As much as I like to eat food that makes me happy dance, when I have three little ones in tow, I tend to choose restaurants based more on how kid-friendly they are — not on how delicious their entrees taste. But sometimes I crave good food without the hassle of packing a baby bag, stroller, and three energetic kids to get it. To the rescue of my 'za-loving family, California Pizza Kitchen now offers "Take and Bake" pizzas so I can grab our noms to enjoy at home.
CPK's "Take and Bake" pizzas are a genius idea. This is a game-changer for weeknights when I'm looking for a quick go-to meal (that everyone will eat). Here's how the program works: Head to a CPK and order any of the 20 drool-worthy varieties on their menu. Or, if you're super busy (because aren't we all), these pizzas are also available for CPK delivery, including via select third-party delivery platforms — you'll have to find your local CPK here on their website.
Choose from original hand-tossed dough crust or, for an additional charge, their popular gluten-free Cauliflower Crust. Their Gluten Intolerance Group-certified gluten-free pizzas are eligible for Take and Bake orders, too. Any modifications or substitutions to their menu-listed pizzas also come at an additional charge. I'm especially happy about their veggie-based crust for the vegetarian baes in my life, because they deserve tasty pies, too. Sorry, thin crust lovers — you won't be able to take-and-bake their Crispy Thin Crust pizzas, but you can always enjoy them as a regular entree. As part of their national roll-out, CPK is also offering guests who dine-in and purchase an entree the opportunity to get up to $10 off a "Take and Bake" order.
Once you have your made-to-order pie, pop it in your oven whenever you're ready for a party in your tummy. Bake it at 450 degrees for about 7 to 10 minutes (depending on your oven), maybe throw on some fresh basil or another garnish to top it off, and chow down. Easy-peasy.
The best part is, unlike pre-made pizzas you grab from a grocery freezer section, CPK makes yours to order in the restaurant. Sure it'll cost a little more than what you can find pre-made and frozen, but there's nothing wrong with a splurge once in a while. Plus you won't find the same variety.
CPK's "Take and Bake" pizzas will be clutch as we head toward fall, which brings all kinds of gatherings like back-to-school functions, class parties, and football season. But what's golden for me is being able to eat an artisanal pie made by certified chefs while I'm wearing my go-to yoga pants, in the comfort of my own home.
Growing up, my family always made Friday nights pizza night where we customized our frozen pies at home with pineapples (yuck, mom) or mile-high piles of pepperoni. CPK's "Take and Bake" pizza gives me the chance to recreate those memories with my own kids with a fresher taste than store-bought items. Long live pizza night — but yummier.