Tuesday, April 14, 2009

RESTAURANT: Pei Wei Asian Diner



Pei Wei Asian Diner

Locations: National Chain

Location We Visited:
Boulder - 1675 29th Street - (720) 479-5570
Gluten-Free Options: When you arrive, ask the cashier for the gluten-free menu, which is actually just a little card that tells you which of the regular menu items can be made gluten-free and how. There are five gluten-free options: an appetizer, two salads, and two stir fry items.

Total From A to Z: 3 Stars

A's Review: * * *
Pei Wei makes a lot of tasty dishes, and offers a few of them in GF form. Their staff is well-trained and they whip out the GF menu right away when you ask. The GF menu itself is very short, and I think it would be better executed if they just put a GF icon next to the items on the main menu. The GF options are salads without dressing or a couple of unbreaded meat dishes. These are certainly tasty, but I would like to see more from Pei Wei.

Z's Review: * * *
Maybe it's not fair of me to only give Pei Wei three stars, since they are an Asian restaurant that actually has a gluten-free menu, but for some reason I wasn't completely thrilled about my visit. Perhaps part of the reason I was less thrilled is that Pei Wei is supposed to be the fast version of P.F. Chang's, which is awesome for gluten-free Chinese food. However, the gluten-free options at Pei Wei are much more limited. They don't even carry tamari! When asked, the cashier will hand you a card that lists the five gluten-free options. However, the card doesn't have descriptions of the food on it, so you are left to compare the card to the regular menu to try to decipher what you want to order. It would be a lot easier if the GF items were simply marked on the regular menu. I ordered the Pei Wei Spicy Chicken Salad. The chicken was actually really yummy. However, I didn't really enjoy the rest of the salad, partly because it had cilantro in it - which was not listed on the menu. I know the reason I didn't enjoy the salad is totally unrelated to being gluten-free, but as long as we're worrying about sensitivities to certain ingredients I would have liked to know what was actually in the salad, since cilantro doesn't agree with me.

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