If you’ve ever walked into a California Pizza Kitchen, then you’ve noticed this big yellow oven behind the bar. That’s where the magic happens.
I had never been to CPK prior to this visit, and I thought, “Oh great, a variety of pizza flavors. My toddler will love this!”
My husband had previously visited the restaurant chain back in North Jersey, and said he didn’t really enjoy the options they had at the time.
Personally, I didn’t think a pizza chain restaurant could offer a variety of options, and I was excited to hear more about their “New Chapter” dishes.
A New Kind Of Flavor Although their signature dishes are a variety of in-house pizzas (hence the name), there are meat and fish entrees available for those who are looking for a different flavor — all while meeting your dietary needs.
They have a number of options for their guests who are gluten-free, vegetarian, or simply looking for dishes that are under 650 calories.
CPK provides their guests who have food sensitivities with allergen information so they too can enjoy one of their dishes.
At CPK, dishes are served fresh, and always with a smile.
During our visit, we tried a few of the New Chapter options. Every plate that came from the kitchen to our table was made-to-order and served at the right temperature.
Here’s a rundown of the different flavors we tried:
Drinks: Lemonade Although CPK has the Coca-Cola Refresh machine available for its creative guests, our toddler and I stuck with regular lemonade to help level out the different flavors we tried.
Thoughts: A little sour, but sweet enough for your taste buds to enjoy.
Wynwood Pops Porter Pop’s Porter is a American Porter style beer brewed by Wynwood Brewing Company in Miami, FL.
I’m still breastfeeding our little guy, but Jeff said it tastes like Guinness and shot of Cuban coffee.
Smoked Ham + Swiss Flatbread
Emmantaler and goat cheeses with caramelized onions and smashed garlic croutons.
Thoughts: This dish reminded us of breakfast. Something about the smell of smoked ham and caramelized onions that makes us think back to mornings with our boys. Even our toddler enjoyed this one – and he’s a picky eater!
Avocado Club Egg Rolls Hand-wrapped crispy wonton rolls filled with avocado, chicken, tomato, Monterey Jack and Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon. Served with housemade ranchito sauce and herb ranch.
Thoughts: The best egg rolls, ever! We love Asian dishes and these were just right. The housemade ranchinto sauce drizzled on top of the egg rolls gives it a little kick. If you’re looking to enjoy the egg rolls for all its wonderful flavor, stick to the herb ranch. But whatever you do, don’t skip on this appetizer!
Salad Harvest Kale Salad (seasonal) Served with tender baby kale, fresh Bosc pears, roasted butternut squash, spiced pecans, goat cheese and cranberries.
Thoughts: This was all me! Jeff didn’t get a bite, and he didn’t mind. Salads aren’t his thing. I had this close to the end of our stay. Just when I thought I was stuffed, a vibrant dish came to my rescue. It was so refreshing. I took half to go so I would be able to enjoy if for lunch the next day.
Entrées Sunny Side Up Bacon + Potato Pizza (seasonal) Served with Nueske’s Applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized leeks, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and two fresh sunny-side up eggs.
Thoughts: Jeff loved the combination of sunny-side up eggs (it’s one of his personal favorites for breakfast). There’s bacon and cheese in this – enough said!
Sebastian’s personal pie (handcrafted by my husband and our toddler) Comes with the CPK signature dough, their sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese.
Thoughts: He didn’t let anyone taste it, but he sure gave it a thumbs up.
Fire-Grilled Ribeye Cooked with housemade pinot noir sea salt, topped with creamy bleu cheese butter and served with roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon-garlic wild arugula salad.
Thoughts: Jeff gave me tiny bites off his plate. Because he’s a meat lover, I knew I wasn’t going to get more than a few bites in. He loved it, and it’s definitely not what you’d expect from a pizza place. I almost felt like we were transported to a steakhouse.
The potatoes taste fresh and are lightly seasoned. Great for sharing with your little ones.
Hearth-Roasted Halibut The dish includes wild caught from Alaska and roasted on a cedar plank with butternut squash farro, grilled asparagus and baby kale.
Thoughts: It really has a fishy taste, which isn’t something we’re used to. If you are a fan of seafood, this will work wonders on your taste buds! I highly recommend trying everything together, the asparagus really evens out everything.
Desserts Red Velvet Cake The classic you crave, frosted with hand-whipped vanilla bean cream cheese and white chocolate curls. Also available à la Häagen-Dazs.
Thoughts: Unlike most red velvet cakes, you really taste the cocoa in this one. It does have a cream cheese topping, but the white chocolate curls even out the flavor. I highly recommend taking a piece home and enjoying it on its own. We did that, and it tasted better the next day.
Butter Cake (aka the best dessert ever invented!) Trust us. Just try it. Also available à la Häagen-Dazs
Thoughts: I don’t drink coffee, but it was so good it almost made me want to pour myself a hot beverage and just sit there, devouring this deliciousness. Where was it when I was pregnant? Twice?!
Back To Basics The CPK “New Chapter” menu brings new meals with a fusion of various flavors you can find out in California, where CEO G. J. Hart first thought of the idea for his restaurant.
Today, CPK still offers great quality pizza, with 12% less sugar in their dough, which is hand-tossed to perfection.
Bring The Family! With a focus on family, CPK makes it easy for kids to enjoy a small pizza pie they can create right at their restaurant! You can learn more about their birthday packages here.
“At CPK, I like to think of our dishes as a way to take our guests on a vacation through flavor,” according to Peter Rose, Assistant General Manager of CPK in Pembroke Lakes Mall. “We have Asian, Spanish and other cultures mixed into our menu.”
Rose is also the Regional Fundraising Coordinator for this location and told us about the restaurant’s culture and how everyone is treated like a family member. He even told us about the CPK Kindness Fund, which was set up by CPK employees for CPK employees.
The Kindness Fund helps CPK employees in their time of need by having team members pitch in whenever a fellow coworker finds themselves in any monetary issues.
Follow CPK on social media to learn more about their impact in the restaurant business: Twitter – http://twitter.com/calpizzakitchen
Download CPK’s Pizza Dough® Rewards app for iTunes and Android and check in to begin earning rewards for dining creatively.
Former B2B editor and marketer turned Family & Lifestyle blogger. Fatima is passionate about life and being social.
When she isn't running around with her husband, three kids, and two pups, Fatima helps other bloggers and local businesses with their online marketing strategy.
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