I realize that as I begin this post, some of you may be scratching your head with puzzlement at the title. Bear with me, I’ll explain…
P.F. Changs is one of my favorite gluten-free dining experiences. For those of you who have visited a P.F. Changs Restaurant, you are familiar with the two large, ornate stone horses outside of every restaurant entrance. However, if you visit the Changs in Atlantic City, New Jersey, you will get to see the horses up close and very personal. Inside the Tropicana Casino resides the Atlantic City P.F. Changs. The place is always packed with quite a diverse crowd, from trendy 20-somethings to the blue haired grannies taking a nickel slots breather. No reservation? You can spend your two hour wait in the small bar and table area until seated. A window was thoughtfully placed on either side of the entrance so you may gaze out at the passerby. The gazing will occur with somewhat of an, ahem, obstructed view. I’m not sure if it was a design snafu or a contractor’s joke, but those two large, ornate stone horses are positioned directly outside each window. As a result, one who chooses to sit in the bar area while waiting for their table will be privy to a wondrous view of a gigantic stone horse’s rear end. Maybe it’s me (I can have an odd sense of humor at times), but this just cracks me up.
But, I digress. This past Sunday, I dined with two of my gluten-eating girlfriends at a P.F. Changs in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. What is so fabulous about this restaurant chain? Across the country, all P.F. Changs staff; from host to server to cook, are educated in food intolerances. Upon entering the restaurant, request a special gluten-free menu. You will receive nary an odd look or verbal inquisition on, “What the heck is gluten?”. Prior to taking your table’s order, your server will ask whether any diners have dietary restrictions. This is where you will speak up and declare your gluten emancipation, start waving your arms (or other extremities) wildly, or, if subtlety is your tactic, slyly point to your gluten free menu. Note – there will be soy sauce available on the table. Do not use It! Be sure to request the gluten-free soy sauce from your server. The gluten-free menu is quite extensive and offers a nice selection. Heed my advice and leave room for The Dome Dessert. Ah, The Dome, a beauteous creation of flourless chocolate decadence. It looks small, but it is mighty. Nestled along The Dome is a combination of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries to help to make this dish somewhat healthy (not really, but we can pretend).
At the end of your delicious meal, crack open your cookie and read your compelling fortune from within, but let someone else eat it (the cookie, that is).