Monday, September 17, 2007

P.F. Chang's

***I have re-opened the case P.F. Chang's due to information found elsewhere. Immediately below is the original post (from August 9, 2007) which is subsequently followed by the update. ***

I was told in a past correspondence that everything on P.F. Chang's menu marked vegetarian is also vegan, as long as one doesn't exclude regularly refined white sugar (which is processed with bone char). My subsequent inquiry contradicts this.

On 2007-08-09 Erin wrote:
Hello, I would like to visit your restaurant. Can you tell me what menu items are vegan (no animal products)? Thank you for taking the time to research this. Best, Erin Thompson

On 2007-08-09 P.F. Chang`s China Bistro wrote:
Erin,
We only have one true vegan dish on our menu and that is our Budda`s Feast Steamed. We have many vegetarian dishes, but only one true vegan dish. Thanks for your patronage!
Sincerely,
Louise Rohling
Market Partner


On 2007-08-09 Erin wrote:
Hello, This contradicts what I was told by the in-house manager. Would you mind elaborating? I was told any of the vegetarian items are also vegan. If not, can you explain why? Your time is much appreciated! Erin

On 2007-08-09 P.F. Chang's China Bistro wrote:
Erin,
I apologize for the miss communication. Our sauces contain animal product, we use egg in our marinades, and we cook with chicken base in many of our dishes. I will personally better educate the team in Indianapolis. Again, our only true vegan dish is our Budda's Feast steamed. Sorry for the mix-up.
Sincerely,
Louise Rohling
Market Partner


The verdict:

Budda's Feast, steamed, is vegan.
P.F. Chang's was very helpful in determining what menu items are vegan.

***Update! 9/17/07 ***
Peta's vegan chain restaurant dining guide contradicts the above findings. There P.F. Chang's is called "one of the most vegan-friendly restaurant chains around," and according to this site, everything from the vegetarian menu can be ordered vegan. As a result, I followed up with P.F. Chang's:
Hello,
On August 9th of this year I contacted P.F.Chang's regarding vegan menu options. I was told that only the Budda's Feast Steamed, was vegan. A complete transcript of this conversation is available here:
http://veganmasterlist.blogspot.com/search/label/P.F.%20Chang%27s
However, I since stumbled upon Peta's guide to chain restaurants (http://vegcooking.com/ChainRestaurants.asp), which indicates that everything on the vegetarian portion of the menu can be ordered vegan. It states, in fact, that your restaurant is one of the most vegan-friendly chain. High praise indeed, but completely contradictory to my conversation (in which, you will note, I even stated that I was told by a manager basically the same thing as stated on the Peta site).
Can you please set the record straight?
Thanks,
Erin


To be continued.

15 comments:

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

I think I've read that their vegetarian/vegan boundary is over the sugar.

mel said...

On 11/7/2007 2:30 PM, P.F. Chang's China Bistro wrote:
Thank you for your note and inquiry. There are a couple of items on our menu that are vegan and others that can be when modified. If cane sugar is not an issue for you, I recommend any items from our “Vegetarian Plates and Sides” and vegetarian marked menu items. The dishes do not include egg or any other animal products. If cane sugar is an issue, I recommend the following:

Steamed Buddha’s Feast - you can add soft tofu or pressed tofu to this dish
Stir-Fried Spinach - garlic, salt and pepper. You can add soft tofu or pressed tofu to this dish.
Garlic Snap Peas - garlic, salt and pepper. You can add soft tofu or pressed tofu to this dish.

You can also order any vegetable or tofu with a modified sauce. Please ask to speak to a manager and they will be happy to accommodate you accordingly. I hope this information is helpful.

On 11/1/2007 2:49 PM, Mel wrote:
Hello, A friend was in contact with Louise Rohling (Market Partner), and was told that the only vegan item on your menu was the steamed Buddha's Feast, and that the other vegetarian dishes contain egg. Are all of the ingredients not disclosed on your website? Certain items (ex. Ma Po tofu) do not say they contain any animal products. Thank you, Mel



P.S. Love your blog!

xVeganEdgex said...

I actually went there for the first time the other night, because I heard it was so vegan friendly. Before the waitor walked away we asked again if what we ordered was vegan, he told us that there was a waitress who worked there who was vegan and he would ask her. He came back and told us she said the items we ordered we're okay, I do trust the word of a fellow vegan, I mean that's what I do here any way. When I worked in food service I checked out everything in my restaurant, and read labels and asked questions when ever I could, I'd expect any other vegan to do the same. Plus in my area there are a lot of vegans so it doesn't suprise me there was a vegan who worked there.
We got the vegitable chow fun, the tofu lettuce wraps, and I forget what it was called but they discribed it as crispy silken tofu with broccoli. It was all very good.

Matt said...

I e-mailed PF Chang's the other day and they said: "Thank you for your note and inquiry. There are a couple of items on our menu that are vegan and others that can be when modified. If cane sugar is not an issue for you, I recommend any items from our “Vegetarian Plates and Sides” and vegetarian marked menu items. If cane sugar is an issue, I recommend the following: Steamed Buddha’s Feast - you can add soft tofu or pressed tofu to this dish Stir-Fried Spinach - garlic, salt and pepper. You can add soft tofu or pressed tofu to this dish. Garlic Snap Peas - garlic, salt and pepper. You can add soft tofu or pressed tofu to this dish."

Susan said...

I went today because I was trapped in a mall. I was told the ONLY thing to eat for a vegan was the Buddha's Feast, steamed, no tofu.

Nicolette said...

Just to add on to this because I know many people have many questions. I am a vegan and I actually work for a PF Chang's in California. As the woman from PF Chang's stated, the only TRULY vegan item is the Buddha's Feast steamed, but if cane sugar isn't an issue, almost all of the vegetarian items are vegan as well, save for the Crispy Green Beans and the Vegetable Dumplings, as both contain eggs. And don't forget the best part, any dish can be made using tofu and non-animal product sauces!! They have a vegetarian "oyster sauce" (made from mushrooms) and most sauces use veggie stock anyways. Just stress it to your server to make it vegetarian! I personally love the Lemon Tofu and Kung Pao Tofu...and too many others to list!! Managers are really accommodating, so if you have any issues or worries about your food, ask to speak with one and they will take it seriously.

Yummy...now I'm hungry!

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Sophie said...

ooo... i am a tofu super fan! sigh. i want the mapo tofu soooooo badly right now. with rice.

Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.
http://yummiexpress.freetzi.com

billis.wray said...

I used to work at pf chang's and wanted to set the record straight. At every host stand there is an alternative menu for vegans/vegetarians and a gluten-free menu as well.

If you let your server know that you follow a vegan restricted diet they will put that info through with your order. The kitchen will actually use a new pan and utensils (that may have been exposed to animal products) and will substitute any sauce/base with a vegan-friendly base. I am not sure what any of those other managers were referring to, but that is PF Changs policy all around!!

aVeganJourney said...

Thanks to all you P.F. Chang employees. The sugar issue is a big one for me since I've seen the process of old sugar mills filtering through bone char. It's very gross. I'm preaching to the choir but wish P.F. would switch their sugar vendor to "Florida Crystals" which is Certified Vegan. I'm sure it's more involed, but it would truely make them vegan friendly.

Timothy said...

There aren't many chain restaurants you can go to that do vegan alternatives of their meals, I always make sure to check before I go, that said I popped into an Ask on a whim and found they actually did do a couple vegan meals which completely surprised me. SO I suppose you never can tell.

Mark said...

Okay, so I love the veg dishes here. I half let myself be convinced they were vegan dishes to placate my appetite and met friends for dinner somewhere I would eat.

Afterward, I sent an email, and here is my response:

Thank you for your patience, Mark. I just heard back from our Registered Dietician as she has been out; however, we are unfortunately unable to certify that all of the sugars in our facilities are "vegan." I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused.



Warm Regards,


Danna Acevedo
Guest Relations
P.F. Chang's China Bistro

I replied, basically telling them that they can change sugar suppliers, positive karma, blah blah. Will see.......

Aj said...

I recently went there because I fell for PETA's bull about PF Changs being so vegan friendly. I was told by a waitress that they had many vegan options and she said I could have the spring rolls and because of the sugar in the sauce that comes with the rolls, she would bring me a different sauce. I also had a dish with tofu, I can't remember the name but the tofu is not very tasty there. A few months later I went again and because I didn't like the tofu I just ordered some steamed broccoli and I asked them for a spicy sauce. When the waiter brought the sauce out, something just urged me to ask if it was vegan. He asked a fellow waiter and that waiter got really serious and he told me that NONE of their sauces are vegan because they all contain oyster sauce. They told me that the best thing for me to do would be to order steamed veggies and rice and use soy sauce. I was livid because the waitress from a few months ago made it seem like I could alter any of the meals and make them vegan. I didn't get mad at my waiter but I will never go there again. It was a big mess.

Veg abcs said...

Okay, this is personal. I came to this site because every time I go to PF Changs, I have the worse gas EVER!!! It smells like an old paper mill factory discharge gas! woah!!! I'm wondering if somehow there could be meat broth or dairy...? Another person I go with also gets this gas problem. I just don't understand why. I am a vegan, and I get the vegan tofu dishes - curry and mau pau. thanks and sorry for the TMI

torporindy said...

Hi Erin,

I am starting full Vegan next Monday and I live in Indianapolis. I'd love to receive any local tips you might have.