When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, there were not that many places that had gluten-free menus. P.F. Chang’s was one place that did have one and for a long time, if I wanted to eat Chinese food out, it was my only option. We were never restaurant chain people are we still aren’t. However, all the gluten-free meals I’ve had at P.F. Chang’s were excellent and absolutely gluten-free.
With my favorite Chinese place being just around the corner, we don’t really go to P.F. Chang’s anymore, but it’s great that the chain recently responded to customer requests for more gluten-free options. According to this press release, the expanded gluten-free menu (click on Gluten-Free on this page to see full menu) rolled out this week. The new menu includes gluten-free fried rice and several other exciting entree items!
One of the best things that P.F. Chang’s does, that no other chain does to my knowledge, is serve the gluten-free meals on a special plate. It’s a different color than the “normal” plates and the P.F. Chang’s logo is on it. Therefore, it makes it easier to tell a gluten version of a dish from a gluten-free version. Gluten-free soy sauce looks exactly the same as gluten sauce when it’s out of the bottle, after all. Once the meals are prepared, it would be fairly hard to look at the dishes and determine which of them is the gluten-free meal.
The Chicken Lettuce Wraps are not a new menu item, but they are out of this world delicious. I’ve had people (who can eat gluten) tell me they can’t tell the difference between the gluten and gluten-free version of this dish. The only ingredient change is the soy sauce and that is true of many of the gluten-free dishes offered by P.F. Chang’s. Chocolate lovers might want to save room for the decadent GF Flourless Chocolate Dome. It’s one of the richest chocolate treats served in our area and glutenoids enjoy it as much as we do.
One word of caution about some of the locations of this chain that we have encountered in the Atlanta area. During extremely busy times the servers we’ve had seemed a bit overwhelmed when trying to accommodate gluten-free patrons. For example, the soy sauce that is always on the tables there is not gluten-free. Someone new to the restaurant that must eat gluten-free might or might not know this. Servers don’t always remember to tell the gluten-free guests not to use the table soy sauce. Upon request, gluten-free soy sauce can be brought out and it’s not in the same type of container as the table soy sauce that contains gluten.
This problem is not unique to P.F. Chang’s or chains in general, of course. Personally, we don’t like to eat out during peak busy times at any restaurant. The busier a place is, the more of a chance someone has to mess up my meal. We even plan vacations around not having to dine out on Saturday nights if we can help it. If we eat out on Friday night when traveling, we’ll go out super early in order to avoid my meal being messed up.
Thanks to P.F. Chang’s for listening to their customers and kicking their gluten-free menu up quite a notch! There are many locations of the chain listed in our Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide.