Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gluten-Free Gluttons: P.F. Chang's

There's this campy, delightful Chinese restaurant near my house that's been open since the '70s, has questionable food practice standards and killer tropical drinks, and was my introduction to the beauty that is sesame chicken. It also just so happens that I drive past this once-favorite restaurant on my way to and from work everyday. I tried to ignore it, and for a few weeks, it worked.
Until a few days ago, when I started jonesing for some Chinese.
Since I have been trolling the Celiac discussion boards for almost two months now, I saw that loads of people were raving about the GF options at P.F. Chang's. I'd never been there before I was anti-gluten, but with the craving raging, Luke and I decided to visit our local "Puff Chang's" for a late lunch on our day off Monday.
I was impressed immediately. Not because the restaurant itself looked cool (it did), and not because the gigantosaur chandeliers were fabulous and dangerous. I was amazed that P.F. Chang's doesn't have a separate, crumpled, single-copy gluten free menu. Instead, they include it with the regular people menu. That's right, this franchise treats GF dining like it is normal. I told my server right away that I would be dining GF that afternoon, and he immediately grabbed a couple of the sauce bottles off the table and told me not to touch them. He brought out gluten-free versions of the soy sauce and potsticker sauces for me, which was awesome. I also got to try their famous lettuce wrap appetizer (it was so good, Luke even ate it. And he hates lettuce. And other healthy things). I ordered their spicy chicken, and all of the GF items I ordered came on special plates with the restaurant's logo on them. The portions were huge, and when we couldn't finish, they sent us home with extra rice to eat with our leftovers. Plus, our server even bagged up my leftovers in a separate bag (the hubbs ordered a gluteny main dish) so that they wouldn't be contaminated.
And those leftovers? Reheated amazingly. Hooray for two nights' wort of food from one meal!
Bottom line? I will SO go here again. There's already other things on the menu that I want to try, including a couple of desserts. I really need to get better about taking pictures of my food:) Hopefully the next installment will have photos!

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