Pei Wei Asian Diner

Pei Wei Asian Diner is a new fast casual restaurant in the St Johns Town Center. They are owned by the same company as P.F. Changs. We decided to go for lunch last weekend, even though they have only been open a few weeks (I'm breaking my rule more and more these days!) When we first walked in, we were very impressed with the decor. The restaurant is beautiful! Right when you walk in the door, you turn to the right and are in line. They have menu boards all the way to the counter, so you can check out the menu while you wait to order. We placed our order and went over to get our drinks. We were very happy to learn that they have the freestyle Coke machines! Hooray for Cherry Coke Zero!
We had no idea what the potion sizes were like, so we ordered a tapas appetizer, the Black Bean Chicken and Rice (Minced chicken, tangy black pepper sauce, garlic, ginger, black beans, Fresno chile peppers, red bell peppers, red onions, scallions, cilantro, served over white or brown steamed rice). From the first bite, we knew it was a winner. It had the right amount of everything in every bite and the sauce was delicious.
(The bowl didn't come out that dirty. I forgot to take a picture before we dug in!)

I got the Mongolian Steak (Sweet soy sauce, scallions, garlic, white mushrooms) with noodles, and I was really excited about that. When I was looking at the menu, I thought the my only choice was white or brown rice. When the guy at the register gave me the option of noodles, I jumped all over it!! The noodles were a basic lo mein noodle, and I thought they were great. The Mongolian Steak was on top of the noodles and the amount of food was massive. One entree can easily serve 2 people. The steak reminded me of P.F. Changs' Mongolian Beef. It tasted almost identical and was the same quality meat. It was very tender and the sauce coated every piece. It was sweet, but not overly so.

Ivan got the Thai Dynamite Chicken (Sriracha chile sauce, soy, fresh lime, scallions, red bell peppers, carrots, Thai basil). He didn't really explain what he liked about the dish, but he kept saying "man this is good!", so I think he liked it :)

Verdict - Loved it!! Everything reminded me of P.F. Changs, but half the price. All of the food was high quality, and the portion sizes were generous. If you are in the mood for some great Asian food, Pei Wei is where you need to go. You will not be disappointed.

Pei Wei on Urbanspoon


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