Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late: World Wrapps
Way, way back in the mid-1990s, I set myself a goal to eat my way through the “specialty wraps” section of World Wrapps in downtown Palo Alto.
Alas, I was probably within a couple of orders of accomplishing that when the fast-casual cafe shuttered.
In early 2020 just before the pandemic hit, two of the original founders revived the brand with a location in San Francisco. It not only managed to survive the tumult of the past two years, but has expanded to five other Bay Area cities. A couple weeks ago, its newest debuted at The Pruneyard in Campbell, where I was invited in as a guest to try the menu.
Of course, my original plan was to dine outside there. But when a crazy heatwave sent temperatures soaring to 102 degrees, I decided to take the food to-go to eat at home with the A/C on. Can you blame me?
When co-founders Matthew Blair and Keith Cox (the latter also co-founded Pacific Catch) originally founded World Wrapps, it pioneered enfolding innovative, globally-inspired fillings of fresh ingredients inside a rainbow of burrito-sized tortillas.
You can still find wraps prominently on the menu, but now they’re also fashioned from nori and rice paper, as well as tortillas. If wraps aren’t your jam, you can opt to reconfigure your order into a rice bowl or salad bowl, too. There are gluten-free options, as well as Beyond Meat items.
The Furikake Salmon Bowl ($13.95) is a plentiful mix of avocado, cucumbers, marinated bean sprouts, pickled carrots, and pickled onions, all atop a bed of sushi rice. The moist, roasted salmon fillet gets dusted with furikake and squiggles of garlic aioli. It’s vibrant, with a range of textures and tastes. For me, it’s an ideal lunch, and nearly sizeable enough for leftovers the next day, too.
The Bulgogi Beef Nori Roll ($12.95) is indeed the size of a burrito, but held together with a sheet of toasted seaweed instead. Stuffed inside are thinly-sliced marinated steak, sushi rice, egg omelet, cucumber, scallions, and pickled carrots. Garlic aioli and gochujang sauce get squirted inside. It’s a tasty roll, even if the characteristic fiery, funky notes of true Korean cuisine have been largely tampered down.
The Argentinian Chimichurri Wrap ($12.95) has loads of flavor, thanks to the zippy lime and cilantro in the chimichurri sauce that dresses the sliced steak, mix of brown rice and quinoa, pickled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, , and crisp shallots. It’s all snuggled inside a house supergreen flatbread that is like a thick, green tortilla.
The original World Wrapps was known for its menu of thick, creamy smoothies. They’ve been replaced by simpler sips such as strawberry lemonade and Thai coconut iced tea. My husband was drawn to the mesmerizing purple-hued Dragon Fruit drink ($4.75), despite my warning that the times I’d ever eaten that fruit fresh I found it tasteless. As expected, the drink, itself, was pretty but fairly bland.
Far better was the Pineapple Mint Aqua Fresca ($4.75), a refreshing drink with diced pineapple and fresh mint leaves floating in it. It had a lovely tropical taste that made me long to be in Hawaii again.
Pro Tip: While the menu at World Wrapps has much changed, long-standing fans will be glad to know that one of the original items still remains — the Thai chicken, which can be enjoyed in a flatbread wrap or in a bowl.