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..............)