Wednesday, May 31, 2006

P.F. Chang's

I apologize in advance to all my readers who, like me, don’t usually like to eat in national chain restaurants. But they’re so hard to avoid these days, and as I said about Palomino, if it’s a higher end chain with decent food, then I’m okay with it.

When we have all these great neighborhood choices for Asian food, don’t ask me why Peter likes P.F. Chang’s so much, but he does. And occasionally, on nights when I’m feeling either really nice or really tired, I let him have his way. Tonight it was the latter, after a long day at the office that ended with the color printer not cooperating in a time of great need, as all printers are known to do. It's as if they can sense when the really big projects need to be printed and act up only then. The screen just continued to blink “Fix Image Sensor” or some such nonsense as my co-worked and I poked, prodded and tried to repair it.

So after the drama was resolved and the sun was setting, I went the lazy route and called in an order to Chang’s. We love the steamed Peking dumplings and the fact that we choose them steamed instead of pan fried makes me feel healthy even if it’s not. Then we each ordered a shrimp dish: Orange Peel Chicken for me, and Kung Pao Shrimp for Peter (see, I told you he always gets Kung Pao something). The dumplings were good, as usual, but we both frowned at the rather skimpy portion. I was delighted with the contrast between the bitter orange peel and rich shrimp in my entree and really enjoyed the nutty, chewy flavor of the accompanying brown rice, not something you find in every Asian restaurant. Even if you don't give a hoot about nutrition, give it a try because it's so much more interesting than the bland white stuff. Peter on the other hand, was most disappointed to find that his shrimp had been seriously overcooked. I asked for a bite to taste and immediately realized that he'd actually received Kung Pao Chicken instead of shrimp. Normally this wouldn't be a huge deal, but Peter is somewhat of a hypochondriac and has recently decided that the avian flu is a real threat in the US and we should therefore avoid all chicken. I think it’s just an excuse for him to eat more of his favorite animal: the pig. It was also an excuse to polish off half of my shrimp dish.

Sure, it was an easy dinner "out" that we didn’t even enjoy in a restaurant, but tonight's meal reminded me of the true benefit of takeout: you can sit in the comfort of our own home, on the couches and pillows, watching the premiere of “The Hills” on MTV with no shame.

So what did my fortune cookie say?
Your labors will bear sweet fruit.

Well, time will tell, but for now I'm taking that to mean that the battle with the copier will ultimately go our way.


The damage: about $20

Watch out for: last minute switches in your order--always, always check the bag before you leave and it's too late

Food: 3 out of 5 forks

Romance: 2 out of 5 kisses (but this just might chalked up to fatigue)

P.F. Chang's
2633 Edmonson Road (Rookwood Commons)
Cincinnati, Ohio 45209

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