Categories
Fast Food Health Plant-Based

Panda Express Changes Chow Mein And Eggplant Tofu To Be Plant-Based Friendly

To be completely honest, I was about today years old when I learned that Panda Express’s plant-based options aren’t 100% vegetarian. Turns out that in the past, their chow mein and eggplant tofu, amongst other items, have included chicken broth or chicken-based seasonings inside of them, meaning while they may look meat-free at a glance, they’re not.

Moving forward, though, that won’t be the case, as Panda Express has been making changes to their menu to ensure that those items are free from animal products.

For the past few years, according to a Panda Express representative, they’ve working to eliminate animal byproducts from several of their dishes while keeping taste and quality the same. These include the chow mein, Super Greens mixed veggies, eggplant tofu, and steamed brown and white rice. Panda has been able to scale these changes to a national level, and began rolling out the new recipes in late 2018. They’ll be in all restaurants nationwide by the end of this year.

While these dishes are suited for those who live a plant-based lifestyle, Panda Express will still avoid calling them “vegan” or “vegetarian.” Since all of the dishes are cooked on the same kitchen equipment, potential exists for leftover bits of meat and animal products to intermix with the meat-free dishes.

So, while the items are technically plant-based friendly, there is no guarantee that there won’t be meat inside them. Nonetheless, it’s a huge step forward for Panda Express to begin renovating their menu to accommodate vegetarian and vegan guests better. In the future, perhaps they will be able to prevent that cross-contamination as well.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Restaurants

Cheesecake Cream Teas Exist And Panda Express Is Serving Them At These Exclusive Locations

It’s been a minute since we saw something pop up from Panda Express, but delicious things come to those who wait. And for those who have been clock watching, Panda’s latest addition to their summer menu is what they’re calling Cheesecake Cream Tea.

Cheese Tea is already a widely popular trend in countries like China and Thailand, and select tea houses in the United States have begun offering the rich beverage.

However, this will be the first time a major chain like Panda Express puts their own spin on it. If it’s anything like the original beverage, Panda’s Cheesecake Cream Tea will have some sort of thick whipping cream made from milk and some variety of cheese. The company describes that it will have a sweet, velvety taste.

Tea flavors include your choice of cheesecake foam over Milk Tea, Green Tea, or Black Tea.

The Cheesecake Cream Teas will be available now through Aug. 27 exclusively at Panda + Tea and the chain’s Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, CA. While you’re there, I highly recommend pairing it with a bing wrap filled with Orange Chicken. It’s essentially an Orange Chicken Burrito.

Categories
Fast Food Now Trending Video

Watch This Record-Breaking Competitive Eater Down The Entire Panda Express Menu In One Sitting

When I hit up Panda Express for a quick meal, a regular 2-item plate tends to fill me for the rest of the day. With that in mind, watching competitive eater Raina crush the entire Panda Express menu in just 45 minutes was absolutely mind-boggling.

Raina went with Foodbeasts Marc and Elie to Panda Express to attempt the challenge on Going In, Foodbeast’s new YouTube and Facebook Watch show. Elie and Marc got their own, more manageable meals, while Raina casually ordered everything, totalling over two trays’ worth of food. For those wondering, here is Raina’s complete order:

Sides: 1 large Chow Mein, 1 large Fried Rice

Entrees (all in small sizes):  Beijing Beef, Shanghai Angus Steak, String Bean Chicken, Honey Walnut Shrimp, Eggplant Tofu, 8 Treasure Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Orange Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, Sweetfire Chicken Breast, Broccoli Beef, Mushroom Chicken, and Black Pepper Chicken

Appetizers (small order of each): Chicken Egg Rolls, Spring Rolls, Cream Cheese Rangoons

The final price of all of that food was at least $75 (it came out to just under $100 factoring in Elie and Marc’s orders). In terms of nutrition, Raina consumed a staggering 4,500 calories (not factoring in the drink). That means she ate enough to feed 2 people for an entire day in 45 minutes.

For proof of time, peep Raina’s full video of the challenge below:

What’s even crazier about Raina’s feat is that technically, this wasn’t a speedrun attempt, but a mukbang video. Throughout the entire 45 minutes, Elie and Marc were interviewing her, with topics ranging from her In-N-Out world record to chugging a gallon of water every night. Without all of those distractions going on, it’s safe to say she could’ve finished the whole Panda Express menu in an even shorter time than that.

Once the challenge was all wrapped up, Raina also ordered some takeout for the road, so she had plenty of room in her belly for another go-around. How she manages to stuff all that food in there, I will never know.

Categories
News Now Trending Video

Wong Fu And Panda Express Show Us The Hilarious Struggle Of Choosing Where to Eat Dinner [WATCH]

We’ve all been there before: The work day is wrapping up, we’re about to head home, and then an important thought crosses our mind. (Or we get a message from our significant other).

“What’s for dinner?”

Usually, that devolves into a flurry of internal conflict as we try to select where to eat our next meal. Fortunately, the comedic team over at Wong Fu Productions has come up with a simple solution.

In their latest video, the Wong Fu team comes up with a genius skit to help people decide where to go for dinner. This particular scenario features a guy deciding for his girlfriend where to go for dinner. The guy starts with a Panda Express fortune from the girlfriend’s latest dinner. However, he then twists his way through several other options before finally circling back to Panda, which is where the couple ends up. Overall, the message is that you’ll probably end up going to the place you crave most, no matter how much you debate.

Photo courtesy of Panda Express

This video is actually part of a fun campaign between Wong Fu and Panda Express that’s happening this month. We can expect two more hilarious videos from Wong Fu as a result. Additionally, Panda Express will be dropping a new item, Peking Pork, on September 27th. It’s unclear whether the sweet-and-sour pork will show up in a Wong Fu video, since it didn’t appear in the above skit. However, it’s definitely a possibility.

At any rate, it’s going to get us more funny bone-tickling skits about eating, so we can’t wait to see what else Wong Fu and Panda Express have in store for us.

Categories
Fast Food

Exclusive Panda Express Spots Are Serving Orange Chicken Burritos, Here’s Where To Find Them

A while back, folks lost it when Panda Express released an Orange Chicken “Burrito” at their Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, CA.

The fast-casual Chinese food chain recently opened a new Panda Express + Tea Bar near our stomping grounds so we decided to swing by and grab some burritos for ourselves.

Though in actuality a “Chinese Bing” or wrap, the item effectively acts as a burrito with a thin scallion pancake acting as the tortilla. While essentially having the same core ingredients as a tortilla, there are some noticeable differences in the taste of the scallion pancake.

Panda’s new item didn’t stop at Orange Chicken. The bing acted as a canvas for us to create the most intricate of burritos, combining a plethora of different meats, starches, and sauces in a hefty wrap.

We even threw a double dose of the restaurant’s new Five Flavor Shrimp into a bing.

The Panda Express + Tea Bar, outside of the original Innovation Kitchen, is one of three restaurants that serve the “burrito” to patrons. You can’t find the item at just any Panda Express. Trust us, we’ve tried.

If burritos aren’t your thing, the Panda Express + Tea Bar also serves customizable salads — an item that isn’t offered at regular Panda Express locations.

Peep our salad diet:

Nice, right?

The Tea Bar portion of the restaurant lives up to it’s actual name. Customers can choose from a variety of different milk teas and fruit teas from the tea bar menu. Drinks are either pre-made for those who are in a hurry, or you can have a drink made to order. Beverages can be customized with add-ons like tapioca pearls, lychee jelly, aloe vera, and chia seeds.

A word of caution for new patrons, however: make sure to take in the entire menu upon your first visit. Whatever you decide to order will fill you up for the rest of the day.

Items like the Orange Chicken “Burrito,” salads, and milk teas can be found at Panda Express + Tea Bar locations (Hacienda Heights, Monterey Park, and Westwood) as well as the original Panda Express Innovation Kitchen located in Pasadena, CA.

Also, be sure to check out our Foodbeast Podcast to hear more about the burrito!

Categories
Deals Fast Food

Free Firecracker Chicken At Panda Express For Chinese New Year

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It’s almost the year of the rooster, and Panda Express will be celebrating Chinese New Year by handing out celebratory red envelopes (or Hong Bao) to all guests this Saturday. Within those envelopes will be coupons for you to redeem a free entree of their Firecracker Chicken and a 22-ounce drink during a future visit.

WHO: Panda Express

WHAT: Free voucher for Firecracker Chicken entree, and 22-ounce Dr. Pepper on future visit

WHEN: Saturday, January 28

WHERE: All participating Panda Express locations

WHY: To celebrate Chinese New Year

Categories
Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss Products What's New

Behold The CHORK, Panda Express’ Combo Fork + Chopsticks

A couple weeks ago, Panda Express started hyping up these new Chorks. The plastic utensil features a fork on one end with a pair of chopsticks on the other.

Like the wooden chopsticks found in most Asian restaurants, you can snap the Chork in half and they’ll act as traditional chopsticks. If you’re unfamiliar with how to use chopsticks, leaving them connected lets you train with them.

We got our hands on some and decided to test them out for ourselves.

Check out the video to see what fellow Foodbeasts Marc and Elie had to say about them.

Panda Express currently has no plans to roll the utensils out nationally, at least for now. Rather, they’ll be giving them away on special occasions. If you’re dying to try them, you can buy some directly from Chork.

Categories
Fast Food Restaurants What's New

Panda Express Combined Forks With Chopsticks And It Looks Ridiculous

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Panda Express is reportedly making an intriguing choice of cutlery which may soon revolutionize how Chinese food is eaten in the U.S.

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In a recent tweet by Nation’s Restaurant News West Coast bureau chief Lisa Jennings, Panda Express is revealed to be adopting a plastic chopsticks/fork hybrid utensil called the “chork”.

The chork is a disposable plastic tool that has fork prongs on one end and two chopstick ends on the other. While it is designed in a way that the adjoining sticks can be pinched together to grasp food without needing to be separated, one simply needs to snap the sticks apart for the full chopstick experience. The brilliant yet weird looking tool will finally be making its mainstream debut if the popular restaurant chooses to adopt it.

Introduced in 2012, the chork was deemed by many as the future of eating but somehow failed to catch on. Creator Jordan Brown had the inspiration for nifty plastic utensil when, during a sushi dinner, he found himself grabbing a fork while eating with chopsticks.

Brown immediately began working on a prototype through his company Brown Innovation Group Incorporated (B.I.G.) in Salt Lake City, where he is a partner at the concept development and marketing. The resulting product was a promising new piece of innovation that many found very useful.

Testimonials on the Chork website showered it with some praises.

“That’s great, now my husband can use chopsticks with me and still be able to poke at the hard to pickup scraps,” said one happy user.  Another said: “Yay! I don’t have to fumble with chopsticks or ask for a fork!”

Written by Ryan General || NextShark