PF Chang’s Ann Arbor Review
Saturday night my family had dinner at the new PF Chang’s Ann Arbor location at Briarwood Mall to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. She was still talking about how delicious it was all day Sunday, especially the Crispy Green Beans starter and the broccoli in her Sesame Chicken. She said it is her second favorite restaurant (after Cheesecake Factory).
Food at PF Chang’s Review
We had a coupon for a free starter, so we were sure to look over the starter selections. We debated the egg rolls or spring rolls, but decided on the Crispy Green Beans. The Green Beans are lightly tempura battered and fried. They are served with a “signature spicy dipping sauce”. The sauce had a little zing, but wasn’t overly spicy.
We loved the crispy green beans. My daughter enjoyed using both soy sauce and the sauce that came with the green beans. She felt the included sauce was a little spicy for the first bite, but then not as spicy. They were a great dish for sharing no matter how many people you had because there were lots of individual pieces (as opposed to trying to split 4 egg rolls among my family of 3). As you can see, we didn’t leave a lot left.
Kids Meals at PF Chang’s
Last night, my daughter elected to order from the adult menu at PF Chang’s instead of from the Kids Menu. When she was younger and we visited other locations, she loved the Kids Chicken Fried Rice (which is served minus the veggies). Of course she would have preferred it with the veggies and minus the egg. Their Kids Sweet & Sour Chicken or Honey chicken is just fried chicken “nuggets” with dipping sauce. She did order this last year when we ate at PF Chang’s in Dearborn, but as a big fan of Asian cuisine the dish wasn’t what she was looking for. However, it would be a great dish for a child who prefers more traditional “kid fare”. The kids meals are very competitively priced.
Entrees at PF Chang’s
Meals at PF Chang’s are served Family Style where the rice is served separately and each entree is delivered on a separate plate and you are given a plate to dine from. It is a great way to try multiple dishes, although we stuck with ordering one dish each and eating our own dish. My daughter ordered Sesame Chicken, my husband ordered Kung Pao Chicken, and I had Mongolian Beef. We all had a sample of each others dish. The meals were large enough that we were each able to bring half home for another meal. For the rice, I appreciated that we were each given the choice of white or brown rice. I was able to select brown rice while my husband and daughter had white rice.
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PF Chang’s describes their Sesame Chicken sauce as a “spicy sesame sauce”. My daughter was a bit skeptical about the spice, but decided to try it since Sesame Chicken is one of her favorite dishes. She said it was not spicy at all.
Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken is one of my husband’s go-to dishes that I typically avoid because of the spice. The chicken itself had a small kick, but without eating the peppers, my daughter and I could each manage a bite. My husband seemed to like it.
I ended up deciding on the Mongolian Beef. The beef was perfectly cooked for me, the sauce was delicious and I liked having the green onions. I will say that it was much better on Saturday night than as leftovers on Sunday when it got a little overcooked in the reheating process.
Desserts at PF Chang’s
Since we were celebrating my daughter’s birthday, we had to have dessert too. As the birthday girl, she was able to choose between one of their Sweet Treats for free. It was brought out with a silver candle for her birthday.
Salted Caramel Cake
It didn’t surprise me that my daughter chose the Salted Caramel Cake. She loved the cake. She barely let us each have a bite before finishing it herself. I was impressed with the size of the cake for the price.
Chocolate Raspberry Wontons
I selected the Chocolate Raspberry Wontons. There was the option of 2 or 4 wontons, but since they were just for me, I selected the 2. My first one was delicious, but on my second wonton all of the filling ended up in my first bite and the remainder was just the shell. It was a disappointing finish to the dish. However, I would definitely order it again. I appreciated that there was a small dessert option.
Banana Spring Rolls
This is a dish that we have ordered before, usually to share since it is larger. My husband really wanted it so we ordered it even though my daughter and I had other desserts. The banana spring rolls were delicious, but I think the best part is the coconut-pineapple ice cream that comes with it. With 6 pieces of banana, it is an easy dessert to share.
Logistics at PF Chang’s Ann Arbor
Reservations at PF Chang’s Ann Arbor
PF Chang’s does accept reservations. My husband called to make our reservation. He said that there was a lot of noise where the person answered the phone and they had trouble hearing him. They were trying to make the reservation for 2 at 6 instead of 3 at 6:30p. Fortunately they did eventually get it right and our table was waiting for us when we arrived. Reservations can also be made on their website (make sure to do this from your computer, the mobile version doesn’t offer reservations, or the option to switch to the full website). Unfortunately, they don’t utilize Open Table for reservations which is my preference.
Atmosphere at PF Chang’s Ann Arbor
The restaurant was bigger than it looked at first glance. Past the bar is a dining area that is separated by glass doors. As we walked through the bar, it was fairly noisy and I was concerned our table would be loud. It was considerably quieter where we sat. However, it was fairly dark. I actually used the light on my phone to read the menu (and I don’t typically have trouble in low light conditions).
Service at PF Chang’s Ann Arbor
The front desk, our waitress, and other servers were all very friendly and efficient. However, our meal was quite long. It took nearly 2 hours for our meal. While we weren’t ready to order immediately, we did have quite a wait once we ordered for both our appetizer and our entree. According to our waitress, there has been extensive turnover in the kitchen (even though they have been open less than a month). The turnover has resulted in slower than normal kitchen times. We enjoyed our dinner, so we will be willing to give them a few more chances to improve the dining speed.