Monday, June 7, 2010

Vegan on the Menu?!!

A week or so ago I was reading some of the discussion threads on Alicia Silverstone's "The Kind Life" and was excited to see a discussion of California Pizza Kitchen's menu.  I have always found plenty to like on CPK's menu, of late choosing the barley soup followed by a half portion of roasted vegetable salad.  These two items appear to already be vegan, and I have had no dairy-related adverse effects from eating them.  So I will say that CPK wins the prize of being the only restaurant visited so far by this vegan which offers a vegan option on the menu needing no further alteration.  That being said, I was further thrilled by the discussion thread on TKL.  Apparently word on the street is that CPK has another menu (online? take-out?) that features . . . VEGAN PIZZA!!!

Wow!  I remember months ago loving the thin-crust mediterranean pizza, and have tried not to think thoughts of it since February 11 when I purposefully changed my life for the better.  So as soon as I could, I put my vote in for the next family bonding dinner location -- CPK!

Happy at the prospect of not having to explain myself, I confidently asked the server, "I understand you have another menu which features a vegan pizza?"

Blank stare from the server, "A what?"

I won't bore you with the ensuing patient, educational summation, since you all have plenty of experience with those, but will cut to the chase -- the server asked everyone he worked with, who all knew nothing of the word vegan.  Apparently, whatever company-wide CPK directive toward a more diverse menu has not yet made it to the deep south.  The server suggested a vegetarian pizza without the cheese.  I said, "Sure,"

While I waited, slightly deflated, I wondered if I shouldn't just change my order to barley soup and grilled veggie salad.  But before long the food was presented and I will say that, though not vegan-cheesy, my pizza was really quite glorious.  The thin, crisp crust was wonderful as I remember, and the tomato sauce was also satisfyingly familiar.  Atop these, broccolini, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted corn and sauteed mushrooms were featured.  The combination was lovely, not too dry, and full of flavor.  The whole effect was really more of a highly decorated flatbread than a pizza, but I was surprised by how much I liked it.  As an added bonus, after the third of the four pieces, I did not find myself in that satiated/miserable position of having eaten too much but wanting to keep eating anyway, the way I used to feel with the dairy-laden pizza.  With this one, there was no intestinal misery, and I happily kept plowing through the yumminess, devouring every crumb with no remorse or ill-effect.

I want to thank you followers again for your patience with my (hopefully temporary) photographic shortcomings.  The photo here is again presented in erroneous orientation.  It is supposed to be in landscape format, that is how it was taken, that was how it was edited, but importing it here is not working out for me.  Again, it is my husband's cell-phone camera.  I hope you don't get too dizzy looking at this pizza.  I have trouble looking at it this way, even finding myself tilting my head to the side  to remember the delicious contents.  It's a work in progress, and I appreciate your patience!

P.S. I finally figured out how to rotate the photo!

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