I love the experience of a fantastically fancy meal as much as I love finding a gem in some mom and pop restaurant. But, every now and then, I do hit up a chain. So, my favorite for today is my favorite chain restaurant: California Pizza Kitchen. Not only do they have quite a few vegan offerings, but they make this information really easy to find on their website. Just go to the menu area and click on the "Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Information" where you will find tons of info about what vegans and our vegetarian and gluten-intolerant brethren may eat. Try getting the same info from the Chili's or Olive Garden or Applebee's websites. Not happening - and personally, I don't want to have to email headquarters before I feel comfortable eating somewhere. At CPK, I love the Smashed Pea Soup and the Grilled Vegetable Salad (pictured). You can even go sans dressing on the latter because of the marinade on the veggies. However, the show-stopper for me is the Tuscan White Bean Hummus. Served with pita and a drizzle of olive oil on top, it is smooth and creamy in a way chick-peas could only wish for. Next time you are heading out for some convenient chain food, try CPK. A chain where everyone is welcome.
In other news, I'm off to a fabulous friend's wedding in Monterey, returning on Monday. Have a fantastic Labor Day Weekend everyone!