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Pei Wei intros new look, new menu, “Wei better” orange chicken – and Thai Donuts

Now that Pei Wei is based in Las Colinas, the American-Chinese-Asian fast-casual QSR mashup is making some changes. You’ll spot them immediately when you walk into the newly remodeled Las Colinas Pei Wei location, which serves as the rapidly expanding chain’s prototype. Guests now enter through a repositioned front door then queue past the semi-open kitchen to see the flames and woks and fryers working at full speed before reaching a series of digital menu boards and the cash registers. There, it’s local craft beers, bottled wines, cold brewed coffees and fortune cookies at one counter, mobile app order pick-ups along another, and fountain drinks at still another. The interior decor package is new, too: turquoise leather(ish) booths, four-tops, two-tops, a couple of high-top community tables. I like it a lot. I also like the new menu a lot. Corporate chef Jason Sullivan has streamlined the menu and retooled ingredients, removing artificial colors and chemicals you can’t pronounce. “We want our guests to eat clean, healthy food here that’s prepared to order using natural ingredients,” he says. Grass-fed beef, natural chicken, real oranges in the “Wei better” orange chicken. Sullivan walked me through the menu, including the $5 LTO “Wei better” orange chicken, which may be the best from-scratch deal in town – unless you count the new Thai-spiced cake donuts, fried to order, for $1.79. No fake ingredients or preservatives. Yeah, he had to buy me lunch to get me into the place, but I will be back on my own dime.
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