P.F. Chang’s is the only restaurant in Northwest Ohio with a revolving door. And the mood and atmosphere screams trendy and luxurious. Numerous reviews declare Chang’s as one of the best places to dine, and the Toledo Blade gave them four stars. Undoubtedly, the reviewers weren’t Chinese and never grew up eating authentic Chinese cuisine. My parents and I were celebrating an early Christmas. We are unquestionably qualified to rate Chinese food.
We ordered a number of items. The Sichuan asparagus ($2.95) tasted dull and rubbery. I would have preferred them slightly crunchier. The Buddha’s feast ($7.95) featured tofu that resembled unopened Gouda cheese, tan core and a deep brown wrapping. Finally, I ordered the Hamachi jalapeno ($10.25). Cleverly presented on soup spoons, I expected a surreal hotness, based on the waitress’s opinion, but received nothing more than a two on a ten point scale.
Mom ordered one of the most expensive menu items – Chilean sea bass marinated in oblong tea ($24.95). Dad decided on wok-seared lamb ($15.95). My biggest peeve was the plating; the colorless glob of lamb looked tacky on shaved lettuce, and what of the bass, apple wood atop wilted spinach.
A Chinese-American restaurant isn’t competition against made-from-scratch Chinese home cooking. The issue with Chang’s is that it’s mostly white clientele believe they’re eating better because of the ambiance and menu prices. If you still insist on trying P.F. Chang’s, avoid traditional Chinese-American mainstays like Kung Pao Chicken and Mongolian Beef. Those dishes are fundamentally similar to cheaper alternatives at China House, 3 Happiness, or even Magic Wok.