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Dining Out - Low Carb Dining at PF Chang’s

Posted Sep 11 2008 5:26pm

UPDATE: Since this original post, the company has updated their website, and added a nifty PDF which makes it pretty easy to see the low carb items onthier menu easily - it’s here.

A year later, I still enjoy PF Chang’s - my fave is their Northern Style Ribs with 6 grams of carbs. Their seared Ahi Tuna is great as well.

One of the things that is great about low carb living is that you can dine out and eat quite well. You just have to be careful. Recently I went to PF Chang’s - a Chinese ‘casual dining’ restaurant - PF Chang’s is to Chinese food what The Olive Garden is to Italian food.

Problem with that is I am very close to a number of Chinese people and we dine out regularly, and we approached going to an ‘Americanized’ version of the cuisine with some unease - how bad would it be?

Well, not every Chinese might agree, but the three I went with thought it some of the best Chinese food they had - ever. I had to agree.

Problem is - Chinese food - with much of it depending so much on rice, noodles and corn starch, doesn’t lend itself to a low carb lifestyle, so when I went I took the menu and looked for something I could have. I chose the Wok-Seared Lamb, which was served on lettuce with a sesame sauce. It was very good, but I wondered just how many carbs were hiding in the meal.

The next day I checked - 29. Ok - maybe not induction-friendly, but not even close to the absolutely staggering 376 grams of carbs in the ‘Great Wall of Chocolate’ dessert.

I didn’t do bad, but I checked out their site, where they list their dishes and, more importantly, the nutrition facts - including carbs. What I found was that - even if in induction, you can still go out and enjoy yourself with friends there.

In ascending order, here is the carb count of some their dishes with a carb count of 30 grams or less - note that without a fiber count, I can’t do a net carb calculation, so this is more or less worst case:

  • Northern Style Spare ribs - 6g
  • Shanghai Cucumbers - 8g
  • Spinach Stir-Fried with Garlic - 16g
  • Seared Ahi Tuna - 21g
  • Cantonese Shrimp - 21g
  • Garlic Snap Peas - 23g
  • Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon with Ginger - 23g
  • Shrimp with Lobster Sauce - 24g
  • Cantonese Scallops - 26g
  • Mongolian Beef - 29g
  • Wok Seared Lamb - 29g

So if you have the opportunity, and care to spare the carbs, try the place out. Steer clear of the rice, skip the dessert, and have coffee while your friends eat the ‘Great Wall of Chocolate’ and have 2 weeks’ worth of carbs in one sitting.

They might be happy, but their pancreas isn’t. Smile smugly in your superiority as you sip your coffee with cream.

Someday…someday, they’ll understand…

Filed under: Atkins, Dining Out Low Carb, Induction, Starting on Low Carb, recommended products

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