Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pleased with Pei Wei

Posted By on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Kung pao chicken

It's been a long day — the office was crazy, the commute horrendous, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is fire up the stove and cook dinner. On top of that, it's the coldest winter in recent memory and two days before pay day to boot, so I don't want to trek out into the weather or spend a bundle. I'm hungry, but not in the mood for fast food or pizza, and something's got to give. Lucky for me, I live close enough to Midtown to give myself a good, cheap option for take-out that might not be gourmet, but it's a cut above the King or the Clown. I fire up my laptop and start building an order for Pei Wei.

Now Pei Wei, the poor man's P.F. Chang's (both are owned by the same people), is never going to win any awards for its food. I've a fondness for the place, though, mostly because it's so easy and quick. The on-line ordering is very user-friendly, allowing my wife and me to pick our favorite rice (steamed white for me, fried for her), various combinations of protein, and a few side dishes that are better than might be expected. It's not a place I eat at too often, but it's a nice, cheap choice for those nights when I don't want to be in the kitchen.

My standard order at Pei Wei is the Mandarin Kung Pao with chicken. I've ordered it with steak, and once with shrimp, but I always come back to the chicken. The dish is simple: stir-fried carrots, sugar snap peas, and peanuts mixed with a spicy sauce and a healthy dose of scallions. The chicken is nicely fried to a light crisp, and I usually get extra peanuts because I just love peanuts in a stir fry. For the wife, she's fond of their Asian Chicken Salad, a large affair that comes with just the right amount of ginger dressing, and the Hot and Sour Soup, which is available by the cup or the bowl. We're usually out of there for less than $25, and by ordering online, I'm never more than a few minutes in the store.

Some of our local foodies have been known to give me grief for liking Pei Wei so much, and I'm the first to admit that haute cuisine it is not. But given that I hate ordering food over the phone, the online system is perfect for an antisocial lazy person — which means it's perfect for me quite often. And honestly, given that Little Rock isn't exactly a hotbed of excellent Chinese food, it's probably the best bet for the price (although Mr. Chen's food is still better). Decent cheap eats are important, and any time I can get something pretty tasty for not a lot of money is always a good meal for me.

Pei Wei is located at 205 N. University, in the Midtowne Shopping Center, and they're open any time you want to throw up your hands and ignore your stove.

Tags: ,


Speaking of Cheap Eats

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Michael Roberts

Readers also liked…

  • Mama's Gyros is a pleasant surprise in Sherwood

    It's always a pleasure when a restaurant exceeds expectations, and despite the plastic plates Mama's Gyros in Sherwood was a tasty bit of serendipity.
    • Mar 11, 2015
  • Not sure about @thecorner

    New downtown eatery opens with limited menu and can't live up to attractive space.
    • Mar 12, 2015
  • Justin Harris used foster daughter in campaign materials, against DHS rules

    State Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) used photos of a foster child his family was planning to adopt during his 2012 re-election campaign. The state Department of Human Services expressly prohibits the public use of photos or any other media that would compromise a foster child's anonymity.
    • Mar 13, 2015

Most Shared

  • Welfare for the wealthy: More reasons to VOTE NO on ISSUE 3

    Voices on the left and right are lifted against Issue 3, the corporate welfare amendment to send tax money to private business and corporate lobbyists.
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said

Visit Arkansas

Searching for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Searching for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park

A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.



© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation