Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Restaurant Review: Pei Wei Asian Diner


Pei Wei Asian Diner is a fast-casual (guests order from a cashier, and the food is brought out to the table) restaurant offering up around 10 menu items for Gluten Free consumers. The restaurant originally opened in 2000 and is owned by P.F. Chang's. There are now more than 100 locations in the US. Pei Wei offers a modest selection of freshly prepared Asian items influenced by the cuisines of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand. All of Pei Wei's dishes are made to order and offer customization. We all know how Gluten Free friendly P.F. Chang's can be, so how does the little brother rate?

I recently visited the Pei Wei on Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh (there are 3 Triangle area locations – Brier Creek and 1107 Walnut St. in Cary are the other 2) for lunch. I ordered the Gluten Free Pei Wei Spicy Chicken (think General Tso's) which features Wok seared chicken, chile vinegar sauce, scallions, garlic, snap peas and carrots. See the picture above for a visual. The chicken in this meal is breaded with potato starch and gives it the taste and feel of normal a spicy chicken dish. I must say that I was really impressed with the meal. I had not previously been to Pei Wei before and was pleasantly surprised. The taste and quality was very similar to what you are used to from P.F. Chang's. The portion sizes were large enough to have leftovers for another meal the next day. I would definitely return for a visit.

FYI – I did ask to speak to one of the chefs about how preparation is handled for Gluten Free items. They were very willing to speak with me, show me the process and fully explain the preparation and ingredients which made me feel very comfortable. I encourage you to speak with a chef when you visit as well. Also, you must ask for the Gluten Free menu from the cashier. The Gluten Free items are not on the menu boards. You will be given a small laminated Gluten Free menu to make your choice.


Gluten Free Menu Choices  
*Gluten Free Edamame Picture of Gluten Free Edamame
Salted soybeans in the pod

*Gluten Free Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
Sliced chicken, assorted lettuce, Napa cabbage, carrots, Thai basil, tomatoes, toasted sesame seeds, lime vinaigrette

*Gluten Free Pei Wei Spicy Chicken Salad 
Wok seared chicken, assorted lettuce, Napa cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, scallions, cilantro, rice sticks, tomatoes, lime vinaigrette

*Gluten Free Pei Wei Spicy Shrimp Salad
Wok seared shrimp, assorted lettuce, Napa cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, scallions, cilantro, rice sticks, tomatoes, lime vinaigrette

*Gluten Free Vietnamese Rolls
Chicken, butter lettuce, Napa cabbage, mint, carrots, scallions, peanuts, rice noodles, sweet chile sauce, lime vinaigrette, wrapped in rice paper and served with sweet chile sauce

*Gluten Free Pei Wei Spicy Chicken
Wok seared chicken, chile vinegar sauce, scallions, garlic, snap peas, carrots

*Gluten Free Pei Wei Spicy Shrimp
Wok seared shrimp, chile vinegar sauce, scallions, garlic, snap peas, carrots

*Gluten Free Sweet & Sour Chicken
Wok seared chicken, Cantonese sweet and sour sauce, red ginger, onions, green bell peppers, pineapple

*Gluten Free Sweet & Sour Shrimp
Wok seared shrimp, Cantonese sweet and sour sauce, red ginger, onions, green bell peppers, pineapple

Click here for the Pei Wei Gluten Free menu.

Click here for a review from Gluten Free Cary from January 2010.

Raleigh Locations
1) Brier Creek
10251 Little Brier Creek Ln. Suite 112
Raleigh, NC 27617
(919) 484-4113
STORE HOURS:
Mon-Thu: 10:30 AM-9:00 PM
Fri: 10:30 AM-10:00 PM
Sat: 10:30 AM-10:00 PM
Sun: 10:30 AM-9:00 PM


2) 4408 Falls of Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27609
(919) 227-3810
STORE HOURS:
Mon-Thu: 10:30 AM-9:00 PM
Fri: 10:30 AM-10:00 PM
Sat: 10:30 AM-10:00 PM
Sun: 10:30 AM-9:00 PM

5 comments:

Emily said...

Zach! Are those gluten free tamari packets? Where did you get them?

Emily said...

Zach! Are those gluten free tamari packets? Where did you get them?

Zach said...

Yes they are... they brought them out with my meal.

John said...

I love Pei Wei.

The company that makes that Tamari is San J and they just came out with a whole line of GF Asian sauces, which I was really hoping for. I bought the peanut sauce one but haven't tried it yet.

http://www.san-j.com/product_categories.asp

pamela tandy said...

I'm a new member -- thanks for this!

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