• April 2nd, 2008mr meanerp.f. chang's, vegan stuff

    There are a few chain restaurants, found in most US towns and cities that can serve vegans very well.

    Sometimes we like the predictability of a known dining experience, and “the PF” certainly provides that. What you’ll find in every restaurant is a waiting line (although shorter than they used to be, and reservations can now be phoned ahead) and a nice table in a dark room usually with a spotlight in your face from a mile above your head. Although seating can be efficient, a 10 minute wait for your server to initially materialize is commonplace on busy nights – especially weekends.

    Vegan appetizers include Lettuce Wraps and Steamed Dumplings (both very good).

    My favorite vegan entree (in fact the only one I’ve ever had in the hundreds of times I’ve been to P.F. Chang’s – see picture above) is Ma Po Tofu, an amazing well flavored and presented interpretation of the classic Chinese dish (which usually contains pork).

    Note that the kitchen is VERY efficient at preparing food (banks of microwaves?) and is usually way faster at getting it to your table than you are at eating it, or than your server is to bring your drinks. On more than one occasion I’ve ordered drinks, appetizer and entree at the same time to have the appetizer arrive first, followed shortly after by the entree and then the wine as I’m half done with the entree. I recommend ordering serially, wait for something to arrive before you order the next thing.

    Also, note that the wine is horrendously marked up. A bottle of Night Harvest Cabernet that I can get for $4.75 with my Ralph’s club discount card costs a whopping $26.50. For the mathematicians out there that’s a five zillion percent mark-up.

    No vegan deserts, so fill up by adding some side dishes – the Spinach Stir Fried With Garlic and Asparagus are very good, as are Buddha’s Vegetables.