEGGIE can also be cooked more if desired, all of the veggies are steamed so sometimes it takes longer to cook others. If you want your Asparagus soft tell us but I can promise you that most people dont; we have knives and you can use them to cut it with.
    4. Spicy symbols do not really signify much. We put them on any dish that has CHILI FLAKES in it because most of the population would at times consider it spicy. We can also make any dish have LOW OR LESS Sugar, just ask.
    5

  30. Before reviewing chains understand the concept of the food before you go. It is american bistroized chinese food. Having just moved up here to Charleston, formerly living in Orlando, I have visited ever chain you can conceive of. If you expect novel food and ideas from them give up. They follow popular food trends and what the masses like. To review a chain is almost silly and pointless, if you want to be a food critic you critique local restaurants to get a real taste of the local area. It is like going to France and writing a critique on McDonald’s for the Royal with Cheese.

  31. P.F.Changs is a very poor excuse for Chinese food, same sauce for every dish , no vegetables in dishes that were supposed to have vegetables, chicken is breaded and cut in cubes, very salty.
    It is food for people who do not know what good
    Chinese food is .
    I can get good chinese food in San Francisco for about $10.00 a dish. This stuff is basically slop for $10.00- $15.00 a dish.
    It’s a chain started by a guy in Arizona!
    If you like it then you do not know good food,
    not gourmet, but good food.
    I will never go back.

  32. Your not really correct. It stands for Philip Chang and WE MAKE GREAT FOOD!

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