I am truly amazed by and have admired the proliferation of delicacies from Mainland China, that have long transcended the borders of that country, and have grown their way into ubiquity, in virtually every corner of the globe. Do you know of any major city that does not boast of at least one or more establishments that serve fine Chinese cuisine – I do not?!
What tantalizes the Gastronome Internationale in me to seek my Chinese adventure in every new city I visit, is the local flavor that makes its way into the cuisine – the subtle nuances, the aroma and the flavors reflecting the spices, condiments, cultures and artifacts of the history of that country or city, that tickle the cockles of my epicurean heart, and prompts me to yell with ecstatic abandon, “Vive le Difference”!!! You have to taste the Chinese cuisine in Bombay or Kolkata and then in Paris, Rome, London, Heidelberg, Toronto or San Francisco to fully appreciate my assertion!
An establishment that has adapted cuisine from Mainland China to the tastes of mainstream America, arguably better than most, is P.F. Chang’s China Bistro that is the fastest growing and one of the most profitable chains of restaurants across the US of A!
What brings me back for more:
P.F. Chang’s USP (unique selling proposition) stems from the fact that it offers a huge array of delights from Mainland China (across the four regions - Manchurian, Sichuan, Cantonese and Hunan) subtly amended for the palate of the increasingly diverse and eclectic American mainstream, and served in an elegant ambiance, reminiscent of a regal Chinese banquet. As well, the friendly and well trained folks deliver superb customer service with a smile, that assures a consistent experience at each and every establishment across the US. The menu is also altered seasonally, to include an element of the unexpected, that has legions of loyal fans (me included) who keep coming back for more!
Although a veritable “food factory” at the backend, working off the extremely fresh and quality ingredients (unlike the low brow all-you-can eat buffets) that are cooked to perfection from recipes that have been tried and tested over the years, the delivery is subtly customized to the discerning palate of the customer, and is P. F. Chang’s hallmark.
This “personalized experience” commences with the friendly server who mixes the hot and mustard sauce combination to the needs of the table. The dishes are cooked fresh-to-order, and delivered in an appropriately staggered sequence to foster great conversation and camaraderie, while stimulating the taste buds in anticipation of the next culinary delight. The lagging indicator of this “business recipe’s success” is evidenced by the need to reserve your table even on weeknights, and a wait of 45-90 minutes on a weekend, if you have no prior reservations.
While P.F. Chang’s offers an expansive menu to choose from, these are some of our perennial favorites:
Check out this really cool interactive menu that tells you the calories as well as the constituent breakup (proteins, carbs and fats) of every item you are likely to consume, to be able to make intelligent, healthy choices.
- The Hot and Sour or Wonton soups are served piping hot and highly recommended to stimulate the taste buds in anticipation of the delights to follow
- Chang’s Chicken or Vegan Lettuce Wraps are a signature starter dish that is usually a must-have for most regular customers. This comprises a spiced, Sichuan, minced chicken or veggie dry curry, served with cooled lettuce wraps. You turn the lettuce into a wrap (like a tortilla wrap) with the chicken/veggie stuffing, close your eyes and get a bite that tickles the cockles of your taste buds into utter euphoria! Don’t leave P.F. Chang’s without having tasted these sublime wraps!
- Kung Pao Chicken (also done with Shrimps or Scallions) is a Sichuan classic that is flash fired with chilli peppers and scallions, with peanuts, and is the finest your money can buy!
- Mu Shu Pork/Chicken/Beef – a Chinese classic served in hoisin sauce and served wrapped in thin pancakes…nice!
- Chengdu Spiced Lamb is a P.F. Chang’s novelty consisting of richly spiced and marinated lamb, wok-caramelized, and then tossed with cumin, mint, tomatoes and yellow onions, that renders this a memorable experience
- Hot Fish is the fresh fish of the day (usually cat fish or tilapia) fried crispy and delivered in a spicy Sichuan sauce, with stir fried vegetables…yummy!
- Ma Po Tofu is a work of culinary art and comprises crispy, silken tofu in a Sichuan vegan sauce, served with steamed broccoli to gratify the fastidious palates of born-again vegans.
- Ground chicken and eggplant comprises chicken ground, marinated and stir-fried with scallions in a soy chili pepper sauce, inspired by the Hunan region of China…deli….cious!
- Salt and pepper prawns have large and peeled shrimps that are stir-fried in a salt and pepper mix of chili peppers, black beans, ginger and green onions, and served with a sweet mustard sauce – recommended for die-hard shrimp lovers!
- Singapore curried noodles or the Dan Dan noodles are both P.F.Chang’s signature offerings and highly recommended if you want adventure beyond the white or brown rice that accompanies most entrees.
- Banana Spring rolls comprising warm and crispy banana bites with coconut-pineapple ice cream and drizzled with caramel and vanilla sauces, deliver unbelievable fulfillment not dissimilar to the warm after-glow of passionate love making!
This adventure begins at:
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro at multiple locations across the USA. For locations and reservations, please call 1-866-732-4264. Reservations recommended.
The locations in Dallas are as below:
P. F. Chang's, 18323 North Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75287. Tel # (972) 818-3336. Click here for the Google Map and Directions.
P.F. Chang's, 225 North Park Center Dallas, TX 75225. Tel # (214) 265-8669. Click here for the Google Map and Directions.
Anonymous said....Andy, You're Da Maan! You have just solved my fear of walking into a new restaurant and making a fool of myself since I am clueless about what I want to order, and end up looking like a moron! I can now just choose an "adventure" from your "Paradise", print out your "travelogue", and use it as my "cheat sheet" in my back pocket, to order your recommendations and come out looking like a hero in front of my family and my friends!
Awesome dude, you are my life-saver! Your foodbuddy from Vancouver, Canada March 9, 2007 2:08 PM