The firm emerged out of the southwest and has been steadily spreading around the major cities of the United States. P.F. Chang's, which was founded in 1993, has prided itself on its unique combination of Chinese cuisine, attentive service, extensive wine list, and tempting desserts. P.F. Chang's puts a formal spin on the typical Chinese restaurants.
So why did they choose West New York?
"Typically we go into development areas we feel have the clientele," said Mark Logan, Northeast market partner. "We think that West New York is the place. With the entire redevelopment going on in the area, it fits very well into our clientele."
The chain has also reached the south with P.F.Chang's emerging in parts of southern Florida. Now sights seem to be set towards the northeast.
Although not yet widely recognized in these areas, some P.F. Chang's have opened around Boston, Washington D.C., and parts of the tri-state area including upstate New York.
"We're sort of surrounding New York City," said Logan. "This is the 110th restaurant we have opened in the country.
P.F. Chang's offers all traditional fan favorites from rice and dumplings to t'sai foods. They also have a full bar and designated take-out area, which is a new feature for the chain.
In addition to traditional dishes, they also offer innovative dishes that illustrate the emerging influences of Southeast Asia on modern Chinese cuisine.
The skillful chefs at P.F. Chang's come from all over the New York/New Jersey area. Using only the freshest, high-quality ingredients, they work out of a dramatic exhibition kitchen that has been broken up into two rooms.
"First is the food prep area, everything is bought fresh and everything is made from scratch," said Logan. "We spare no expense. We have no holding tables and no MSG. It's all done back here. This is where it all begins." The second room is the cook line, where the chefs using Mandarin-style wok cooking over ranges of 120,000 BTUs to prepare the dishes, receive all the orders, and get the ingredients. Average cook time for the dishes is less than three minutes.
"The flames and heat are very intense," said Logan. "You can't replicate that at your house, and it cooks so quickly at such a high temperature locking in the juices."
Another featured attribute is quick service. Average time for a customer to get a meal is six to seven minutes. They also have what is known as the vegetable drama and meat drama stations. Drama in Chinese symbolizes gathering, and in keeping with Chinese cultural traditions, the drama stations are points of gathering the ingredients, being meat or vegetables, for the dishes they are about to prepare.
Overall, P.F. Chang's has approximately 125 people on staff, from the waiters to the managers. The restaurant can accommodate about 220 people inside, 40 outside on the patio and 23 at the bar. It blends together classic Chinese design with a modern bistro look.
Classic statues and original hand-painted mural depicting scenes from 12th century China have become symbols of P.F. Chang's décor, as has their majestic 11 foot tall horses that grace the entrance of many of the restaurants.
"Our décor has a little more design, a lot more texture, and ample waiting space," said Stacia Stephens, operating partner.
P.F. Chang's has been in development for about a year and officially opens its doors Monday, Oct. 4. It is located at 10 Port Imperial Boulevard by the waterfront. For more information and reservations call (201) 866-7790 or visit www.pfchangs.com.