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California Pizza Kitchen

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 07:31 PM

My wife had a 20% off coupon for CPK so we decided to check out their new gluten-free offerings at the Scarsdale, NY location. Yes I know it's a chain and it's filled with Gluten. I'm intolerant, not Celiac so I was willing to take a chance. Their gluten-free menu came out just a few weeks ago (it's integrated into the regular menu so you don't have to ask for a separate one). It includes a short list of apps, salads, one entree and of course Pizza. All the pizza's can be made gluten-free except two. I ordered the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Pizza came out, i bit into it and got very worried... it was too good. It was soft a chewy in all the right places and firm on the bottom. I stopped the waitress and verified it was gluten-free, she said yes. I visually compared my pizza to my wife's (she got the whole wheat) and our son's (he got a kid's regular). My pizza crust definitely looked different. I had my wife do a taste test, she thought it was gluten-free. See the problem is the bbq chicken pizza has such an overwhelming flavor (in a good way) that it was hard to taste just the crust. I looked around at other people's pizza, mine didn't look the same.

Here's the bottom line, except for Mozzerrelli's in NYC, this was BY FAR the best gluten-free pizza I've ever tasted. Better than Unos, Pizza Fusion, Mellow Mushroom, any Still Riding or French Meadow i've had in many local pizza places.

I asked the mgr to stop by and chat. Quizzed her on their gluten-free operations. She said they keep the dough separate, prep and cook the pizza on a clean pan and / or aluminum foil, change gloves while prepping it and cook it "not close to the other pizzas." For an intolerant person like myself, I found this completely adequate. FYI, she said they sell about 4 a day on average.

If you used to enjoy CPK and hopefully your local outlet follows the correct procedures, run don't walk. Speaking of running, I'm going to have to burn off some major calories after my lunch at Taim Mobile and dinner at CPK.
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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:03 PM

That's great that they are paying attention to the CC risks. When they were testing the menu in my area I was told that they had no consideration for CC, used the same pans, all that. It's great to have another option. Thanks for the update.
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Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:56 PM

Thanks! I just looked and sadly there are eggs in the crust. So won't work for me.
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Posted 16 July 2011 - 01:03 PM

I'm salivating just thinking about it! There's a CPK down the street. I'll be on my way for dinner tonight!

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Gluten Free since November 2005


"If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen.." ---Ed Polish



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Posted 17 July 2011 - 12:01 AM

Any celiacs or sensitive people tried this? This might be good for my son, who's less sensitve than I am....
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Diagnosed by biopsy 2/12/07. Negative blood tests. Gluten-free (except for accidents) since 2/15/07. DQ2.5 (HLA DQA1*05:DQB1*0201)

Son, age 18, previously delayed growth 3rd percentile weight, 25th percentile height (5'3" at age 15). Negative blood work. Endoscopy declined. Enterolab positive 3/12/08. Gene results: HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201 HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0503 Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,1(Subtype 2,5) Went gluten-free, casein-free 3/15/08. Now 6'2" (Over six feet!) and doing great.

"Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance." Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the United States



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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:04 PM

I was just coming to this forum to post about CPK. I went there today. . . a fav of mine! I was so excited that they are so gluten-free friendly! They also have a new gluten-free appetizer, the white corn guacomole that is AWESOME!!! one of the only gluten-free appetizers and great! I will def be going there more often!
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Posted 21 July 2011 - 06:46 PM

CPK was a staple of ours before everyone was diagnosed (me and both of my children). Their BBQ chicken pizza (sans chicken, I sub avocado instead) was my absolute favorite food of all time. I was SO excited when I found out they were starting a gluten-free menu! Before we went I called our local restaurant and talked to the manager to make sure they were uber-careful about CC. Turns out the managers mother has celiac disease! He answered everything to my satisfaction and we went for lunch the next day. Right when we arrived I asked to see the manager. He came over to our table as I was wiping it down with my wipes from home (too much gluten in a pizza place for me NOT to do that) and said how excited he was that we were there. He said he would personally watch the chefs make our pizzas. And he did! He came over as they were cooking and walked me step-by-step through everything they did. Though I liked the pizza, it tasted like pretty typical gluten-free crust to me. Not what I was hoping for, but it was good. After dinner he gave me his card and told me to email him that night in the hopes that we were all healthy and there were no signs of contamination. We waited about 8 hours, figured out we were all healthy and then emailed him. He was very happy and sent a copy of my email to corporate.

We are THRILLED with the attention CPK is giving this issue, and have been back once more since then. Big thumbs up from my family! :D
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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:42 AM

I've actually heard quite recently that the CPK's gluten free menu is misleading...I Saw this article from the Gluten Free Girl blog that I follow.


Apparently their Director of Culinary Devlopment has also said that CPK's Gluten Free pizza is NOT meant for people with celiac disease, but for people who choose not to eat gluten, as they cannot guarantee that it's gluten free.

The article is worth reading before you go eat there, then the decision is yours!
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