But...combining them? Now there's an interesting concept that I haven't had before. Is it really a surprise that once I saw this on the fresh pizza shelf, I thought, "Sandy and I have to have this?" Nah, not at all, especially given our previous tasty experience with one of TJ's fresh flatbread pizzas (which mercifully came back in stock after being absent for months, I thought it was a goner) balanced with our general ambivalence towards the TJ freezer pizza line. For only $3.99 (which is less than the $4.28 we paid for a cheese pizza on clearance the previous night at Target*), it's worth the shot. Oh, the things I do for this blog...
Tell ya what: Trader Joe's Thai Style Chicken Flatbread Pizza works, and works well. The pizza portion bakes in the oven for only about 5 or 6 minutes (I might have baked our more like 7 or 8) right on the oven rack. That stuff in the cup and baggie you see in the pic? That's basically like a fresh slaw of cabbage, carrots and red bell pepper bits that you mix in a bowl with some peanut sauce and spread atop the pizza once baked. All the veggies are firm and crunchy, and the peanut sauce is more or less a basic pad thai sauce, which means I like it. The flatbread is a little thick and flaky, but definitely good, and its covered with a plum sauce that from the little I could taste of it seemed good. It has all these other things like soy sauce and vinegar and five spice in it, and it's really not spicy at all. There's a little too little of the chicken, naturally, but that too is good, and it's topped off with provolone and mozzarella cheese - hmm, that might be the most Italian part of the whole pie.
That leads me to this, so follow me here. The directions on the back of this say that after you bake the pizza and spread the slaw, you should cut the pizza in half then "fold each half taco-style." So what this is telling me is, as an American, I should prepare this Thai/Italian fusion product and enjoy like a Mexican food. Interesting, and very fully culturally inclusive of them. I have no doubt that this would be enjoyed without folding it in half, but if that's what they recommend, can it really be called pizza? Not that you can't fold a pizza slice in half, but the outcome of this is more like a baked sandwich (closest thing I could think of is a baked panini). Of course, if it's marketed under "pizza looking thing that really you fold into a sandwich," well, that just might confuse everybody. Maybe it's better to call it a "pizza" that you eat like a "taco," which invariably brings this to mind. Believe me, I've thought about this way too much in the 24 hours or so that it's been between my eating of this product and the writing of this review. It felt good to let that all out.
Anyhoose, both the wifey and I enjoyed our respective nibbles, which with some chips and salsa made a more-than-adequate late Saturday lunch. The flatbread on my half folded over quite nicely, whereas hers busted in half which led to a collateral slaw pile on her plate. I mistook that for her not liking the slaw - she's veggie-sensitive at times - but nah, she said she liked it just fine. In fact, a little less slaw might be preferable for some, as I kept all mine on and it seemed to be the predominant taste. Not that's it bad, but I couldn't get as accurate a gauge on the rest of the Thaitalian taco as I would've liked. As a whole, it seems to edge more towards the fresh and savory side of Thai-ish cuisine instead of spicy, which is okay and a change-up for me, at least. Sandy's on board with a good solid four for the chicken pizza, and I concur.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Thai Style Chicken Flatbread Pizza: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons
*Clearance freezer pizza? Interesting concept. It was a Newman's Own, which for late night after a long Friday during Lent, worked just fine.