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Author Topic: Pf Changs  (Read 6812 times)
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Sam is the Man
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« on: October 17, 2004, 06:12:17 AM »

I don't know if PF Changs is just a west coast place, but for those of you that aren't familiar with it, it is a 'chic' Chinese restaurant out here. I've been there a couple of times now, and both times have been hounded about trying the 'lettuce wraps'. Anyone else tried these? They're basically iceberg lettuce on a 'platter' that you use to make your own 'wrap' with some sort of 'mushy chicken stuff'. Put the chicken in the lettuce, and eat. It's very generic, yet people rave about these things. Can anyone tell me what I'm missing?

This is very important, obviously.
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olaf
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2004, 06:18:01 AM »

I think they have good food there, but its a little steep for what you get.  Its chinese food with decent ingredients and an american bent.  Its a trendy place though, always packed, and people will pay extra for that I guess.  Personally I cant stand a crowded place to eat, it ruins the meal IMO.

As for the lettuce wraps, I think they are tasty but yeah I dont see why everyone goes apeshit for them.  My wife loves them.

They have a fast food type chain called Pei Wei or something that is supposed to be good also, but cheaper.  They dont have any by me though, so I cant say.

olaf
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Sam is the Man
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2004, 06:22:43 AM »

Yeah, it's good...but I think I got a bad impression when, during my first visit, the waitress proceeded to attempt to pull a Benihana-style table preparation that entailed mixing two sauces together. She did this in a very grandoise fashion, as if we should be impressed, when in fact it was not much more impressive than mixing ketchup and mustard and calling it 'house dressing'. Yet the table seemed to be truly enthralled.

I've been to Pei Wei...and everyone in the restaurant was gorging on lettuce wraps. Go figure.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2004, 07:02:34 AM »

HERE is a link to a Lettuce Wrap recipe like PF Chang's
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Chrisoc13
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2004, 07:11:10 AM »

I love the lettuce wrap! It is really good. We have a PF Chang's where I go to school in Utah. The lettuce wrap is my favorite part. But, its probably not for everyone.
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leo8877
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2004, 07:20:11 AM »

The lettuce wraps are good, but not great.  The real goods there are the honey glazed prawns and the garlic snap peas.  Mmm Mmm Mmm!
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disarm
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2004, 07:24:32 AM »

it's not just a west coast restaurant...we have one here in indianapolis that i've been to a couple times.  personally, i don't see what the big deal is about the place.  the food is pretty good, but i've had better chinese for a more reasonable price.  i've also tried the lettuce wrap...it's not bad, but nothing to really go crazy over.  to each his own i guess...
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stiffler
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2004, 07:36:38 AM »

We have one in Atlanta.  People love it.  I've not been myself.  Neither lettuce or wraps interest me.  Imagine my indiffernce.  If people are happy to pay money to prepare their own food then they deserve to pay a premium for the privilege.
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2004, 08:17:14 AM »

strangely enough, there is an abundance of great korean and vietnamese restaurants here in memphis.  well, moreso vietnamese than korean.  i actually live down the street from the ho chi minh trail.  there are four great places, located a block apart on one stretch, about half a mile from my porch.

regarding pf chang's, there's one here also.  i've only been once, for lunch, and i can't say that i was too terribly impressed.  but i was born in malaysia.  i've been to taipei and hong kong.  and, most importantly, my father cooks malay food and my mother cooks traditional chinese food.  and sometimes they cook together.  and there is nothing better than that.  smile
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Nth Power
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2004, 10:39:06 AM »

The food's pretty good, but a little pricey.  I think the lettuce wraps are overrated.  They taste good, but they don't fill me up.  I'd rather have something like the Mongolian Beef.
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HarveyB
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2004, 01:13:54 PM »

Ive not been to P.F. Chang's, but I've eaten in two other restauraunts owned and operated by the same company - Z-Tejas (generic Tex-Mex) and Flemings (high-end steakhouse). Both places were trendy, packed, and offered mediocre food at top market prices.

I was actually considering trying PF Changs, only because I've yet to find a good Chinese restaurant in Tucson, but after my previous experiences and what I read here, I'll pass.
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Juntei
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2004, 03:36:28 PM »

Quote from: "Sam is the Man"

I've been to Pei Wei...and everyone in the restaurant was gorging on lettuce wraps. Go figure.


Pei Wei is the "fast-food" version of P F Changs. And by fast food i mean they don't have a real wait staff
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JSHAW
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2004, 06:54:05 PM »

There's a PF Chang's in Charlotte, NC.

I haven't been, and probably never will. I don't like trendy restuarants, and don't like eating with rich snobby trendy people.

If I'm going to spend $50+ dollars on a meal I'd rather go to a steak joint
and get full. I don't get full on oriental food. I leave feeling like I ate something, but I'm still hungry an hour later.
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Magic
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2004, 06:59:38 PM »

mongolian beef.
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ravenvii
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2004, 07:00:23 PM »

I have a PF Changs near where I live, and I go there from time to time. $50 a meal? What are you smoking? I typically spend $15 at most on my meals there. Not that expensive.
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JSHAW
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2004, 07:37:45 PM »

Raven,

I'm married. I'm sure my final bill WITH tip would probably be close to $50.00, so I know my math is not due to smoking anything.

When I go to an upscale place, I don't eat the cheapest thing on the menu.  You're mileage may vary, not mine.
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ravenvii
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2004, 07:44:20 PM »

$50 for TWO people, I can see. I'm talking about ONE person. $25 for one person, that's not crazy-expensive. I've been to restaurants that's even more expensive, and regularly at that.

But then I'm from the New York City area, so yeah I'm one of those snobby people, not rich though :p
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I LUV HUGZ
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2004, 07:52:45 PM »

sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks
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jessie
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2004, 08:28:40 PM »

screw those things. get the crab stuffed won-tons.  THOSE are the win.
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Grievous Angel
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2004, 09:05:46 PM »

My favorite thing at PF Chang's is the moo-shu pork. The sauces they include are awesome. I don't think I've ever had anything bad there. And the iced tea is really good.
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Azhag
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2004, 09:49:55 PM »

We have one in Northern Virginia too.  I haven't been, but I know it is supposed to be pretty popular here.
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Eightball
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« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2004, 11:25:02 PM »

There's a few by me here in Maryland.  It's trendy, always packed, and pretty bleh for the price.  There are a bunch of decent-good chinese restaurants nearby that I'd rather go to.

The lettuce wrap things are decent, and people freaking love them.  No idea why smile
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Tebunker
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« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2004, 04:13:48 AM »

the twice cooked beef, that's cooked then flash fried and served with hot pepper etc. is great.
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Laner
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« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2004, 04:19:08 AM »

Quote from: "JSHAW"
There's a PF Chang's in Charlotte, NC.

I haven't been, and probably never will. I don't like trendy restuarants, and don't like eating with rich snobby trendy people.


I can't speak for the one in Charlotte, but the one down the street from me is hardly "rich snobby trendy people" turf.  Occasionally you'll see a famous musician in there, but that's due to it's location (it's surrounded by studios), not any inherent trendiness.  You can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting someone in the music business.

I've spent $80 there on a date, but it was Valentine's Day, and we went with the expensive wine and tipped the waitress very well.

Lettuce wraps - OK, but they tend to disintegrate in your gands after the first couple of bites.
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Steron
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« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2004, 05:02:20 PM »

I went to one when I was in Kansas City a couple years ago. I thought it was pretty good. We had the lettuce wraps and enjoyed them. I am going to try that recipe Daehawk linked.
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Sam is the Man
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2004, 05:11:06 PM »

Quote from: "jessie"
THOSE are the win.


lol...I love that phrase and am going to use it if you don't mind.
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SuperHiro
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« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2004, 05:25:36 PM »

ARGH! Arnold is right, the best asian restaurants are the little "hole in the wall" places. In Seattle the best Thai food place is a dingy little crap hole that barely seats 13 people. Thai Tom, anyone else who feels differently is just inferior.

"But Hiro, I don't know how to find the good chinese restaurants, at least PF Chang's is in a clean area."

Well if you want to eat at BS Chang's go ahead. But for those who actually want to eat good food, here's

SUPERHIRO'S GUIDE TO GOOD ASIAN RESTAURANTS, 100% PRECISE AND ACCURATE

1) No Parking
Parking must be crowded and crappy. If there's 6 cars floating around the small lot looking for a spot, then it's a really good place. If there's no parking at all, great. But generally you're looking for either no parking, or a really crappy-looking small lot.

2) The waiters must be of asian descent
NO EXCEPTIONS. And if they have problems speaking english, EVEN BETTER.  I have eaten chinese food all across this great nation. My parents loved to take long ass road trips, and my chinese mother INSISTED on finding a chinese place to eat at each stop. It didn't matter where we were. Montana, BF nowhere, I've tasted the chinese cooking everywhere. And if the waiters are chinese, then you have a 70% chance the food is decent... as opposed to 20% if your waiter is white.

3) There must be live seafood floating in a tank
Duh. And always order steamed fish. Any other way they will use frozen fish. If you order steamed they'll use fresh.

4) The name of the restaurant must be in Chinese, with a translation somewhere else.
So stay away from "The Drunken Phoenix" if there's no chinese lettering on the sign. Unless of course, it's a sleazy hooker bar, in which case it's fine.

5) There must be one part of the menu, or some sort of supplemental menu, that is entirely in chinese
This will usually have the stuff that white people won't eat. Like intestines.

Follow these rules, and you can enjoy awesome asian food... or at least passable affordable asian food.  These rules fit chinese restaurants a lot better.

Oh, and those lettuce things are awesome. My mom makes that.
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Siljanus
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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2004, 05:31:36 PM »

Quote from: "SuperHiro"

3) There must be live seafood floating in a tank
Duh. And always order steamed fish. Any other way they will use frozen fish. If you order steamed they'll use fresh.


Correction:  I think the very wise and accurate SuperHiro meant to say "There must be live seafood swimming in a tank."

At least I hope so... :shock:
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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2004, 07:06:57 PM »

Quote from: "Laner"
they tend to disintegrate in your gands after the first couple of bites.


Ewww!  I don't ever put food in my gands.... :wink:
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Siljanus
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« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2004, 07:44:35 PM »

Quote from: "Eightball"
Quote from: "Laner"
they tend to disintegrate in your gands after the first couple of bites.


Ewww!  I don't ever put food in my gands.... :wink:


I think I saw this in a umm, "movie" I was watching in college.  She really had a liking for the fruit... smoke (picked the smilie just because it was there.  I love the selection)
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« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2004, 07:59:48 PM »

I got a signature out of this thread.  Woo!

~Neal
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Jancelot
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« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2004, 09:47:53 PM »

We have both P.F. Chang's and Pei Wei around here.  I find both to be pretty meh food.  Not good, not terrible, just unremarkable.  I call it pop food as it follows the same format as pop music and pop movies: try be as unoffensive to as many people as possible.  Most of the clients remind me of the Starbucks couple from Best in Show.  That lettuce wrap chicken is chopped up so small that it's probably beaks and claws anyway.  Tongue
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wankerjr
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« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2004, 04:35:35 AM »

Huh they are finishing up a new one here in downtown. I was told the food was overpriced and average at best so I think I'll pass.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2004, 05:07:59 AM »

Go to chic-fil-a if you want a great chicken wrap smile
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« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2004, 04:02:17 PM »

Blah.  After going to the Peking Inn in Northern Va (this is a REALLY popular Chinese place...many visiting diplomats and politicians go there), nowhere else really compares.  Especially after 3 people in a table of 4 put away 2 peking ducks and then even more food.  We rang up quite the bill.  smile

Mike
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