Review: P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Beef with Broccoli

I try to stay as far away as possible from the freezer section at my local grocery store most of the time. Crappy burritos, Cool Whip, lots of pies that time forgot, and what has to hold the record for most mediocre food with a massive following; Hot Pockets, just don’t do it for me. Sure every once in a while there is a gem, like the DiGiorno Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, but along with that product not being on the shelves for years, (Damn you DiGiorno!) everything else is plain Jane at best. Though after trying the amazing White Castle sliders, I started to wonder if there were more hidden gems buried in the freezer aisle. Well, my curious search led me to P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Meals for Two. Is it possible to get great Asian food from a frozen bag?

I have three factors that will make or break this: ease of preparation, taste, and price. I chose Beef with Broccoli because it is my go-to at any given Chinese joint, and it seems like the best option to be frozen and reheated in a microwave. This can be cooked in a skillet or microwave and I chose the latter because I figured it is how most would prepare it, plus it’s easier. Considering how easy making beef with broccoli from scratch is, if you’re going to pull out a skillet, you may as well just make it from scratch anyway. I tossed this in the microwave, and sure enough 14 minutes later I had a steaming pile of beef with broccoli. Ease of preparation, check.

I have never eaten at P.F. Chang’s, although I’ve had my fair share of beef with broccoli. Based on that, I can confidently say that… this blows… hard. The first thing that I noticed was that something was not quite right with the sauce. It’s as if they strained a few cans of Campbell’s beef stew, and added oyster sauce to the leftover liquid. It was like the lunch ladies from your middle school had a ton of canned gravy and decided to get rid of it by playing chef and making Asian food with it.

Swimming in the oyster flavored gravy was the beef. A ton of it too. Unfortunately for Mr. Chang, quantity doesn’t win over quality. The best way I can describe the beef is sub par. If you have had any of the billions of kinds of frozen dinners with steak tips or anything like that, you can picture this. Sure it’s beef, the package even said it’s flank steak, but in the end, it just tastes old, unloved and forgotten. Like eating the emotions of the clock lady from Great
Expectations.

The broccoli was decent, but it is just regular frozen broccoli which I do have a soft spot for, but it couldn’t have been much of a challenge to throw it in the bag, so no bonus points for that. Last we have the price; $7.49. For $0.30 more I can get awesome beef with broccoli delivered to my house, plus rice, chopsticks and a fortune cookie. The price is a giant fail.  If you gave this to someone who had never tried beef with broccoli before, they would hate it, and probably you for serving it to them. This is way too expensive and I guess to Mr. Chang, taste is an afterthought. I you really want Chinese and need to feed two, just order out. You will thank me later.

Pros: It comes in a bag that keeps its contents from spilling. The bag looks cool too, I guess.

Cons: Eating P.F. Chang's Meal for Two and then writing this review.

Price: $7.49

Overall GrubGrade: 3.75/10

Nutrition Facts:
Sorry, I threw the bag out, but it has a moderate amount of fat and too much salt. You shouldn't be eating this anyway.

26 comments on “Review: P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Beef with Broccoli

  1. Justin ST says:

    The price really ought to be half that. Some of these companies are just selling out their name for an inferior product.

  2. Tyler M says:

    Wanchai Ferry is sooo much better than PF Chang’s. Cheaper too.

  3. M86 says:

    Thanks for the review. P.F. Changs (the actual restaurant) is awesome, so I’ve been tempted to try this and the other varieties they have in stores…but the price has definitely kept me away. It looks like the product in the pics above are a far cry from the food they actually serve in their restaurants.

  4. Bubbsy says:

    Seems maybe a little overly-fussy to have a 10 point scale and still feel the need to break it down to quarter-points …

  5. Christian says:

    My boss gets the Orange Chicken variation, and it’s ok, but when I saw the price in the supermarket, I thought it was completely not worth it. I don’t know about the amount of beef you got in yours, but the amount of chicken in the Orange Chicken is quite meager. It’s best to stick to your small owner operated Chinese places.

  6. Obbop says:

    “…old, unloved and forgotten”

    I feel a kinship with the dead cow contents of the reviewed vittles since I am an Old Coot huddled within my shanty with an ever-encroaching not-too-distant death with all I have in my future.

    Sniff. Sob.

  7. Justin says:

    I tried the General Chang’s Chicken last summer, just because I was curious. For nine bucks, I was surprised at how little chicken was in it. And it was not good.

    I think about that DiGiorno deep dish pizza every time I walk past the frozen pizzas at the store. It blows me away that DiGiorno thinks people want something called “pizza & wyngz” but not that deep dish pizza.

  8. Chefprotoss says:

    I always thought orange chicken was just chicken and sauce. Seems like Mr. Chang is is cutting corners by throwing other stuff in. Just what orange chicken always needed… filler…

  9. ljay says:

    I don’t buy the frozen food varieties of any of these products but the box variety of the wanchai ferry products I have tried absolutely rock. I’m on the lookout for more varieties to try soon.

    I purchased a box of their orange chicken with very low expectations and was amazed at how nice (and spicy!) the finished product tasted. I do not generally use the rice that comes in any of the kits, preferring to make my own.

    Highly recommend you give them a try.

  10. maynardb61 says:

    Too pricey for frozen food!

  11. Panda says:

    Ewe! You’re better off going to Panda Express. Plus, the food at P.F. Chang isn’t all that great to begin with and then to buy the frozen variety?

  12. JF says:

    I’m still searching for a great Chinese restaurant out here in Colorado, but have tried the same PF Changs product (never eaten at one of their restaurants).

    I thought it was ok. Certainly not worth the price and I thought the amount of food was lacking. Could use more beef, but as they market it “for 2” and I believe each serving was only like 350 calories or so, it’s not much of a meal, even if “1” eats the whole thing.

    I would pass on this as it was more the value that was lacking than the overall taste, but even the worst Chinese restarant I have eaten at out here was better (and cheaper) than this.

  13. chladner says:

    It doesn’t even look good. Nice item to review btw, these chain-inspired frozen foods are appearing more and more in my local grocery store.

  14. Scrape says:

    PF Changs food is crap at the restaurant, so why would it be any better frozen an a bag? Its just an asian-themed Applebees.

  15. Scrape says:

    PF Changs food is crap at the restaurant, so why would it be any better frozen in a bag? Its just an asian-themed Applebees.

  16. rob says:

    PF Chang doesn’t have anything to do with this food other than licensing the name, just as TGIF has nothing to do with the food labeled TGIF.

    • Chefprotoss says:

      On the flip side frozen White Castle seems to have everything to do with White Castle. I know I wouldn’t want my name on a crappy product. After eating this I will probably never set foot in a PF Chang’s. This is clearly bad business.

    • Scrape says:

      I know that they don’t make the frozen putrid mess, just license their logo for cash. So, what is the point then? Licensing your name to crappy product just dilutes your brand and reputation. No amount of money is worth sullying you’re good name on an inferior product. Well, PFs really doesn’t have that good a name anyway. Funny how Panda Express puts out a better product than a proper semi-fancy sit-down place.

  17. Lindsay says:

    Yuck, that beef looks nasty!

  18. Prisoner17 says:

    I think your mistake was the decision to microwave it. You are correct that if you’re going to use a skillet, you may as well just make your own but I’ve bought this several times and cooked it in a skillet and had it with brown rice and it turned out fairly decent. Microwaved meat, especially beef, always tastes super gross to me. That said, it is still way too expensive for average at best flavor.

  19. Chefprotoss says:

    I try to put myself in the consumer’s shoes with a review. Nuking it made sense. It would have sucked either way though.

  20. ChrisLad says:

    Yeah if I was lazy enough to buy something this easy to make or brought to my doorstep cheaply NO way would I fire up the stove and cook a frozen meal.

  21. Devin says:

    I believe there is a big difference in putting this in a skillet and microwaving it. Putting anything in a microwave is an absolute sin to food, and is going to make it taste putrid. PF Chang’s frozen is made by the same company that makes Bertolli frozen meals which are pretty good.

    • Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

      That would be Unilever. A brand known for making soap, deodorant, ice cream and vegetable oil spreads.

      I jest, but its true.