Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wolfgang Puck Express -- Convention Center

Lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express. What do I expect -- it's a food court? Well, I don't expect a waitress to come by and see how I liked it, or advice from a Sommelier. Nor, honestly, do I expect Spago-quality food.

But hey, it's Wolfgang Puck, and he calls it his "gourmet" express. He's supposed to be a great chef, and he says he's bringing great chefery to fast food. Great idea -- Americans are now a nation of foodies, so there has to be a market for fast-but-good. Alas, while Wolfgang Puck Express might be an improvement on the institutional cuisine served in prisons or poverty-stricken school districts, it didn't raise the bar for food court food.

I had a little single-serving pepperoni pizza and a Diet Coke. On the bright side, the Diet Coke was good. The Wolfgang Puck Gourmet express pepperoni pizza was worse than a California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza. Lots worse. Let's start with the crust. It's kind of a cliche to call it cardboard, but it's the only word that fits. Annoyingly thick for thin-crust pizza, it was neither crunchy nor chewy, nor did it have a texture one normally associates with "food." I can't even describe the texture of the crust -- slightly-soggy stale crackers, maybe. But it was vile.

Atop the crust lay a schmear of tomato sauce, which tasted like generic tomato sauce out of a can, with no seasoning, no spices, no herbs, nothing to give it any zest or flavor. The cheese and pepperoni were of similar ilk. Everybody's got to make a buck, and I do understand that cheap fast food is going to have some compromises. But I have to believe that Wolfgang Puck could produce a better product. Something slightly less disgusting, at least.

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