P.F. Chang’s Brings Brand-Name, Gluten-Free Food to Chinese Cuisine

Every town, big or small, seems to have a Chinese restaurant these days. Usually locally or family owned, these restaurants serve up familiar dishes in those nostalgic, white rectangular take-out boxes. The food itself, however, varies widely; some places serve deliciously prepared entrees. Others  gain a notoriety for food poisoning and low standards of quality.

For such a ubiquitous type of cuisine, I expected there to be many name-brand chains where people could come to expect the same, consistent dishes and flavors served at a steady, high quality. But alas, P.F. Chang’s, listed in our restaurant guide, is among the very few major names in Chinese cuisine to open multiple, national restaurants.

And the restaurant shines as its gluten-free menu provides customers with many great options to choose from.

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Gluten-free Offerings at Lavender Asian Bistro

Gluten-free Mango Prawns
Gluten-free Mango Prawns

Chinese food is a staple meal for most Americans. However, since most soy sauce contains gluten in the form of wheat, giving up gluten usually means saying goodbye to Chinese take-out. The national chain – P.F. Changs – has a wonderful gluten-free menu but they don’t have locations everywhere in the country.

In Atlanta suburb Lawrenceville, GA, lies an independent Chinese and Thai restaurant that offers amazing gluten-free meals. Lavender Asian Bistro is a popular local restaurant that has been stocking gluten-free soy sauce for over two years now. When they host the local gluten-free dinner club, they have a dedicated gluten-free fryer as well!

The entrees to choose from are overwhelming. Both Chinese and Thai options abound and if you think of any traditional dishes that aren’t battered and fried, they can be made with gluten-free soy sauce. The only gluten-free noodles at Lavender are rice noodles, which can be substituted in any meal. Both the brown and white rice are gluten-free. ALWAYS specify you need gluten-free soy sauce in any Asian restaurant that offers it – every time you order.

The egg drop soup is gluten-free and so are the ice creams including green tea, red bean and mango flavors. Friday and Saturday nights are hopping at Lavender and it’s best to go in most any other night –  or any day for lunch except Mother’s Day.

When Lavender Asian Bistro first hosted the local gluten-free dinner club, they were pleasantly surprised with the large turn out. The success of the event prompted the owner to keep gluten-free soy sauce in stock. They’ve not been without it since, so we  enjoy fabulous gluten-free Chinese food several times a month!

When dining where there might be a language barrier, it’s a good idea to have gluten-free dining cards in the appropriate languge with you. Does your local Chinese restaurant offer gluten-free options? If so, please let us know about it below!

Note: Lavender Asian Bistro is listed in the Triumph Dining Essential Gluten-Free Dining Guide ; no GF menu; GF friendly; order NO candied nuts.