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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Pei Wei Experience

Hello everyone!  Betcha thought that Chucky and Tiffany had fallen off the face of the Earth, didn't you?  Well... I am back and I can assure you that this is absolutely rumor.

What is Pei Wei Asian Diner?  Pronounced "Pay Way".  It's an "upscale fast food" subsidiary of the PF Chang's restaurant chain.  Dishes representative of five Asian countries:  Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.

Tiffany and I have been wanting to try this restaurant chain and recently had an opportunity to do so.  We were quite pleasantly surprised.  Many vegan and vegetarian menu selections!  You can get tofu dishes as "regular" and "stock velveted".  "Regular" utilizing meat-based broth and "Stock velveted" utilizing vegetable-based broth.  What a pleasant concept, huh?

Dishes are diversified, tasty, generous, and each offers many choices (meats, tofu, neither, vegan and vegetarian).  Tiffany and I have several note worthy observations:
  • Most dishes are offered as 2-serving portions.
  • Real linen (cloth) napkins.
  • Optional brown rice available at no extra charge!
  • All dishes are served with real china and silverware.
  • You place your order, pay for it, take a seat, place a numbered place card on your table, and wait for the staff to bring it to you fresh, sizzling, hot and tasty.
  • Each table has a stack of small plates, stack of napkins, bottle of soy sauce and chopsticks.
  • The condiment/drink area offers fortune cookies, Chinese to-go take-out containers for your left-overs, bottles of Chinese hot mustard and Thai Sriracha sauce.
  • The food was freshly made, not over cooked, and quickly arrived to our table.
    Correction:  During my subsequent return visits I realize that they are not using linen napkins.  Instead, they are nice heavy high-quality paper napkins.

    Tiffany and I ordered:
    1. Spicy Korean Vegetables & Tofu with brown rice
    2. Thai Dynamite Vegetables & Tofu (stock velveted) with brown rice
    As with most Asian foods, you have to watch the calories but the Pei Wei website offers a full nutritional menu for the viewing.  Caution though!  The dishes are listed sans rice.  Take both the item and the rice choice into consideration when doing your calorie calculations.

    We were both quite impressed and pleased with our visit.  No waiting for the bill.  No waiting for take-out containers.  No tipping.  When you finish your meal, you are free to leave.  Both Tiffany and I give it five out of five Thai peppers!  

    Hi-dee hi-dee do-yourself-a-favor-and-give-Pei-Wei-a-try-ho my friends!

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