Monday, July 12, 2010

Pizza: California style

I recently got the opportunity to try the newest California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) to open in San Antonio the day before its official Grand Opening. Since I like to share "the love," I invited Micah and my sister to tag along to partake in some free food!

The new CPK is situated in the lovely but hard-to-get-to Quarry Market. I would frequent the Quarry Market more often if it weren't just so far from my house!

We had reservations for 6 p.m. and when we got there, the restaurant was pretty much 90% full. This event was basically their soft-opening to train the staff and get people excited about the new digs. The official grand opening was the day after this shindig. Before we sat down, the hostess reminded us that it was training day and asked us to be patient with the waitstaff. I don't mind being patient when it comes to free food!

Each table was allowed one shared appetizer and/or dessert + everyone gets their own entree + one signature cocktail and unlimited amounts of wine/Coors beer.

Linda had the raspberry mojito, which didn't have enough raspberry flavor. Micah and I had Coors Light; we both commented on how this type of beer tastes like water to us now (when did we become beer snobs?!).

{looks pretty, not delicious}

We opted to share the Tuscan Hummus appetizer and forgo the dessert (blasphemy, I know). The hummus came topped with diced tomatoes and surrounded by pizza-pita bread, which basically tasted like really thin pizza dough. The hummus had a good texture but it was lacking in the flavor department - needed more garlic. The tomato isn't accurate, but this is CPK, so it doesn't have to be right. In hindsight, we should've ordered the Avocado Club Eggrolls.

{tuscan hummus}

My pizza: Jamaican Jerk Chicken (Grilled Jamaican Jerk spiced chicken breast with our spicy sweet Caribbean sauce, Mozzarella cheese, applewood smoked bacon, mild onions, roasted red & yellow peppers and green onion)

{the crust had a nice brown tinge}

While the crust came out great, the pizza was a failure because it was entirely too sweet! The chicken was spicy enough, but it was overpowered by the lingering sweetness of the Caribbean sauce.

Micah's pizza: Roasted Artichoke & Spinach (Oven-roasted artichoke hearts, sautéed spinach and garlic, Fontina, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses with spinach artichoke sauce)

This is one of CPK's "new" speciality pizzas. The pizza was good but nothing special. It's actually something we make at home all the time. Micah did like the thin crust, since it allows him to fold the pizza for easy eating.

Linda's pizza: The Meat Cravers (A combination of sweet Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, Capicola ham, julienne salami, Mozzarella cheese and our tomato sauce)

Linda likes her meat (ha!) and this one sure had it! I usually don't eat meat on my pizzas so this was salt overload for me! Linda added some pineapple on top which helped cut down on the saltiness.

Even though we didn't have to pay for dinner, the pseudo-bill tallied up to $80. We asked ourselves if we would spend $80 of our own money on this meal, and the answer was a resounding "no." The food -while interesting on the menu- is just not that good. With different pizza chains opening in SA, I would choose Grimaldi's over CPK - hands down.

{they have a future as pizza models}

CPK does know how to lure me back in though... CPK's Frozen Pizzas! We got two for the road! Will they be better than the in-house pizzas? That's a different blog post.

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