Saturday, February 26, 2011

California Pizza Kitchen: Limited Edition fire roasted vegetables and five cheese


Dans Thoughts

I’m going to be harsh. I’m going to be critical. I’m going to be honest with you. This pizza sucked ass. But there’s a twist for all you curious readers out there…

Here’s my experience with the CPK: I’ve had one of their pizzas in the Phoenix airport waiting for my connecting flight. It was a pepperoni pizza…not bad. There weren’t too many viable options in the airport and it filled my gut until I got to my final destination. But this frozen pizza, oh man, was not a good scene.

I was lured into thinking I was in for a treat with the words “limited edition”, “smoked gouda”, and “pizzas that burst with flavor and personality” and so on. It was the only pizza box in the aisle with a bright yellow box and had an appealing baked pie on the front. When Josh took the pie out of the oven, it really wafted a pleasant odor. I was excited!

The best way to describe the taste of the pizza was like someone sprinkling vinegar on top of it or if the pizza set out too long and the sauce had gone bad. I made it through one piece okay, but cut it off after two. I think the pizza had flavor from the assortment of cheeses and vegetables, but it was masked by the discordant sauce. What the hell does ‘limited edition’ mean, by the way?

Interestingly, this pie contains ‘tamarind’, an African fruit noted for its sweet and sour taste. Google it! What the hell’s it doing here? And who from the CPK thought it was necessary enough to put on this pizza?

It’s getting a low ranking—really low—because I feel like the advertising makes this pie out to be something else. I’ve had a couple of DiGiornio pies, for instance, and I expect there to be a shitty white crust holding everything up. Then you have the pleasant waft. And this pie was not cheap either. I’ll be seeing what else the CPK has to offer, but this pie gets an unheard of ranking. (-1 out of 10 pizzas)



Joshua's Feelings

First off, let’s talk about what “limited edition” means. If you’re a small business and you can only produce X amount of your special product Y, then is it really a limited edition, or is it all you can produce? I would argue that it’s all you have the capacity to produce so small little companies, be they 3 man garage rock bands that can only make 40 copies of there horrible EP or little wine making vineyards that only have so much acreage to produce wine with you’re not producing a special limited edition of something, you’re just doing the best with what you got.

So who can produce limited editions? Bigger companies that want to test out things. So now the question is this, why if you’re a big company would you put out a limited edition of something…. Did the hundreds if not thousands of people you test marketed to all say they were on the fence, was it a hung jury on whether your product was any good? If so, is that how you decide to release something “people said it was average, let’s push it!” Or, did you perhaps make something so horrible and vile that the only way you could think to sell it to people is by saying “this won’t be around long”?

I know Dan laid out the specifics of the CPK’s fire roasted veggie and five cheese pizza. The main issue I had with it is you’re over charging me and taking my hard earned money and you’re not going to tell me what’s in the pizza? You’re going to omit a few details about it and leave me to discover the horrifying truth myself? That’s like getting a reeses pieces blizzard only to discover that some skittles got thrown into the mix.

You wanna know what the CPK fire roasted veg and five cheese experience was like? Let me tell you with a Jesus like metaphor, if Robert Smith of the Cure was Jesus.

Picture this, you’re in high school and you’ve got the hots for this girl Lurchamuck. You start hanging out together as friends and then over the summer you go out on a few dates. There’s no immediate fireworks but you’re both laughing and having a good time with one another so you start to think that its slowly but steadily building into something. Then Lurchamuck invites you to a party she’s having and you tell her “I’ll be there as soon as I can but I have to work that night!”.

Sure enough the day of the party comes and the work day could not drag any slower. You rush home covered in food service funk and you jump in the shower and do your best to wash your pimply high school face and then you rush over to the party, your expectations are overflowing at this point, day dreams pollute your mind of how you’re going to embrace and maybe even kiss her on the cheek at the end of the night.

You rush over to Lurchamucks place, dash up the front door, throw it open and yell “Hey everybody!”

Everyone rushes to greet you and welcome you into the party, but Lurchamuck is nowhere to be found. When you go down into the basement she’s lying in the arms of some other guy who claims to be your friend but always seems to go after whomever you say you’re interested in…. you gotta stop talking to this guy, or at least remember next time to tell him you’re into the girl who smells like moldy cheese… damnit.

Anyhow, that’s what CPK was like, it sold me on its toppings, it’s variety, it’s marketing, and then it led me to a party that was more of a reminder that life just isn’t fair at all.

Oh, and my best guess with the crust is that it’s all made of discarded movie scripts.

0 out of 10 and I’m still left with a chill in my bones every time I walk through the frozen freezer aisle and realize I’ll have to eventually attempt another one of these…


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