Reporter's Notebook

At Pei Wei, it's the Yamerican Way

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Fast-casual chain tests sweet potato fries

Pei Wei's electronic menu board highlights the test fries.

This post is part of NRN's newsroom blog, Reporter's Notebook.

Pei Wei Asian Diner is testing sweet potato fries in some of its units.

As part of Pei Wei’s “Small Plates” menu, the sweet potato fries are contained in a small, white paper carry-out box and “served with a smoky sriracha aioli” for $2.95.

I encountered the fledgling menu item at a Pei Wei unit in Dallas at dinner July 13 (I inadvertently was celebrating National French Fry Day, I guess.), where it was advertised prominently on the electronic menu board, pictured at right. After the fries were delivered, the manager asked that I fill out a survey card.

They are billed as a Korean street food item. “Our chefs found them over and over again when they were in South Korea and thought they’d be a good item to test,” Pei Wei said in reply to my Twitter post.

Sweet potato fries are popping up on more menus, and colleague Bret Thorn recently reported they are being paired with a variety of condiments

Pei Wei, with about 170 units, is the fast-casual division of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ron.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @ronruggless

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