Saturday, November 2, 2013

Menu Re-Vamp: California Pizza Kitchen

The customers spoke, and California Pizza Kitchen listened. Sometimes all you want for lunch is a little taste (or at least smaller) taste of California Pizza Kitchen.

When customers revealed that they wanted smaller serving sizes for lunch, California Pizza Kitchen developed the "Lunch Duo" to meet their needs. The Lunch Duo menu is currently being tested in 29 restaurants, including 3 Virginia locations (Tysons Corner, Pentagon Centre, and Fairfax Corner). With the new Lunch Duo options, guests can combine selected varieties of  7-inch pizza (reduced in size from the average 10-inch pizza) or half sandwiches with a soup or salad, or order a soup and salad. The Lunch Duo menu is available Monday through Friday from 11AM – 4PM at participating California Pizza Kitchen locations, and we stopped by the Tysons Corner location to sample a few of the new offerings. 

The Farmers Market soup (one of four available soups on the menu) blends roasted squash and market vegetables with a touch of cream, and is finished with a drizzle of California olive oil.

Three salads are found on the new lunch menu. The Mediterranean Salad mixes crisp romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, garbanzos, feta, black olives, and red onions and uses mustard herb vinaigrette to top everything off.

The Super Spinach & Quinoa Salad would definitely be one of my go to halves of my Lunch Duo. I love the added crunch from the crisp granny smith apples and spiced pecans, and the sweetness from the marinated cranberries. Housemade Champagne vinaigrette pulls everything together nicely.

A Caesar Salad is the third salad available on the menu, and all salads can be topped with chicken for an additional charge.

The Lunch Duo offers five half sandwiches for pairings with soup or salad. The Oven-Roasted Turkey + Brie sandwiches roasted turkey breast, warm Brie, shaved Bosc pears and baby greens with housemade honey-mustard between toasted Ciabatta. If I could ever walk in to a CPK and not order pizza, I would likely order this sandwich.

CPK put their spin on the Cubano with The California Cuban, made with slow-marinated pulled pork and applewood smoked pork loin topped with melted queso, pickles and crispy shaved poblanos on toasted Ciabatta.

The Classic Crispy Chicken places hand-breaded chicken breast with fresh romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, pickles and mayo on warm, toasted sesame Ciabatta. In case you haven't caught on, Ciabatta is the bread of choice for CPK's sandwiches. 

A Grilled Veggie sandwich and California Club round out the sandwich offerings on the Lunch Duo menu. Since the California Club is my go to pizza at CPK (I can't resist the bacon and avocado combo) I'll definitely be stopping by to give the sandwich version a try.

We didn't try any of the smaller sized pizzas on our visit, but we can tell you CPK has created three new pizzas for the Lunch Duo. For the full menu, visit
California Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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