|CPK GF Margherita Pizza|
California Pizza Kitchen has long been a favorite place for our family. The kids loved the pizzas and pasta when they were young and I loved the salads and pizza. When we were sidelined by the GF lifestyle so many years ago, we didn’t stop going, just stuck to salads and soup. We didn’t want to deprive the rest of the family, but no more pizza, although we watched everyone else indulge.
How thrilling it was to see that CPK had a new GF pizza on the menu. First order of business was to call and find out how it was prepared. I was assured that all utensils were color coded and not shared with wheat items and the pizzas were cooked in a separate place on separate foil. Yipee! We headed out.
After once again getting reassured by our server of the precautions, we ordered one Margherita Pizza (tomato, mozzarella and basil). When it arrived, I pulled out my camera to take a few shots, which piqued the interest of the manager. “I’ve never seen anyone take pictures of our food except PR people,” he said. I told him about the blog, and how excited we were about the pizza. He said his wife had also tried it and was quite pleased. He was curious to know what we thought since not many of the pizzas had been sold yet.
I respect him for mentioning that although the pizza crusts are pre-made, there is flour in the kitchen and cross-contamination can occur, although they try very hard to avoid it. That’s the case in any restaurant and I appreciated him repeating it. Make your own choice if you decide to go.
Now, on to the pizza… Yummy. The toppings were the usual cheese and tomato with fresh basil. The crust is light and crunchy. Although I would have liked a little more flavor to it, I will be trying it again. It’s perfect with spicy or strong flavors since it doesn’t have much flavor of its own, much like a lot of GF crusts. It tasted a lot like the Udi’s Pizza Crust, although with a little more flavor. It’s a blank slate for any toppings.
The crust is about the same size as the regular pizzas, which was so nice to see. So often, the GF pizza is more expensive and smaller than the regular pizza, right? That is so frustrating. These are the same size as the CPK regular pizzas and cost the same, which is even better. There are two pizza toppings that are not GF and they are listed clearly at the bottom of the pizza listings.
Although it was crisp on the edges, it was a little soft in the middle. I recommend ordering it a little overdone, which I’ll be doing next time. Since it’s on foil and not on the stone with the rest of the pizzas in the oven, it’s easy for it to stay a little soft and not crisp up as nicely as the regular pizzas. For that reason, tell them to leave it in a few more minutes. FYI, we took it home and heated it up in a frying pan with a little olive oil for dinner. Much, much better. It’s amazing what a little olive oil and heat can do. One pizza was enough for two of us for lunch and dinner. Fancy that!
Bottom line…I’m glad they have a new GF crust and are taking precautions to make it safe for us. I had no reaction and neither did my daughter, so we’ll definitely be back. Each time a restaurant tries to accommodate the GF lifestyle, it’s one step closer to making life a little easier. Make your own decisions and always be careful when eating out.
Now, when will they have GF pasta? Soon, I hope.