I am not a fan of americanized-Chinese food. There's a difference between imitating authentic Chinese dishes but making changes so that it's more acceptable to the general palate vs. utilizing Chinese ingredients to infuse your own creations (asian fusion). I appreciate the latter. PF Chang's serve americanized-Chinese food. They use better ingredients than other americanized-Chinese places, hire friendlier servers, in a nicer environment, at a higher price (of course). I'm not angry about this place, because it wasn't bad...but it isn't good enough for us to waste another meal on.
A while ago, I had a sub-par experience at Big Bowl in Schaumburg. Opera in Chicago wasn't so great either. So I always told Bob that I'd never go to PF Chang's ("I'd be betraying my ancestors"). However, a couple weeks ago, visitors came from China, and a guy that used to live here said great things about PF Chang's. Really? A fob is saying this?? Then my co-worker chimed in, knew every location in Chicagoland area, and insisted on taking me there sometime.
So we went there for dinner yesterday (co-worker, Bob, myself). Here is what I posted:
Pleasant ambiance (similar to other chain restaurants, ie. cheesecake factory)...decently-prepared, fresh ingredients... and wonderful services (our cute waitress was perfectly friendly & attentive w/out being overwhelming). However, we just didn't love it, probably because we're not too thrilled with americanized-Chinese food.
Here is how I'd rank the dishes we ordered (best to worst):
OOLONG MARINATED SEA BASS - melt-in-your mouth bass w/ fresh baby spinach. tasty, but there's no hints of oolong at all. tasted like typical broiled sea bass easily found at other restaurants.
VIP DUCK - I really wanted to love this dish, because I do enjoy Chinese wraps (ie. peking duck). The flavor of the duck was underwhelming, slightly tough. They should've provided more pancake for wrapping.
CHANG'S CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP (BOWL) - felt like a lighter version of tom yum soup. it was decent, but nothing spectacular.
CHANG'S CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS - epitome of a very general dish
SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN - not a fan...the most americanized of all
Again, it's not bad at all. Definitely edible and decent. But we're just not that into it. Very "futsu". However, I am thankful for the experience, because now I know.