I sort of gate crashed into a team dinner when I was in Atlanta. I had no qualms doing that since I had never been to PF Chang before … and more importantly, someone else is picking up the tabs for this dinner.
PF Chang’s China Bistro is another American chain restaurant. The one we went to was just walking distance from our office. It’s in the newly renovated Cumberland Mall. Despite it’s name it’s more aptly described as an American Chinese bistro … i.e. it tried to look Chinese but it’s really catered for the American tastes. He he he … you know what the initials P.F. stands for? It’s named after the founder of the chain … Paul Fleming! Enough said! :-)
Although this PF Chang is called a China Bistro, it’s more like a more upscale restaurant. The service was prompt and pretty good. I actually have a bit of a culture shock here … seeing how pretentious this place is trying to be chinese. Starting the many lanterns on the ceiling and the candles in the table. Why … if I am not mistaken, you never have a candle on the chinese table because you only light candles in a funeral for the dead! :-)
Started with a drink and chose something unique from the drinks menu. It’s called the Asian Persuasion which is basically vodka shaken with fresh brewed organic green tea. Yucks! It was an awful combination — at least to me anyway.
Well, I was seated at the far side of where the ordering action was and did not managed to get a say on what to order. I thought I better keep quiet since I am a gate crasher this time. But … those guys, all southerners (no Asians) were having problems ordering because I think they eat Chinese only perhaps once every decade or so.
They gave up and guess what they ordered … they asked the waitress to bring us $25 worth of Chinese food each person and left the choice to her!! For me, it was very funny and tried my best not to notice and concentrated on my small chatter at the end of the table and sip my vodka … errr … green tea.
What happened next was kind of strange to me. They came by and gave everyone a crash course on mixing sauces. Being a Chinese my whole life, I have never seen this before. They taught every how to mix the chilli oil, soya sauce and vinegar. Basically they said that it you want it hot, you add the chilli oil and if that is too hot, then you add the vinegar to tone it down. You do it to and fro until you get the perfect balance. Well, let just say that I learn something new today … whether if it of use to me is another matter.
Since I had no part in the ordering, I had no idea what was ordered. For that matter, no one ordered actually from our table. So, am gonna guess and you tell me if they are correct, alright?
The one below is Chicken and Brocolli. It was quite nice. The meat is too lean though but I can understand why. The gravy is nice but we did not order steamed rice. What a waste of good gravy.
I believe the dish below is salt and pepper calamari. It came with a dipping sauce and considered as a appetizer in this place — maybe because it looked like a finger food. Normally this is considered as a main Chinese dish.
The most interesting dish is perhaps this one. Not sure now what it is but it came with lettuce which you used to make a wrap.
This should be salt and pepper shrimp. This is really good.
The Mongolian Beef is cooked with scallions and garlic.