Report Card: P.F. Changs

P.F. Chang's

P.F. Chang’s

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon

http://www.pfchangs.com/index.aspx

Overall GrubGrade B

 

The Breakdown:

Atmosphere:  Grade C:  P.F. Chang’s presents itself as an upscale Chinese restaurant.  The dining area is very open and gives the impression of being quite large.  The décor is definitely Asian in nature, but with a minimalist flair that doesn’t beat you over the head.  On the Friday we visited, P.F. Chang’s was pretty busy.  It was a little noisy and pretty crowded.  After a brief 15 to 20 minute wait, we were shown to our table.  Unfortunately, someone should have shown our table first to the cleaning staff.  Katina’s seat was filthy, which forced us to sit at the adjacent table.  Glassware was apparently clean, but silverware was disgustingly dirty.  We have enough common sense to realize that in some of these busy establishments, an occasional dirty fork is going to make it to the table.  In this case, however, Katina’s fork had a huge foreign substance adhered to it that only a blind person could miss.  It was really quite gross, and it made us second guess the cleanliness of the rest of our dinnerware.

High marks:  Upscale, open design

Low marks:   Unforgivingly dirty, noisy

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Service:  Grade B+:  Our server, Robert, quickly removed the offending fork and fetched us a clean one.  The rest of the service was accurate and fairly quick.  We waited a little bit for food, but nothing out of the ordinary, except I thought the wait for our entrees was a little excessive (I was also starving, and was eyeing slow moving patrons as possible food). There was nothing either positively or negatively remarkable about the service — a nice, solid showing by the wait staff.

High marks:  Friendly, accurate

Low marks:   Unremarkable

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Food/Spirits:  Grade B:  We have eaten at P.F. Chang’s a dozen times or so.  One of the reasons we are repeat customers is their wok seared lamb, which is an absolute fantastic dish.  The big problem on this visit is that it has been removed from the menu.  Boo!  For drinks, Katina ordered a Chang’s Mai Tai, which was heavy on the pineapple flavor.  That being said, the drink wasn’t as strong as most of the mai tai’s we had nor was it as sweet as we expected.  I ordered a Yuzu Ginger Mojito, which tasted like a normal mojito mixed with Sprite.  It felt carbonated and busy in my mouth, and Katina described it as “twangy” (and no, that doesn’t mean it sounded like it came from Kentucky).  For an appetizer, we ordered Dynamite Shrimp, which was lightly breaded and tossed in a sauce that had a little heat but not as much as the name of the dish might suggest.  Katina ordered Firecracker Chicken for her entrée.  There was virtually no heat to the dish unless you took a bite that included one of the few peppers contained in the dish.  It was pretty underwhelming.  I ordered the Pepper Steak, which was cooked okay but I found the meat to be a little tough.  The sauce it came in was flavorful but not hot at all, and the veggies could have been cut into smaller pieces.  The highlight of the meal was the Spicy Green Beans that we had ordered as a side, which were a little spicy but had big flavor.

High marks:  Interesting mojito, tasty green beans         

Low marks:   Lackluster performance on entrees

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Value:  Grade B:  Dinner wasn’t overly expensive, which was good because we probably would have felt cheated it our check came out to $100.  While fans of Chinese cuisine should obviously give P.F. Chang’s a try based on our past experience, this experience will make us second guess our next visit.  Portion size was okay, but we certainly didn’t need to take any food home.  We didn’t leave hungry, either.

High marks:   Adequate portion size, reasonable price

Low marks:   Quality not on par with past visits, no doggie bags needed

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