Wednesday, March 11, 2015

P.F. Chang's China Bistro

You can read my most recent review of P.F. Chang's here.

Tonight, we had dinner at P.F. Chang's China Bistro in Winter Park.  When we are in the mood for Chinese food, we usually dine at Pei Wei, which is owned by P.F. Chang's.  It's closer to home and the prices are a little cheaper, but the gluten free menu is more limited.  

Before I was diagnosed with celiac, we loved to eat at P.F. Chang's, so imagine my excitement when I found out that they had an extensive gluten free menu, which was rare seven years ago.  Today, the list of gluten free options takes up an entire page in the menu they pass out to all customers.  

Gluten free dishes are prepared in a separate area of the kitchen with designated woks and utensils, and your meal will be served on special plates with the P.F. Chang's logo.  You can read more about P.F. Chang's gluten free community here.

We started our meal with GF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps, their signature appetizer with wok-seared chicken, mushrooms, green onions and water chestnuts over crispy rice sticks, with crisp lettuce cups.  This appetizer was the perfect size for our family of five.  Not having dined at P.F. Chang's in a while, I had forgotten just how amazing these lettuce wraps are.  They are slightly sweet, and I love the cool crisp lettuce cups with the warm chicken filling.  

Tonight, we decided to eat family-style, so all the dishes we ordered had to be gluten free.  I cannot go to P.F. Chang's without ordering the GF Chang's Spicy Chicken, which has been a favorite dish of mine for over a decade.  The sweet and spicy chili sauce on the chicken is so delicious, and I love to eat it with brown rice.  My only complaint about this dish is that it doesn't include any vegetables like its counterpart at Pei Wei, the Pei Wei Spicy Chicken.  P.F. Chang's does not have spicy shrimp on the menu like Pei Wei, but they have been willing to make it whenever I have asked.  

Everyone in my family agreed that our three favorite dishes were the lettuce wraps, Chang's Spicy Chicken, and the GF Cantonese-Style Lemon Chicken, which the menu describes as fresh, crispy whole chicken breast sliced and drizzled with warm lemon sauce, and served with chilled broccolini salad.  The breading on the chicken was amazing, and this dish was just perfect with the slightly sweet lemon sauce and broccolini, one of my favorite vegetables.  

We also ordered the GF Shaking Beef, which is tender flank steak, thinly sliced potatoes and broccolini, on fresh greens, tomatoes, and red onions, with zesty lime vinaigrette.  I liked this dish, but not enough to order again, because I prefer my Chinese food to be sweet and spicy.  

We felt the same way about the GF Singapore Street Noodles, which are thin rice noodles in a light curry sauce with sliced chicken breast, shrimp and fresh vegetables.  They were good, but we will probably stick with our favorites the next time we dine at P.F. Chang's.  

For dessert, I tried the gluten free flourless chocolate dome, which is rich, flourless chocolate cake served with fresh berries and raspberry sauce.  The chocolate cake was rich and creamy, and was served with a generous amount of fresh berries and raspberry sauce, which you cannot see in the picture because the plate was so long.  This dish would have been gluten free dessert perfection with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or maybe even some whipped cream.  Even without ice cream, we all loved it.

After our dinner, we all agreed that we enjoyed this dining experience better than the meals we eat at Pei Wei, which are always consistently good.

May 17, 2015 Update

Last night, our school had a dinner for our international students and their host families at P.F. Chang's in Winter Park.  Because two people in our group have celiac, all of the dishes that were ordered for our party were made gluten free.

After enjoying some Chang's chicken lettuce wraps and Chang's spicy chicken, I tried two new dishes, which my family will definitely be ordering on future visits to P.F. Chang's.  The Mongolian Beef with soy-glazed flank steak wok-seared with scallions and garlic was very flavorful, and slightly sweet.  It's definitely the best beef dish I have had at P.F. Chang's, though I would prefer it was served with some broccoli or snap peas, and less scallions.  

We all loved the vegetable fried rice, which was excellent as is, but in the future, I would order it with some chicken, shrimp, beef or pork.

Another dish ordered for the vegetarians in our group was the Buddha's Feast.  The vegetables were very tasty, but we are big meat eaters, so I think my family will skip this dish when we go back to P.F. Chang's.

June 25, 2016 Update

Last night, we had dinner at P.F. Chang's in Winter Park with friends.  We ate family-style, sharing a variety of different dishes.  I did not want to eat a lot, because I had a huge breakfast at Boma earlier in the day, so I was content to just have the Cantonese-style lemon chicken and a little bit of brown rice, but we ended up ordering two gluten free entrees.

The lemon chicken was amazing.  The breading was super crispy, and the lemon sauce, which was served on the side, was delicious.  I was also really impressed with the broccolini it was served with.

P.F. Chang's Mongolian beef never disappoints, so I was happy to have a few bites of this dish as well.

The gluten free flourless chocolate dome is no longer on the menu, but P.F. Chang's is now making a gluten free berry ginger shortcake, which I have heard is very good.  I look forward to trying it on a future visit.

You can view P.F. Chang's locations and menu on their website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at P.F. Chang's?  


  1. I love being able to eat Chinese food without my son getting sick. We order the beef and broccoli and chicken fried rice. Both are delicious, and we leave nothing behind. Interestingly enough, the servers still give us fortune cookies at the end even though they know we must eat gluten-free. Curiouser and curiouser...