Panda express.. is it worth the hype?


Jocelyn Fetter

skrt skrt. On my way to see if Panda Express is worth the hype. Don’t judge me for forgetting to get a picture at the restaurant.

Jocelyn Fetter, Associate Editor

Over the weekend, I visited the, in my opinion, overhyped chain restaurant, Panda Express.

For the longest time, the closest Panda Express was in State College but even then, I never got the opportunity to eat there. I felt like I was dragging my feet to get to the restaurant to eat because I already have a really great Chinese food place not far from my house that I can always rely on for really great food.

The place I usually get my Chinese food from is a little restaurant called Great China located on 25th Ave, and it’s only a few minute drive from my house, and usually only takes about 15-20 minutes if I order takeout. Panda Express is located in the Park Hills Plaza near the Logan Valley mall which is about a 15-20 minute drive from where I live, which isn’t bad, but Great China is more convenient on that aspect.

The first thing I realized when I got into Panda Express, is that they don’t have the “normal” Chinese selection I’m used to. When I order from Great China, I get General Tso chicken with fried rice, and it comes with an eggroll as part of the meal. I also sometimes get Crab Meat Rangoon’s when I’m feeling extra snazzy. Panda Express; however, doesn’t even offer General Tso chicken, so of course, I was worried. I ended up getting the grilled teriyaki chicken for my entree.


Chow Mein for the side:

And Cream Cheese Rangoon’s for another side to compare to Great China’s:

After Eating I’ve come to the conclusion of this:

The chicken: decently good, but very dry, and could use more sauce.

The Chow Mein: Good, but it tasted like every other noodle there was nothing extraordinarily special about them.

The Rangoon’s: Good flavor, but didn’t have very much cream cheese, I prefer the Crab Rangoon’s from Great China.

Lastly, my meal alone was almost $20 and that was just for me to eat. From Great China, I can get a whole meal of chicken, rice, and 10 crabmeat Rangoon’s for $15. The flavor of Panda Express is barely comparable to Great China.

After eating at both restaurants and experiencing Panda Express for the first time, I have to say, it really does not live up to the hype. A lot of people enjoy the place but I’ll stick with my local favorite.