Thursday, August 18, 2011

P.F. Chang's and the Trouble with Cane Sugar

In an attempt to find out which chain restaurants offer vegan menu selections, I e-mailed a few different national franchises.  The response I received from P.F. Chang's China Bistro puzzled me, and I had to do a little research to find out about the issue raised in their reply.  The Guest Relations Manager who responded to my e-mail said that their menu contained a couple of vegan items and some others that can be vegan when modified.  And then she wrote, "If cane sugar is not an issue for you, I recommend any items from our 'Vegetarian Plates and Sides" and vegetarian marked menu items." 

What the heck does cane sugar have to do with anything, I thought.  Did I flunk Vegan 101, or is this something that only more advanced vegans would know about?  So I did a little online research and discovered that the process used to refine cane sugar often involves the use of bone char (charcoal made from animal bones), and cane sugar is therefore avoided by many vegans.  Who knew?

I have to admit that I was pretty impressed that the Guest Relations Manager at P.F. Chang's was so well-informed about the intricacies of veganism!  She went on to say that if cane sugar is an issue, she would recommend the Steamed Buddha's Feast, Stir-Fried Spinach, or Garlic Snap Peas.  Soft tofu or pressed tofu can be added to any of these dishes.  

There are two P.F. Chang’s locations in the Sacramento vicinity.  The one in downtown Sacramento is located at 1530 J Street, Suite 100, and the phone number is 916-288-0970.  The one in Roseville is located in the Creekside Town Center at 1180 Galleria Boulevard, and the phone number is 916-788-2800.  The website address for P.F. Chang's China Bistro is


micheyd said...

So glad to see you blogging. Great info on vegan options.

Pam said...

Thanks! Let me know if you have any ideas about restaurants I should review.

Pam said...

And here's a link to information I found on the C&H Sugar website about the use of allergens in their refining process:

Basically, they say no animal products are present in their refined cane sugar, and none of their refined cane sugar is produced on equipment that comes in contact with any animal products.