The One P.F. Chang's Substitution Customers Can't Get Enough Of

There's something about a secret menu that makes everything you order taste better. Somehow, being in the know acts a special sauce, enhancing flavors and making the world taste good. Grubbrr goes to far as to say that "secret menus have recently become so popular that many restaurants consider them more of a staple addition rather than a secret. "

There are lots of reasons places have secret menus: They can build customer loyalty (via Toast), keep regular menus from getting too long, and may simplify and streamline the ordering process. Many restaurants have found that secret menu hacks boost sales, so it's worth the extra effort that it takes to do something a little differently.

But like most things in the food world, secret menus are not without their controversy. Since they can make things more difficult for severs and chefs, some consider it rude to order some secret menu items, and advise making requests off the secret menu with moderation (per The Huffington Post). Secret menu lovers can have the best of both worlds when it comes to the fan favorite substitution at P.F. Chang's, though. The preferred swap at the Arizona-based Asian chain is nutritious, delicious, and easy for both waiters and cooks. 

One order of Mongolian Beef, hold the beef

What's the most popular swap at P.F. Chang's? It's is a riff on one of their most popular menu items of all time (via Restaurant Clicks). Their Mongolian Beef features tender strips of steak cooked with garlic, green onions and a secret sauce — but the signature beef can easily be traded out for another protein. Tofu is an option for vegetarians and vegans, but even more popular for the meat-eating set? Chicken. As a healthy and easy "secret menu" item chicken is something the restaurant has in ample supply, so trading poultry for beef makes little to no difference in effort, and is arguable better for their bottom dollar, since chicken is usually less expensive. 

This switch is so popular that P.F. Chang's evens makes a frozen version of the stuff. You can actually buy Mongolian Beef with chicken at your local supermarket in the entrées section of the freezer area. But wait — what do they call it? Mongolian Style Chicken (via Instacart). Sounds like this secret menu item is out of the bag, or in it.