Your friends are throwing around ideas for where they want to sit down for dinner on Saturday night. You want to make suggestions, but it’s difficult because your options are limited. Dining out gluten free is really difficult, especially when it’s a social event (often the case). I have my personal favorite places, and my friends are great at catering to where I can and can’t eat.
Luckily for us, there are places that are gluten free friendly and are also big hits with the gluten-eaters out there. P.F. Chang’s is definitely one of those places.
Here’s the Scoop on P.F. Chang’s
Gluten Free Hub recently did a review of P.F. Chang’s. For those of you who are new to the gluten free game, P.F. Changs was one of the pioneers of gluten free menus. Back when it was tough to even find someone who knew what gluten was, P.F. Chang’s was offering a dedicated gluten free menu.
It was like a dream come true.
If you go to P.F. Changs (which I highly suggest you do), you will be pleased to find that you don’t even need to ask for a gluten free menu from the server. This is because the entire back page of the regular menu is the gluten free menu. There are a ton of great dishes to choose from and the staff is very highly trained.
However – I will share a recent experience that has left a somewhat sour taste in my mouth.
Dining Out Gluten Free—Never Let Your Guard Down
I woke up a few weekends ago and one of my roommates wanted to get some takeout for brunch. He knew about my dining options, so he recommended we get P.F. Chang’s. It’s right down the street from our apartment so I was totally on board.
When the bartender brought out our to-go order, he took out the items to confirm the order and I asked, “That’s gluten free, right?” The bartender then said he couldn’t confirm it and would have to remake it … “It would only take a second,” he said. So as I was sitting at the bar, still tired and feeling anxious as I was missing my beloved Georgetown Hoyas playing a huge game, the bartender eventually came back with our order.
“Here’s your gluten free Chang’s Spicy Chicken,” he said as he handed me the bag.
We finally got home and were preparing to rip into the food. Now, I am a regular at P.F. Changs and I know what gluten free Chang’s Spicy Chicken looks like. This was not it! Not only did it not have the orange “Gluten-Free” sticker normally placed on gluten free to-go dishes, but it was very obviously different than the gluten free version I have ordered dozens of times. It was drenched in a thick, almost certain-to-be glutinous sauce.
At this point, I decided to give up and just make some eggs instead.
This just serves as a lesson and as a reminder that no matter how gluten free friendly an establishment is, everything still comes down to trust and human error. Never let your guard down – not even when dealing with gluten free mainstays like P.F. Chang’s. Stay vigilant and stay healthy.