The Squirt: Upscale and elegant Asian food. Not your typical chain restaurant
Must Eats: Northern Style Spare Ribs, Chang’s Spare Ribs, Mongolian Beef
Prices: Moderate +
A few years ago, we saw a new restaurant going up on U.S. Route One in Princeton. We were giddy with excitement, hoping for some place delectable. Sometime later, we saw the familiar giant horses, and we were soooooooo excited! We KNEW it was P.F. Chang’s! We had been to a few of their other locations, and we were so happy to have one coming near us. We looked forward to enjoying their delicious modern day Asian food dishes. To this day, a lot of locals continue to be excited, as the wait can be over two hours on a weekend!
We’ve eaten there many times since they opened, and we finally decided to do a review, for you, our loyal fans. Our server for the evening was the very professional and bubbly, Adrienne. We also see Adrienne occasionally on Friday evenings, as she sometimes works with her mother, Gail. Gail, is our sever every Friday at Dusal’s, and was featured in one of our very first reviews!
Adrienne is bright, energetic and full of life, qualities she gets from her mother! Not only was she so knowledgeable on the menu and helped to make some yummy decisions (more on those later), but, Adrienne was also able to give us some info on the restaurant. The name actually comes from the two founders, Paul Fleming (P.F.) and Philip Chiang (shortened to Chang!) PS- One additional little history lesson from us: Paul Fleming went on to open Fleming’s Steakhouse, another favorite spot of ours.
Now on to our “Puff” Chang’s (as we affectionately like to call it) experience! We started with a few appetizers; Steamed Pork Dumplings, Chang’s Spare Ribs, and Northern Style Spare Ribs. The dumplings were very soft, delicate and tender. They have just the right amount of dough – not too thick! Both types of ribs were delicious. Chang’s Ribs have a delicious sweet barbecue sauce and are sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds. The Northern Style ribs have a dry rub with some “out of this world” spices. We almost didn’t order them, but boy, were we glad we did! They may just have become our new favorite.
Now, before we move on to our main meals, one more update for all of you. We were so happy to see that our friend, Becca, is now a manager at Puffs! We knew her from her previous job at Ruby Tuesday’s. She is also so nice, warm and friendly. She also gave us some inside P.F. Chang’s scoop. In the back, there is a big line of woks that all the food is prepared in. When your order is ready, the servers get them from the big line of woks! It shows you that this is a special experience at Puff’s!
Next, for some main courses. At Puff’s, the dishes are all served “family style” so they are perfect for sharing. Our first dish off the wok line was the Pepper Steak. The red and green peppers and the onions were so soft and tasty. The steak was so tender, that it melted in our mouths!
Next up was the Mongolian Beef. This is one of our favorites at Puffs and one of their signature dishes. We almost always order it. It was in Adrienne’s top five dishes too! It is loaded with scallions and garlic with equally tender and delicious beef. Definitely a must eat!
Our third main dish was on Adrienne’s recommendation, the Chengdu Spiced Lamb. We almost ordered a different lamb dish, but Adrienne said this one was her favorite, so we dove right in. The lamb was marinated in a delicious spicy sauce and tossed with cumin, mint, tomatoes and yellow onions, making an absolutely delicious delight of a dish! We will definitely be ordering this again! Mmmmmm
Now, as if all that food wasn’t enough, Adrienne did not let us get away without ordering dessert! Ria ordered the. Wow, what a wall it was! Six layers of chocolate cake with gooey chocolate frosting in-between and mini chocolate chips on top, all served on a pool of raspberry sauce. It was decadent! How do we know? Well, they now offer these perfectly sized mini desserts that come served in shot glasses. There are about 10 or 12 varieties. We couldn’t say “No” to these perfectly sized delights! We shared two. The first one was a cute mini version of the Great Wall of China. It even had a little raspberry sauce on the bottom! Yum! The second was the Chocolate Mousse. It was equally delicious. We gobbled both of these mini delights! It’s a wonderful addition to the menu for people like us who like a little taste of something sweet for dessert, but will rarely order a full dessert.
We had a fabulous time at P.F. Chang’s. The food was outstanding, and Adrienne (and Becca) made sure we had a fun-filled (and food-filled) evening! Our tagline sums it up perfectly, it was most certainly a night of good food, good people, good times!
Check out P.F. Chang’s website for more information:
Be sure when you visit P.F. Chang’s in Princeton, NJ, that you say that you were referred to them by Roy and Ren from TwoSquirts.com.