Besides chocolate, I love California Pizza Kitchen. I love it so much, that were I in a stock-buying mood, I would buy it, but last time I looked it’s no longer public, but is privately held. 🙁
I heard Tim Conway Jr on KFI saying he and his daughter love it, too, so I’m not alone. (I don’t like him as a talk show host, just this one bitty comment.)
It has really wonderful combinations, with some unusual ingredients on the menu, a good crust, albeit a little too crisp for me at times, and even good desserts! A big win.
I even like their frozen pizza grocery store versions! Most frozen pizzas are bad – I mean really bad – so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I bought the simple Margherita pie for my first one, and could NOT stop eating it! So darn good!
But remember what I said about extra crispy crusts? It literally hurt my mouth and put like paper cuts on my lips!! And still I kept eating it, and ate the rest the next day. I’ve tried others that aren’t as good as the simple Margherita one. I see they have a spinach and artichoke pizza I’d like to try, which I haven’t seen in grocery stores out here, just in the restaurants.
So with the sublime taste of that in memory, the Trader Joe’s Trader Giotto’s Pizza Margherita caught my eye the next time I was in the store. The packaging is very good, more sophisticated than TJ usually puts together. And I liked this pizza, too, with a crust that didn’t bite me! I guess I’m just a Margherita girl! Not as good as CPK – maybe the ingredients are not as good – but certainly worth buying and having in your freezer.
Slice disses Trader Joe’s, and suggests adding canned tomatoes. (Terrible pic there, ignore it.) They’re probably right. And one of the commenters there suggests that the TJ pizza is really Amy’s, which I’ve never heard of. (Trader Joe’s secrets…REVEALED?) Will keep my eye out for that one. Cooking with Trader Joe’s is more right.
Can’t find picture of TJ one.
UPDATE: I wrote these reviews a while ago. Recently, Trader Joe has so changed this pizza, and ruined it, that I threw it out after the first slice. And I’m from back east, and we don’t like to throw out food. It was clammy and untasty. So…no cheese for the current TJ version.
Painting of pizza by Sara Caron