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Greater Tulsa Reporter

P.F. Chang’s Maintains Popularity in Utica Square

Contributing Writer

RECOGNIZABLE NAME: P.F. Chang’s opened to much fanfare in Utica Square, at 1978 E. 21st St., in 2003, its first greater Tulsa location. Today, that remains the only area location. The menu features a large selection of traditional Asian dishes as well as seafood, gluten-free and vegetarian choices.

BLAKE AUSTYN for GTR Newspapers

I remember when P.F. Chang’s first came to Tulsa. The long lines of people out the doors and down the sidewalk and hours of waiting for a table were the norm long after its opening in early 2003. P.F. Chang’s, complete with its identifiable, statuesque stone horses, is located in Utica Square at 1978 E. 21st St., which is still its only location in the greater Tulsa area.

I still remember the allure that the restaurant held around town and the excitement I felt when I gained a serving job there in late 2003.

I was eager to revisit P.F. Chang’s, as, admittedly, it had been a while since I last dined there, not because I was ever displeased with the food but because the restaurant options in greater Tulsa feel almost endless, with new openings always on the horizon.

I was pleased to find that the restaurant’s interior remains as grand as I remember with its open dining room, dark wood and eye-drawing bar that sits at the back of the restaurant and spans almost the entire back wall of the building. The bar certainly does not relegate its diners to a corner as some other restaurants but, instead, puts them nearly in the middle of the action—a nice change if you’re a bar dweller, as I tend to be.

My party visited for an early dinner to take advantage of the recently-added happy hour, available Monday-Friday, 3-6 p.m., with all offerings under $6.

The happy hour menu includes well-known favorites like the Chicken Lettuce Wraps, sushi rolls, dumplings and egg rolls.

When we arrived on a mid-afternoon Friday, we noticed a nicely-sized lunch crowd more interested in lingering than in returning to work.

We started with the Crab Wontons, also part of the Happy Hour menu: four crispy wontons stuffed with bell pepper, green onion, crab, of course, and a sweet plum sauce for dipping. This is still one of my favorite appetizers that never leaves me feeling as if I’ve had enough.

We also chose the California Roll, a simpler sushi roll, for those in the group who are still acclimating to sushi and the Kung Pao Dragon Roll. The California Roll was uncomplicated with a crab mix, cucumber and avocado. The Kung Pao Dragon Roll is the California Roll plus sriracha sauce, crunchy tempura, and peanuts, topped with ahi tuna. I asked for moderate spiciness, so the spice was not overwhelming, and the tuna on top served as a reminder that sushi is, in fact, raw – a fact that can be easily forgotten with all of the ingredients rolled up together.

We also couldn’t resist one of the restaurant’s signature items: Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, still as good as I remember, with a generous portion of chicken.

P.F. Chang’s has done a nice job of expanding its overall menu to reach various tastes, including catering to seafood lovers as well as to vegetarians and those with gluten-free needs.

Since we saw a few new seafood items on the menu, we opted for the Surf and Turf and the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.

The Surf and Turf came as a mixture made of lobster tail, filet mignon, potatoes, asparagus and shiitake mushrooms. Even with the meat elements, it served as a nice, lighter dish in comparison with the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, which featured a combination of Asian mushrooms, black beans, peas and egg all in a rich, tasty sauce.
We couldn’t leave without ordering The Great Wall of Chocolate, one of the desserts that the restaurant chain has become known for.

It didn’t disappoint.

Six layers of chocolate cake, with chocolate chips and a side of raspberry sauce. (Note: Asking for extra sauce only makes it better.) It’s a sinful dessert, but when shared, it relieves the guilt. Or you can take part of it home to prolong the enjoyment.

P.F. Chang’s is open Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Updated 06-13-2017

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