If you can believe it, I had never been to P.F. Chang’s before last month. I know, I know this popular Chinese chain restaurant has dozens of locations, with two in Boston, but I just hadn’t been!
My first experience was mediocre at best. We went on a Sunday night to the Prudential location. From slow service, to bland food, and never getting that water refill we asked for, we didn’t have the best experience.
I reached out to P.F. Chang’s after our visit to let them know about my disappointment with the service, gluten free entrees, and restaurant (did I mention the fruit flies and bug at our table?). The Guest Relations manager I spoke with was extremely apologetic and sent me a gift card and asked that I come back again, as a way to make it up to me and regain my confidence in P.F. Chang’s.
So, last night we gave them another shot. This time we went to the Park Plaza location and had a much better experience.
What I do like and appreciate very much is P.F. Chang’s awareness of food allergies and the precautions they take to ensure and provide gluten free meals.
All Gluten Free items are served on a special plate with the P.F. Chang’s logo. These menu items are either gluten free as prepared, or modified to be gluten free. Serving them on special plates lets everybody know these are gluten free dishes, not to be confused with gluten filled dishes.
According to P.F. Chang’s website, the following ingredients are used in P.F. Chang’s gluten free sauces: chicken broth, oyster sauce, rice wine, sugar, water, wheat free soy sauce, and white pepper. The marinades for beef, pork, chicken, shrimp and scallops are gluten free and contain cornstarch. The soy sauce on the table is not gluten free, but simply ask your server for the gluten free soy sauce and he/she will bring it to you.
Like I said before, my first experience was not that great but we did enjoy two of the dishes we ordered, so it was not all bad.
CHANG’S CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
Our signature appetizer. Wok-seared chicken, mushrooms, green onions and water chestnuts served over crispy rice sticks with cool, crisp lettuce cup.
The wraps were delicious and there was plenty of the fillings. My only complaint is that we ran out of lettuce wraps—there were only 4 or 5 small pieces of lettuce— and we had to eat the rest with a fork. That didn’t bother me too much, but it would have been nice to have a few more wraps.
GF MONGOLIAN BEEF
Sweet, soy-glazed flank steak wok-seared with scallions and garlic.
Jeremy and I loved this dish. It was by far my favorite dish. I thought it was absolutely delicious, full of flavor. The meat was tender and the sauce was delicious.
Unfortunately everything else we tried was mediocre.
GF SINGAPORE STREET NOODLES
Light curry sauce with thin rice noodles, sliced chicken breast, shrimp and fresh vegetables
There was very little sauce and tasteless. I added gluten free soy sauce just to give it some kind of flavor. According to a friend the gluten free version greatly differ from the regular Singapore Street Noodles on the menu. Very disappointing.
GF BUDDHA’S FEAST
Asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli and carrots, served steamed.
This dish was basically steamed vegetables on a plate. No seasoning and no sauce. The regular menu description describes this dish being served in a savory soy sauce, steamed or stir-fried. I’m not sure why they couldn’t use gluten free soy sauce.
On our second visit last night we ordered the lettuce wraps and Mongolian Beef again since we had enjoyed it so much the first time. We also tried:
GF CANTONESE-STYLE LEMON CHICKEN
Fresh, crispy whole chicken breast sliced and drizzled with warm lemon sauce and served with chilled broccolini salad.
When was the last time you had crispy chicken at a Chinese restaurant? The chicken was fried in some sort of lightly battered goodness (I’m assuming corn-based) and instead of pouring the sauce over the chicken and making it soggy, they drizzled the plate with a little lemon sauce and the rest was served on the side. This dish was ot too heavy and had a delicious citrus taste.
For dessert, it was after all my birthday, they brought us the:
GF FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE DOME
Decadent, rich chocolate cake served with fresh berries and raspberry sauce.
It was rich and it was decadent. We shared it but couldn’t finish all of it.
The drinks were pretty good too. Not very strong, but very flavorful.
ASIAN PEAR MOJITO
Bacardi Limón and fresh mint with a hint of pear
Russian Standard Vodka mixed with our House-Made Ginger Beer
P.F. Chang’s nutritional information is available online. I really like when restaurants make the nutritional information readily available, and easy to find.
I’m glad we gave P.F. Chang’s a second chance. It’s nice to have an option for gluten free Chinese food and I know I will be back again!
Have you been to P.F. Chang’s? What is your favorite gluten free dish?