Across America and throughout the state of Utah, national restaurant chains including California Pizza Kitchen and Freebirds World Burrito are experiencing an evolution in their kitchens.
Higher quality ingredients, sourced locally or regionally if possible, are being featured prominently on menus while fresher preparations are complementing dishes. Here are some of the new offerings available in Utah.
Freebirds World Burrito
Fairly new to the Utah dining scene, the three Utah locations of Freebirds World Burrito are focused on fresh and creative offerings that allow for maximum taste profiles in each burrito by building flavor and heat levels unique to each order with 35+ ingredient selections. It’s a way that Freebirds sets itself apart from Utah-launched fast-casual competitors Café Rio and Costa Vida.
Billing themselves as a healthy choice for conscientious diners, Freebirds is attractive to vegan and vegetarian guests who will find a nicely textured tempeh offering that melds seamlessly with a variety of sautéed vegetables—locally sourced from Granato’s every third day. Furthermore, no Freebirds has a freezer—so nothing is ever frozen.
Nationwide, Freebirds has upgraded their beef option from a skirt cut to a flap sirloin which is marinated at each restaurant for 24 hours and cooked to a medium rare for maximum flavor.
And finally, the addition of a spinach wheat tortilla to the tortilla selections gives guests a healthier but no less tasty alternative in which to wrap up their burritos.
Wrapping up what makes Freebirds different, each location supports two local charitable causes with regular donations based on sales. You can also download their new app to track all purchases and redeem points.
California Pizza Kitchen
Using the term “polished casual” to describe their new Next Chapter menu options and renovated look, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) is now offering a broader selection of soups and larger entrees to meld with their classics of pizza, salad and pasta.
“With our ‘Next Chapter’ transformation, we’re introducing an incredible menu that showcases the best of our culinary creativity,” said G.J. Hart, CEO of California Pizza Kitchen. “Our diverse menu blends fresh, seasonal ingredients with bold, global inspiration.”
The Utah market is the last to receive the new Next Chapter menu so frequent diners of the California Pizza Kitchens across the nation will now see the same menu items in all locations. But what’s surprising is that 90% of everything served is scratch-made at each location.
Furthermore, CPK has their own olive farm where they grown and make their own olive oils while each restaurant uses local produce. At Fashion Place, produce is sourced from Muir Copper Canyon Farms. Fashion Place General Manager Ryan Martin continues, “Every other day I get a produce truck so it’s just as fresh as possible.”
Every new customer is treated to a complimentary Bianco flatbread which features a heavenly whipped truffle cream made in-house along with mozzarella and gorgonzola melted over a crispy thin-crust then garnished with fresh sage.
Try the new roasted garlic chicken with an impressively crispy skin, juicy breast and light lemon garlic sauce. Tri-colored carrots with roasted seasonal vegetables complete the entree.
End your meal with a seasonal strawberry shortcake topped with candied lemon rind for a sweet citrus kick.
In addition to the new food items, CPK has rolled out an upgraded cocktail, wine and beer list—bringing in local selections where possible—including Uinta, Squatters and Wasatch beers and a locally made whiskey at the Fashion Place Mall location. A summer favorite continues to be the Orchard Sangria, a blend of Coppola Pinot Grigio, St. Germain Elderflower, Monin Stone Fruit syrup and orange and cranberry juices.
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