Achieve Palate Harmony at Pei Wei Asian Diner

I’ve always been interested in the cultures of other countries, especially those of Asia. I’ve also always had a soft spot in my heart (and my stomach) for Asian cuisine. Whether it’s General Tso’s chicken or sushi, food from the Far East has always been enjoyable to me.

So, you can imagine my excitement during my trip to Orlando and the surrounding area with fellow Food Dude Damion, when we came across Pei Wei Asian Diner in Kissimmee. I was with Damion on a mini-vacation while he attempted to run the Goofy Challenge (the Disney Half Marathon and the Disney Full Marathon).

We found Pei Wei almost by accident. While looking for things to do around our hotel, we saw that there was a nearby mall called The LOOP. The LOOP is an outdoor mall with 70 shops and 15 food places, pretty impressive. But out of all the eating options, Pei Wei stuck out the most, even though it’s nestled alone in a parking lot corner.
Photo Credit: Yelp
Pei Wei Asian Diner is a fast casual restaurant from the owners of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. The ordering concept is unique, it isn’t sitting down and being waited on. When you walk in, there are menus to order from. Customers give their order to a cashier, and the food is brought out to your table.

Pei Wei features food from five different Asian cuisines: Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese. There are options for every palate, but I had to go with one of the most popular dishes, Caramel Chicken.

Caramel Chicken is also called “Claypot Chicken” or “Ga kho”, and it’s a traditional Vietnamese dish. The caramel in this case is caramel chile sauce. When you order this, there will be a red symbol next to it to let you know that it’s spicy. I found it to be tangy, but not overwhelming.

There are many other ingredients that make this dish satisfying, especially the pineapple topping. There is also an Asian slaw, which features things like: cucumbers, red bell peppers, Fresno chile peppers, and Vietnamese vinaigrette.

It might seem like all of the toppings would take away from the main course, but it only adds to the flavor of the chicken, which is delicious. The soy sauce is savory, you get a little heat from the chiles, and the mint cools things off. It also comes with rice sticks and your choice of rice (white or brown steamed). If you’re concerned with your figure, you can order it stock velvet, which cuts a minimum of 30% fat. Being a Food Dude, I wasn’t concerned with that, but the option is there.

So, if you’re a fan of Asian cuisine and you want to try a different eating experience, give Pei Wei Asian Diner a try. The prices are affordable (under $10 per entree) and the food is freshly prepared, and all of the dishes are made to order and customizable. Check out Peiwei.com or their Facebook page for all of their locations, but to eat like the Food Dudes visit:

Pei Wei Asian Diner
2501 W Osceola Pky
Kissimmee, FL 34741
(407) 846 – 0829

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