Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Alert! California Pizza Kitchen = Caloric Pizza Kitchen

Yesterday I came across the nutritional information posted online for one of my favorite restaurants, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) and was shocked! In response to the California menu labeling bill (SB 1420) CPK and other fast-food and other chain restaurants having 20 or more outlets have to post their nutritional information The bill goes into full effect in 2011 but between now and then restaurant chains will be required to make brochures with nutrition information available in their restaurants. You can check out CPK’s stunning figures, that are certainly not very good for your figure HERE.

Being a fairly frequent patron of CPK, I was very interested to see the nutrition facts on their menu, unfortunately they don’t list all the nutrition facts and are only are posting calories on what I found, but boy are there plenty of them. My “usual”, the grilled vegetable salad with chicken has 1200 calories! And sadly most of the salads are over 1000 calories- that’s at least half if not more than what one’s average total daily caloric intake should be AND around the same amount of calories as many of their pizzas. Quite a few of the pastas dishes were topping the charts at 1300-1700 calories. Start with one of their appetizers and you can tack on 300-1000 calories to your meal. And if you finish off with one of their desserts you can easily double your caloric intake by adding another 700-1500 calories depending on the selection you make.

Does this mean I will never go back to CPK? Of course not! But what should you do if you must have your CPK? If you need an appetizer to start, the soups are not too bad, having a cup would only set you back 100-200 calories (except for the Adobe Chicken Chowder which is loaded). And then the key to the entrees is portion control. Go for a half order or take the rest home. Request dressings and sauces on the side as well. Ordering thin crust pizza will save some calories and one of the best entrees is the Mahi Mahi with vegetables (instead of pasta) which is a fairly reasonable 560 calories. If you ask for light on the oil in preparation, that can help too. And it’s best skip dessert there-try fruit or fat free yogurt at home instead. For more tips on healthy dining out, click HERE.


Suzanne July 23, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

Looking at the menu, the pizza calories appear to be posted "by the slice"...interesting.

We usually split a full salad and a pizza, which keeps us in range. However, like you, we had regarded CPK as one of the healthier options.

Many restaurants currently *refuse* to disclose nutritional info, even when the query comes from a magazine or other media. We have started avoiding establishments with that practice -- which eliminates most of the "fast casual" segment.

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