Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............

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senor boogie woogie
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2010/09/25 03:08:39 (permalink)

Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............

你好!(Ni Hao!Hello in Chinese.)
On the internet on a Saturday afternoon here on the far side of China in the city of Hangzhou. For some reason,
 
I have never been to P.F. Chang's before and never heard of this chain until several years ago. I have been out of the country for the past 10 years, so I have had no opportunity to go. I was curious today and went to their website. I knew it is a corporate restaurant, with pleasant but generic decor. The menu was obviously Americanized. That isn't bad in and of itself, but it concerns me as a society that we allow big corportions to push out the local restaurants, and then in return offer us more expensive food which has been homogenized. This worries me as a society and makes me think that we are slowly entering an idiocracy phase.
 
My question is, why eat Americanized, corporate Chinese cooking (cooked by Hispanics mainly), when one can get real Chinese food (albeit Americanized, but better food).  My thinking is that most of the authentic Chinese restaurants went buffet style and doing so, the quality and the general clientele went way down. I notice that most P.F. Changs are in the suburbs, but still, there are excellent Chinese restaurants literally everywhere. Every American settlement of over 20,000 people has a Chinese restaurant in it. Why go to PF Chang's?  Most of these corporate restaurants use less than 10 ingredients in everything. Everything is actually the same except for one minor detail. Look at the menu. Same stuff.
 
I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. Not exactly a hotbed of foreign restaurants to say the least, but Memphis has a lot of different places to go to get cuisine, it's just the number of independent Korean BBQ places are limited to how many Koreans you have in your town. Same with Chinese. I always grew up there eating good Chinese food. In the 70's, my parents and I ate in two Chinese restaurants that were ass kickingly fantastic. (the old Wah Yuan on Lamar and Central, and Hong Kong restaurant on Elvis Presley Blvd.) Both restaurants were very authentic and lots of fun. Part of dining is the experience. P.F. Chang's seems corporate, boring and too colorful. Yes, I'll have another $6 dollar beer and the wife will have a Xiantini. (that is a Martini with Ergoutou, yes I made that one up.
 
I want to take the beautiful wife Yong Fang back to American and eat at P.F. Chang's (really I want to take her to the $5 all you can eat special) Maybe, maybe not. She can eat Chinese food while I eat things I haven't had in many years (cornbread, catfish, good Mexican food, Smoked BBQ sandwiches, Krystal's, reeses peanut butter cups, fried chicken that is not KFC and so on..............)
 

 
 
#1

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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 06:21:48 (permalink)
    I see by your response and post that you miss the USA.  I am glad that you do.  PF Changs is OK but just OK.  They offer the same thing, just different sauces.
     
    It taste pretty good buy definately not authenic oreintal.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #2
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 07:10:22 (permalink)
    If you look at what they serve, there is a LOT of salt and fat.
    #3
    kland01s
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 07:26:00 (permalink)
    I went to PF Chang's only once because my MIL insisted, her idea of Chinese is chop suey from a can.  The food was too salty and the music too loud. We have way too many good family run real Chinese places around Chicagoland to waste time with corporate chains.
    #4
    jaylhorner
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 08:47:26 (permalink)
    I wouldn't go near the place!  Try a local, not total Americanized, restaurant instead.
    #5
    plb
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 10:54:53 (permalink)
     
    I've only been in two, the bars were busier that the regular restaurant part.
    #6
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 11:01:14 (permalink)
    They were much better the first few years they were open, I avoid going back, too many below par experiences.
    #7
    TrentonDog
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 13:56:17 (permalink)
    I went there and i was stunned. The place was packed, there was an hour wait, and the food was mediocre at best. Granted, it was a nice clean place, but it's all about the food - right?
     
    I'm not sure who works in the kitchen at my local PFC, but I prefer my Chinese food to be cooked by a Chinese guy with many years cooking experience under his belt, rather than someone who went to PF Changs "Chinese cooking for dummies" class. I've gotten some pretty good authentic dishes from my local take out place by going "off the menu" and letting them make me a dish they'd think I would like. Then again, since PFC is a franchise chain, there probably isn't much creativity that can be applied by the cooks. (notice they are cooks, not chefs)
    #8
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 15:19:07 (permalink)
    jaylhorner

    I wouldn't go near the place!  Try a local, not total Americanized, restaurant instead.
    I think if you look hard enough in most cities of any size you will find Chinese restaurants offering two menus, one Americanized Chinese and the other authentic Chinese - we have two like that in Cincinnati, that I know of.
     
    I would not be caught dead in P F Changs.
    #9
    stricken_detective
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 17:17:16 (permalink)
    Lettuce wraps are ok. Mostly it's a lot of grease & salt. Avoid if you can.
    #10
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 17:28:52 (permalink)
    I went to a local P. F. Chang's on some special occasion a couple of years ago (I didn't know it was a chain).  Really bad service, burnt-tasting soup, and puzzling lack of sauces for certain dishes.  And it was noisy, and not in a musical way.  I have no intention to ever return.
    #11
    Ralph Melton
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 17:48:36 (permalink)
    I've had some pretty good meals at P. F. Chang's, but I think I can find cheaper food of the same quality. I am no judge of authentic Chinese food, but I doubt its authenticity.
    #12
    AndreaB
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/25 18:59:02 (permalink)
    All of the great Chinese restaurants in LEX that I remember jumped into the parade buffet and slowly went belly up.  What a shame, because we had a few really good ones.
     
    As for P.F. Chang overpriced salt-fest, IMO.
     
    Andrea
    #13
    mjambro
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/26 11:28:03 (permalink)
    If you think Red Lobster serves decent seafood & Olive Garden serves Italian, you'll like P F Chang.
    #14
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/26 12:28:02 (permalink)
    mjambro

    If you think Red Lobster serves decent seafood & Olive Garden serves Italian, you'll like P F Chang.
    ...and deserve it...


    #15
    caver
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/27 15:03:58 (permalink)
    It was just ok.  Wayyy overpriced for a small plate of something that was not as good as what I can get at the luch counter Chinese place down the street.
    #16
    mbrookes
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/09/28 13:38:37 (permalink)
    I like PF Chang because they have a gluten free menu. Since soy sauce contains gluten, this is as close to Chinese as I can get. I know it's not authentic, but it is close to Chinese.
    #17
    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/10/04 20:54:08 (permalink)
    If you have never eaten Chinsese Food.and like loud places with pretentious waiters (som 19 year old tell me he is a "suace-master"), go there
    Otherwise.find a hole in the wall......it'll be much better
    #18
    leethebard
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/10/04 22:30:55 (permalink)
    Talked about it here about a year or so ago. Very over priced...average food....loud and tightly spaced tables....we hated our evening and have never been back....go to a real chinese place instead!
    #19
    collinf
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/10/05 09:34:14 (permalink)
    You pay more and get less than your average mom and pop Chinese take-out or eat-in restaurant.  The food doesn't taste any better, and in my opinion is not as good as what I've eate in most Chinese restaurants.  But, you get to hang out in a swanky-looking restaurant.
    #20
    Foodbme
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/10/07 01:21:33 (permalink)
    P. F. Chang's was started here in Scottsdale, AZ by Paul Fleming. He's the "P.F." in P.F. Chang's. If any of you are Entrepreneurial History Buffs like I am and would like to read the history of how he grew the business from a simple concept, one restaurant operation to a publicly traded company, here's the Story of another True American Entrepreneur. Some of you should be so successful.
     
    I'm not judging the food, just providing the history.
    http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/P-F-Changs-China-Bistro-Inc-Company-History.html
    #21
    analei
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/10/07 11:00:43 (permalink)
    My friend and I went to Somerset Mall in Michigan to go shopping. This is a high end mall..i cannot even afford the gum (LOL). She said she heard people rave about P.F. Changs. So we go there, had to wait a while as the place to packed the rim, and finally got our meal.
     
    The food was mediocre, pricey, and overal disappointing. I did not see a single Asian person in there. Just a lot of nicely dressed white people..like me, except nothing on me had a designer label.
     
    Yes, i know i am being a bit snarky.
     
    Anyway, I would also add, there is a upscale fusion resturant in the city i live in that specialises in Pan Asian cuisine. Right. I will go the real source, get a way better meal, better price. Yet, it is always packed.
     
    Who knows..i am more into food that the decor and who goes there.
     
     
    #22
    bartl
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2010/10/11 09:39:28 (permalink)
    Highly recommended: THE FORTUNE COOKIE CHRONICLES by Jennifer 8 Lee (no typo on the name). Most library systems should have a copy. Starting with the story a number of years back about a bunch of people who won 2nd prize on lottery tickets based on numbers from fortune cookies, she decides to learn the history of fortune cookies, and the path that led her to a book all about the history of commercial Chinese food, in the U.S. and world-wide.
     
    Bart
    #23
    JanetPelle
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2013/05/03 10:39:18 (permalink)
    I used to love eating there when I would vacation in Florida. They finally began opening in Canada.
     
    The food is HORRIBLE! I am so dissapointed.
    #24
    EdSails
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2013/05/03 11:35:00 (permalink)
    I was dragged there once. To paraphrase someone on TV......
     
    "Worst......meal........ever.......!
    #25
    mar52
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2013/05/03 11:55:01 (permalink)
    More attention to the decor than the food.
    I prefer authentic and even that's difficult to find these days.
    #26
    jaylhorner
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2013/05/04 07:25:14 (permalink)
    Bucket of salt!!!!!
    #27
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2013/05/04 08:09:38 (permalink)
    I love their happy hour menu and will proudly proclaim that I enjoy P.F. Changs food & cocktails.  It ain't genuine, but it is what it is.
     
    I also made a killing on their stock a decade or so ago.
    #28
    Foodbme
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2013/05/04 21:45:01 (permalink)
    According to the magazine Chinese Restaurant News, there are nearly 41,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States, three times the number of McDonalds franchise units.
    If you don't like P.F. Changs, you should be able to find one that you like.
    And that's not counting other types of Asian places.
    #29
    Cosmos
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    Re:Your thoughts on P.F. Chang............ 2013/05/04 23:01:03 (permalink)
    My wife and mother-in-law dined at the Chang in Destinyusa our whoop-de-doo mall in Syracuse. Her review was much as above. Our local take out in a strip mall is better and cheaper...and frankly, the take out joint isn't all that great. The food is fresh and consistent...that's about it. So I'd say its a no vote on PF Chang when they cant compete with mediocre take out.
    #30
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