Our first stop Saturday for lunch was at Martin’s Curry Rice, but unfortunately we found it wasn’t going to be open to the public until July 31st. So instead we went to Pei Wei Asian Diner near Cary Towne Mall. I had never been here but my husband had, and he said it was a cheaper, more casual P.F. Chang’s.
As you come in the menu is lit up along the wall. The menu here is slightly different than at P.F. Chang’s, but some of the core dishes are the same.
After you decide what you want to eat, you walk up to the cashier and order. You pay and get your number and your cup for the soda fountain drinks. The straws, sauces, fortune cookies and other items are all by the sodas too so it’s a very busy spot at the restaurant. The number you put on top of your chopstick holder at your table. I didn’t see any plastic silverware, just chopsticks, but maybe I just wasn’t looking hard enough.
Our table was very wiggly. It was very distracting throughout the meal. I would have switched tables but the place was very busy.
For appetizers my husband got the hot and sour soup and I got the Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls. My husband said the soup tasted the exact same as P.F. Chang’s and that it was really good as usual. I had never had the Vietnamese chicken salad rolls before, and I don’t think they’re on the menu at P.F. Chang’s. They were fantastic! Next time I’ll just get 2 servings of these, they’re so good. They come with a peanut sauce and a spicy sweet and sour sauce, and the peanut sauce is much better. They had a really fresh, minty flavor. I wish my peanut satay salad was as good as this.
For the entree my husband ordered Orange Peel Beef. This is what he normally gets at P.F. Chang’s as well, and it tastes the same. The portion size is really good here and he plenty left over for dinner in the evening as well. When you order it you get your choice of rice, he got the white steamed rice with his.
I got the Thai Coconut Curry with tofu. I thought that since the Coconut Curry Vegetables is one of my favorite dishes at P.F. Chang’s, that this dish might be just like it. I was wrong. For starters, the veggies were completely different. These veggies were just green beans, onions and just a few bits of bell peppers. And the sauce wasn’t nearly as good as the Coconut Curry Vegetable sauce. But the biggest difference was the tofu. In this dish, it was just sliced, not fried at all. It was really just terrible bland and dull. It was the spiciest bland dish I’ve ever had, very strange.
I didn’t really like the atmosphere in this restaurant, especially compared to P.F. Chang’s. And the entree was terribly disappointing for me. But I think those Vietnamese Chicken Salad rolls are good enough to come back for.