‘Watts for Dinner’: A ‘Wei’ not to ‘Pei’ too much

Will Watts
A mango California roll from Pei Wei, South Naples.

Our next destination is another selection from Restaurant Row in South Naples, at 951 and 41: Pei Wei Asian Kitchen.

Things got off to a somewhat appetizing start with the mango California roll, made with “Pacific Krab,” (with a K, lifted directly from the menu) mango, cucumbers and scallions, hand-rolled in premium sushi rice and topped with toasted sesame seeds.

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To look at it; it’s a standard sushi roll. The taste is neither better than most nor worse. My only real complaint with this sushi roll is that it’s served cold, a reminder that it was pre-made; and not fresh.

For my main dish and served over noodles, I had the Thai dynamite chicken, featuring grilled chicken in Thai basil, with red bell peppers, carrots, snap peas and onions, wok-fired in a Sriracha chili soy sauce and topped with a fresh lime wedge. 

I added some more chili sauce from the self-serve counter. The chicken and veggies were top notch. However, the noodles appeared and tasted less Asian and more Italian. Perhaps they ran out and sent the wrong person to the store? Lucky for them, I’m a big fan of Italian noodles.

Thai dynamite chicken and noodles from Pei Wei, South Naples.

My partner in dine picked the “Pei Wei Original,” breaded chicken a sweet and spicy chili vinegar sauce served with snap peas, carrots, scallions and garlic. This was served with his selection of cauliflower fried rice.

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He preferred the grilled chicken but was neither asked nor specified. So, he was defaulted to breaded. Still, this dish earned praise, especially for the cauliflower fired rice, a nice twist on a trend.

The “Pei Wei Original,” with breaded chicken and cauliflower fried rice from Pei Wei, South Naples.

Bottom line: You won’t get the best meal of your life at Pei Wei, but you will get solid performers at reasonable prices. If you don’t have the time or money for a nice sit down meal, this is a better bet than fast food.

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If you go

Pei Wei

  • 6821 Collier Blvd Unit 102, Naples
  • 239-530-1201 
  • peiwei.com