REVIEW: California Pizza Kitchen Carne Asada Flatbread Melts

The term “flatbread” is one I just don’t quite understand, like “badonkadonk,” “ridonkulous” and 75 percent of the words that come out of the mouths of those darn kids who won’t get off of my lawn. I don’t get it because aren’t the slices of bread we buy in loaves from the store, whether they be whole grain, wheat, white or Wonder, also flat? But we don’t call them flatbread.

Believe me, I know flat when I see it, because I have a photo shrine in my closet dedicated to Keira Knightley.

I may not understand flatbread, but I do enjoy its softness and durability, so I was eager to try the California Pizza Kitchen Carne Asada Flatbread Melt. Although, I wasn’t too eager because I’m sort of skeptical of how good a frozen CPK meal that’s not a pizza; not offered in their restaurants; and not served to me by someone in a white long-sleeve shirt, black pants and a necktie would be.

Carne asada means “roasted beef” in Spanish and in Taco Bell speak it means “the meat option we offer that’s not chicken or ground beef.” Along with the flatbread and beef, the melt also contains reduced fat mozzarella cheese, green and red bell peppers and onions in a cilantro pesto sauce. Heating the Flatbread Melt is easy. Just pull it out of the its plastic wrap, place it on top of the included cooking tray, heat it in the microwave for 2.5-3 minutes and then fold one side over the other.

The melt was a decent size, coming in at 7.5 inches long and 3.5 inches tall. Before I folded it, I thought there wasn’t going to be enough filling in the melt, but as you can see above, there is a good amount of ingredients in between the flatbread. However, maybe there’s too much filling because ingredients kept falling out of the melt as I tried to eat it.

The melt’s flavor was mostly dominated by the flatbread, which came out of the microwave with crispy edges and everywhere else nice and soft. The next flavor I could taste was the cilantro pesto, which gave the melt a weird citrus flavor that I wasn’t too much of a fan of. There were a lot of pieces of tender meat and bell peppers, but I don’t think they added much in terms of flavor, especially the peppers.

The California Pizza Kitchen Carne Asada Flatbread Melt wasn’t very ridonkulous and I’m not sure if I would buy it again. How sure I am is the same level of sureness I have in my use of the term “ridonkulous” properly in the previous sentence.

In other words, not very much.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 melt – 370 calories, 15 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 780 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 17 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C, 15% calcium and 6% iron.)

(Note: Greg at Freezer Burns reviewed the Chicken Santa Fe version.)

Item: California Pizza Kitchen Carne Asada Flatbread Melts
Price: $4.00 (on sale)
Size: 5.9 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Flatbread had crispy edges and soft innards. Decent size. Tender meat. Good amount of filling ingredients. Quick to heat up. My Keira Knightley shrine.
Cons: Cilantro pesto gave it a weird citrus flavor. I could mostly taste the flatbread. The meat and veggie didn’t provide much flavor. High in sodium. My use of terms I don’t know the meanings of so that I can look cool.

10 thoughts on “REVIEW: California Pizza Kitchen Carne Asada Flatbread Melts

  1. Hahah – “Believe me, I know flat when I see it, because I have a photo shrine in my closet dedicated to Keira Knightley.”

    I used to HATE cilantro myself but now I kind of enjoy it. I’ve even been growing some in my garden.

    I don’t know….the fact that you have to fold it yourself…..kind takes the fun out of it…it’s like see how they make the magic…I want it served on plate like in the restaurant…no folding for me 😛

  2. This looks pretty good to me, actually, but then I rarely eat this sort of stuff. After tuna corn pizza, you can have me with anything which is a step above it.

  3. I had one of these, but not the steak variety. I think it was chicken and bacon something-or-other.

    Despite their directions not to, I did a partial cook in the microwave and then finished it in the toaster oven. I also didn’t fold it over itself and instead cut it like I would a pizza.

    I think it was much better this way than it would have been had I followed the directions, but it was still subpar.

    the CPK frozen thin crust BBQ Chicken Pizza however is delicious.

  4. CPK does BBQ Chicken Pizza pretty well so I’d figure they would make a flatbread version of it it. Frozen food steak always comes out odd to me but chicken is usually pretty good. The comment you made that you “mostly tasted the flatbread” scares me off…and the 5/10 too.

  5. I haven’t seen one of these yet. I wonder if they offer anything similar in their restaurants. We have a CPK near where I live but I’ve only been there two or three times…kind of overpriced.

  6. I’ve only been to a CPK once and considering they have “pizza” right in their name I was pretty surprised by how shitty the pizza was. But this looks pretty good, and cilantro is one of my favorite flavours.

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