IKEA and PF Chang’s: a trip around the globe

Who doesn’t enjoy a trip to IKEA?  I know I do….I like meandering through the upstairs displays of different rooms featuring IKEA products that you can purchase and configure on your own.  You can get good ideas and good bargains as well.

Having broken many of our wine glasses over the last few years, I thought I’d take a trip to the store in White Marsh, MD to see if I could find replacements and to see what’s new at the store.  I convinced my mom to come along – not that it took much coaxing!

We spent the afternoon yesterday wandering through the maze that is IKEA and dreaming about all the things we could do in our houses if we had all the money in the world! It’s fun to do that every once in a while. Even if you’re totally satisfied with and grateful for the home you have, it’s still fun to dream…

To quote Nicholas Sparks, from The Notebook:
“And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered.”

Anyway, after a few hours of dreaming and a shared banana, we were hungry!  So we decided to try P.F. Chang’s.  I’d been to one in Arizona, but it’s been a while and my mom has never been to one; so we took a chance.  And it paid off.

I remembered having a delicious Spicy Green Beans side dish during my last trip to P.F. Chang’s , so we ordered the Spicy Green Beans – which are stir fried with garlic in a spicy chili sauce – as a starter while we chose our entrees.  What was delivered (not by our waitress) to our table, however, was an order of the Crispy Green Beans appetizer – lightly battered and fried crisp, served with a mildly spicy dipping sauce.  It looked good, so we gave it a try.  It was so good we weren’t even going to mention it to our server; however when she came up to take our entree order she noticed that what was delivered was not what we ordered.  We assured her that we were fine with what we had received and placed our entree order.

We were enjoying our Crispy Green Beans when our waitress arrived with a complementary order of the Spicy Green Beans.  She said, “I’m sure I’ll have to wrap most of this to go, but I wanted you to have what you ordered.”  Now that, my friends, is good service!  Even though we were happy with what we received, she went out of her way to make sure we weren’t disappointed by the mix-up.  That is what makes you remember the service and want to return to a restaurant. Oh, and we were definitely glad she brought the Spicy Green Beans because they were even better than the Crispy ones!!!!!!

Although it was difficult to choose from the varied menu, my mom chose the Seared Ahi Tuna Wasabi Salad.  It was a wonderful choice.  The dressing had that typical wasabi explosion for your sinuses, but was not too spicy and the tuna was cooked (if you want to call it that since it was rare) to perfection!  The salad was simple, but delicious and the serving was quite generous.

I settled on the Crab Fried Rice.  Ever since our trip to the Lancaster County Farmers Market last week, I’ve had a hankering for crab.  Although not the most flavorful fried rice I’ve ever had, it was still very good.  It was not at all greasy, which most fried rices cannot claim.  Once I added a bit of soy sauce (which itself was very good – just the right amount of salty), it was quite satisfying – especially the large lumps of crab meat, the little bits of bacon and the al dente asparagus.  Again, the serving was very generous – enough for dinner for Jeff and I tonight!

We left with full bellies, four to-go containers and memories of a good dining experience. Oh, and some purchases from IKEA – including the wine glasses on my list.  I’m not sure there’s another way to leave Central PA and visit Sweden and China in the same day!!!!!

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