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
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.
Overall GrubGrade: 3.75/10
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.