8/17/2012 11:42:00 AM

California Pizza Kitchen Embraces Quinoa Trend With New Menu Items

Clearly not a pizza
This summer = epic. Witness: 98 Degrees reunited for the first time in 10 years (yesss!) and quinoa made its menu debut at California Pizza Kitchen – yep, we’d say the summer of 2012 is one for the records books.
But back to the quinoa. If ever there was doubt about this grain-like plant’s rise from the ranks of yuppie health food store find to more mainstream ingredient (watch your back, rice), the new quinoa salad at CPK makes it pretty clear that, like instagramming photos of your brunch, it’s here to stay.

The quinoa salad, made with arugula of course, is one of five new healthy offerings, including cedar plank salmon, grilled chicken chimichurri, fire-roasted chile relleno and shrimp scampi fettucine, which gets the lightened treatment by swapping out much of the pasta (only 2 oz. is used) with zucchini ribbons, which is a clever trick if we do say so ourselves.

Some of the dishes were more successful than others – the chile relleno, chicken chimichurri and yes, quinoa salad were particular favorites – but as a whole they signal the chain’s attempt to keep up with the competition (the Cheesecake Factory unveiled a new SkinnyLicious menu about a year ago, for example) and offer somewhat adventurous, and, more notably, healthy dishes alongside old calorie-laden favorites like the BBQ chicken pizza and chicken tequila fettuccine.

We feel it’s our journalistic responsibility to also report that after sampling all five dishes we found ourselves enjoying summer in the city with a few beverages and yet still woke up the next day feeling surprisingly refreshed. Does quinoa cure hangovers? Maybe....(Of course, the 11 PM french fries probably didn’t hurt either.)

1 comment :

  1. Tried the quinoa salad a couple weeks ago at CPK and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was! Loved it and want to try making it myself at home :) Definitely recommend.