Panda Express Chinese Restaurant recently opened in Coral Springs and this location is located in a brand new ‘strip mall’ at the corner of Wiles Rd and 441 (State Rd 7). We were first puzzled by the location, but driving up recently, it sort of made sense. The immediate area surrounding Panda Express is sort of a ‘strip-mall’ food court of sorts and you can find all kinds of ‘fast food’ and ‘fast casual’ options all within walking distance. The building is brand new and there is plenty of parking.
Truth be told, we’ve never eaten at any Panda Express Restaurant, so this would be a total new experience. The inside is clean and very modern with lots of seating. The concept at Panda Express is more ‘fast food’ in that all items are pre-made and presented cafeteria style.
The menu is more limited than most full Chinese restaurants, but they do a good job at covering the favorites. The ordering is simple, with individual entrees served in either bowls or entrée plate. Each is served with a side and at least one hot item. You can also choose to order ‘a la carte’, but we found the bowl and entrée plates to be a great value.
All of the choices are presented behind the counter and they will even let you sample something before you finalize your choice. Those watching calories have some options too, with a separate section of lower calorie items. We also saw signs that all vegetables are chopped fresh daily, so that’s great to see. Service was quick and the whole process took maybe 5 minutes.
Panda Bowl ($5.59) – side of chow main, entrée of string bean chicken. The chow main was not dried out and was a good comfort food choice. The string bean chicken was tasty as well, but we did find that the food temperature was a bit cooler than expected. Not cold, but it could have been a bit warmer. The portion was just right and left no room for left-overs.
2-Entrée Plate ($6.59) – side of chow main, black pepper chicken & orange chicken. The portion was large and overall we felt it was a great value for the price. The orange chicken is fried and coated with an orange sauce, which was a little on the sweet side. It paired well with the chow main side. The black pepper chicken was actually really good. This item was on the ‘lower calorie’ side and still was packed with flavor. It was our favorite entrée item of the visit.
The Coral Springs Panda Express also has a Tea Bar, which Jeff was all excited to try. Options include fruit infused teas and milk teas, all mixed to order and delivered to your table. They even have a cool plastic lit applicator that seals your cup. –
Passion Fruit Tropical Tea – from the Tea Bar ($3.20) – Very good passion fruit flavor without being too sweet. But honestly, it’s hard to pay over $3 for any drink.
Overall we felt that Panda Express hit home with flavors and value and only needed a tweak with the food temperature. We feel that your experience at Panda Express is at the fate of how busy the restaurant it. As with a buffet, if the place isn’t busy, just how fresh is the food? We didn’t find the food quality to be an issue on this visit, but wonder what the experience would be on a slow Monday at 3PM. Remember that your choices are limited at Panda Express and you won’t find the expansive menu as you would at a regular Chinese restaurant. Appetizers are limited and there is actually no soup offered at this location. I’m still wondering how a Chinese restaurant can get by without wonton, egg drop and hot & sour soup.
Panda Express is located at 4190 North State Road 7 Coral Springs, FL 33067