I love P.F. Chang’s and the fact that they put a gluten free items right on the menu.
Today is my birthday and I’ve been craving P.F. Chang’s lately, so we that’s where we went for dinner. The menu was re-designed since I was last there. Giselle noticed that the GF Ginger Chicken With Broccoli was a dollar more expensive than the non GF-version of the same dish. We asked the waiter about it and he wasn’t sure why it was more. Maybe the GF sauce was more expensive, he said.
Turns out all of the dishes (except for the Egg Drop Soup) are more expensive on the GF menu.
By one dollar. Each dish.
The menu says this about the GF menu:
All Gluten Free items are served on a special plate with the P.F. Chang’s logo. These menu items are either gluten free as prepared, or are modified to be gluten free.
The following ingredients are used in P.F. Chang’s gluten free sauces: chicken broth, oyster sauce, rice wine, sugar, water, wheat free soy sauce and white pepper. The marinades for beef, pork, chicken, shrimp and scallops are gluten free and contain cornstarch. The soy sauce on the table is not gluten free. Please ask your server for our gluten free soy sauce.
I’ve honestly never compared the GF menu pricing. It’s probably always been that way. But why? There’s nothing particularly expensive in that list of ingredients. Certainly they use all that stuff in the kitchen anyway. Maybe not cornstarch, but cornstarch is so cheap it is basically free (at least the teaspoon they use of it).
I appreciate that they go out of their way to make it possible for GF folks to eat there. It may cost them to stock ingredients they might not otherwise use. But by being generally GF friendly, they’re getting customers they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Given their prices, an extra dollar isn’t that much money. But I feel like I’m being punished for having a wheat allergy and patronizing their restaurant.
We pointed out the extra cost on the ginger chicken to our waiter. Without us asking, he deducted a dollar from our bill, which was rather excellent of him. But we paid the extra dollar on the other three things we ordered off the GF menu.
I expect upscale prices when I go to P.F. Chang’s. It’s not an everyday restaurant. And I never objected to the GF menu prices. And them being careful and using special ingredients is worth something. But it seems an arbitrary and nonsensical upcharge for something I’d think they would be willing to do to for their customers.