What with all the love that David Chang is getting from Esquire, not to mention the MacArthur grant, the specially created Nobel Prize for outstanding achievement in the field of LES restaurant excellence, etc, it is worth remembering that there are other Changs in the restaurant biz, and other journalists celebrating them. Bruni, RG, and the Cuoz may have Gotham locked down, but it is, like they say, a big country -- a big country full of intrepid young journalists not afraid go off the beaten path in search of culinary delights.
One such scribe is Andrew Brandenberg, who handles the culinary beat for Bob Jones University's* Collegian. Of P.F. Chang's, he opines:
He zeros in on some menu highlights, and describes them in detail:
I really enjoyed the “Crispy Honey Chicken” which was affordable at $8.00 for a lunch-sized portion. The chicken is served crispy and comes with sweet honey sauce glazed over the lightly breaded chicken. However, the spicy “Beef a la Sichuan” ($13.00) was delightful and a great alternative to other, more conservative, choices. The ingredients—namely celery and carrots—are twice-cooked, making it crispy (an interesting sensation for the lips and tongue), and the spice gradually increases throughout the meal (faint-at-heart, be warned!).
Surprisingly, the review does not conclude with "Oriental food that's so tasty, there's no way the chef is descended from an ape!" but rather the assertion that P.F. Chang's offers oriental food at its best.
*Don't miss the dress code.