Monday, December 20, 2010

"An Opportunity of a Lifetime"






It's official. I just applied for Pei Wei's "Opportunity of a Lifetime" as their international blogger for 2 weeks in five Asian countries including Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam and Thailand. The contest just ended and they'll pick a finalist in 3 weeks. They are looking for a photographer {me} and writer {me also, haha, my ode to Bill Murray} to travel and eat Asian food with one of the Pei Wei chefs, so wish me luck! Above are photos from my last visit to Pei Wei in midtown Memphis with the archimania folks. // Thanks Chloe for sending this my way. Below is one of the reviews I submitted. {Although I admit I rushed through writing and didn't get to edit better.}

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Rarely do I find my downtown lunch groups wanting to travel to a midtown restaurant, but with the two last occasions where our group reached over 5 or 6 people, Pei Wei was an easy choice. In addition to offering the selection of cuisine from five different Asian countries, Pei Wei’s order-first system moved us through the long line efficiently from its large electronic panels displaying its extensive menu to the long table they assembled as we ordered. Their expressed concept of traveling the world through food made for an exciting experience as we couldn’t stop thinking about those countries we had traveled or longed to see. Seeing that each dish’s history and origin were valued as I read the menu earned my instant respect.

Once we arrived near the front of the line, we caught the activity of the bustling kitchen open to view from the bar and main seating. Even this clearly intentional design move added to experience of the urban Asian restaurant or street vendor. Unlike the others at our table who ordered dishes they always relied on, I ordered the newly offered Thai River noodles also known as Pad See Yew. After a short conversation at the table, the orders started finding our way to us so that I could start enjoying the very generous portion of the Thai River noodles, presented beautifully with vibrant red chilies on top. The overall flavor was good, especially the beef which worked well with the dark sweet sauce. Watching tables fill up several times throughout our stay made me wonder how Pei Wei or its restaurant concept would be much more fitted downtown ~ a perfect, urban fit.

Pei Wei Asian Diner
1680 Union Ave.
ph 1.901.722.3780

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