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#1 DLB

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 05:02 PM

I would've agreed with you in the 90s, but the food I've eaten at these places in the past year have been mediocre at best. The entrees we ordered at Carlyle last night fell betwee $18-25.00. I can't say they were worth the price.

And you and I both know that a long wait isn't a surefire indication of quality. Otherwise we'd all be touting the virtues of the Cheescake Factory.


What's wrong with the Cheescake Factory? I am not saying the quality is good, however many people enjoy the food there. Is is really fair to pick on chains? They do serve a purpose to some, and are not all that bad.

#2 Principia

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 05:09 PM

What's wrong with the Cheescake Factory? I am not saying the quality is good, however many people enjoy the food there. Is is really fair to pick on chains? They do serve a purpose to some, and are not all that bad.


In one of life's little ironic twists, I have to confess that I share the same opinion of the Cheesecake Factory as I do of California Pizza Kitchen: I'll eat much of what they offer, just not the items they purport to be their specialities.

Although I only eat there if a full shopping expedition is happening during the wait, the CF at Tysons Galleria has really good salads and other veggie selections. I'm still peeved that they discontinued the Frozen Hot Chocolate, though.
Maths:

Five people are in a restaurant, and the bill comes to £112.48. If two people had starters but no wine, one person has had wine but no dessert, one person is moaning that they had the vegetarian and that was cheaper, another person had no starter or dessert, but ordered an extra bottle of wine without asking anyone else, calculate the number of different Switch/Visa/Carbon/Delta cards you can hand the waiter before they kill you.

#3 ustreetguy

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 05:16 PM

What's wrong with the Cheescake Factory? I am not saying the quality is good, however many people enjoy the food there. Is is really fair to pick on chains? They do serve a purpose to some, and are not all that bad.


Merely stating an example of a place that has a long wait where the quality of the food isn't necessarily good (as you pointed out as well).
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#4 Cooter

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 06:48 PM

The one time that I went to Cheesecake Factory there were advertisements in the menu. I can't even comment on the food, or the wait time or anything else because I can't get past the fact that there are advertisements in the menu!!!!

#5 New Foodie

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 07:44 PM

I've only been there once (and I'm fairly proud of that fact) but it's not bad for what it is. A chain to "please" all tastes. If you have a picky crowd (especially of out of towners) take them there. Pasta, pizza, mexican, sandwiches, cajun, etc etc etc. For those that cannot make up their minds!

And their cheesecake is pretty tasty.

-Jenny

"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. ~Jim Davis, Garfield"


#6 hillvalley

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 07:59 PM

The "wait" is all part of the concept between Cheesecake. The longer you wait, the more anticipation there is. Back in undergrad we used to get the spinach and artichoke dip and roasted artichokes for movie night.

FWIW: The roasted artichokes aren't too bad. It gave me the inspiration to come up with my own version.
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#7 Waitman

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 11:14 PM

What's wrong with the Cheescake Factory? I am not saying the quality is good, however many people enjoy the food there. Is is really fair to pick on chains? They do serve a purpose to some, and are not all that bad.


It's always fair to pick on chains. They make America worse.

"Don't go braggin' about how cool and clean your kitchen is. 'Caus if your kitchen's so cool and clean, ain't nothin' cookin'!"

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#8 Meaghan

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 11:37 PM

Rambling (revisiting other decades): I loved Cheesecake Factory in middle school. That and Slade's at Montgomery Mall.
Somewhere in the middle I made friends with Cactus Cantina and Austin Grille. What else do they own again?
Later, I found Houston's and Cafe Deluxe.
After that Jaleo, but there was only one in those days.

I first read about Sweetwater Tavern on one of these sites, then in Sietsema's dining guide.
Businesses that cookie cut tasty food are what they are. I like them best when the company is equally predictable and comforting.

#9 hm212

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 12:22 AM

Cheesecake Factory -

I do like the cheesecake.

#10 Heather

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 04:40 AM

When it comes to chain restaurants I am a fairly tolerant person, but I will never set foot in Cheesecake Factory again. Stupidly long waits, and for what? We went once or twice with friends that liked it (before we had children) and that was enough. Now, my definition of hell is a 3-year-old and a 60 minute wait. I'd rather eat a Big Mac.

#11 johnb

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 10:13 AM

It's always fair to pick on chains. They make America worse.


I think this offhand comment justifies a considered response.

Picking on chains is always a popular pursuit on boards like this. And that's fine; after all, the big bad chain food industry (and let's be careful to focus on FORMULA chain restaurants, not groups like Great American or Jose Andres') really couldn't care less what we chowhounds/foodies say or think--we're like a fly that might occasionally buzz around an elephant. The elephant seldom is even aware the fly is there, and cares less.

But we compare the quality of formula chain food with that of our favorite few places, and conveniently ignore the fact that the food in most independent places, IMO at least, is somewhere between mediocre and just plain bad. On the whole, in my view the quality of independents is not a pretty picture. Formula places on the other hand, while they seldom rise to great heights (think In-n-Out?) at least turn out decent food on average, thus appealing to the average palate, though not us of course.

Warning: "Mathematical" digression--ignore if you're mathephobic: In probability terms, if you lay out a density function (bell curve) of quality, I am saying the curve for independent places would be wide with a mean at a fairly ordinary quality level. If you superimpose the quality function for formula places on that, it would be much more narrow but with a mean at, maybe, the 1 sigma or maybe 70% level of the independent curve. Sure there are independent places that are better, but also a lot of them that are considerably worse. The places we focus on are at the 2 sigma level at least.

What if formula chains had never developed? Would America be "better off?" I don't think so. The current average quality of non-chains is not so hot, and the ones that exist now are presumably being operated by the most-suited individuals. If independents had to pick up all the market slack currently covered by chains, the average quality of independents would surely be worse on average than it is now as even less-competent individuals come in. If nothing else, formula chains, through their formulas, help their staff people turn out a consistent product, which they wouldn't be able to do on their own.

It's a competitve, Darwinian, world out there and things evolve for a reason. Many people liked formula places better than the alternative they had, and they evolved. Nothing succeeds like success.

As to the health argument, I lay that one at the feet of the customers, not the industry. The industry will provide what the market wants, and like it or not what they want is salt, fat, and sugar. There have been attempts to develop healthy food formula chains and they haven't succeeded. And the choices at independent restaurants in general are typically just as fat and sugar laden anyway.

Just MHO.

I'm getting hungry for some Bojangles chicken.

#12 Meaghan

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Posted 22 July 2006 - 06:15 PM

It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting...

#13 Stretch

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 08:30 AM

Insert H.L. Mencken quote here.

Insert P.T. Barnum misquote here.

Message ends.
Andrew Clark.

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#14 danfishe

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 12:39 PM

Nor am I, just stating a personal observation. I find the options steps from my front door dizzying and that is a fantastic thing. I appreciate and thank all of you for bringing the new places in and making the neighborhood that much better. Bethesda can go pound sand! Perhaps we can all join forces and get rid of "the place that shall not be named" with the gold dome down the street. Think of all the square footage you guys could play with there!

Plan to meet friends at Spider's this evening and very much looking forward to it. Question - is it non-smoking?


Though I share your dislike of CF, I might hazard a guess that it does the rest of the neighborhood (non-restaurant) retail a service by bringing in a lot of foot traffic, especially on weekends.

#15 legant

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 02:44 PM

On July 30th, 2008, The Cheesecake Factory will celebrate it's 30th anniversary by featuring all cheesecakes at $1.50 per slice.

#16 JLK

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 07:43 PM

Pro athletes LOVE CK. (I do not, but they get to pick the restaurant more often than not)

Flowchart madness

Jennifer


#17 Bob Wells

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 09:36 AM

On July 30th, 2008, The Cheesecake Factory will celebrate it's 30th anniversary by featuring all cheesecakes at $1.50 per slice.

How many thousands of people are going to wait in line for two or more hours for a piece of cheesecake? The mind boggles. Since few if any will just order cheesecake, the "loss" CF suffers on the cheap cheesecake will be more than made back on the other stuff.

My personal view of CF is that the food is perfectly adequate, but in no way worth the wait. At my local mall (Fair Oaks), you can get similar food with far less wait at Champps.

"Consider the source" -- Jim Bouton, Ball Four.

 

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#18 zoramargolis

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 11:44 AM

Pro athletes LOVE CK. (I do not, but they get to pick the restaurant more often than not)


"Nowadays, if ever someone tells me that they bumped into an NBA player out in public, I like to stop them mid-sentence and guess: "Was it at the Cheesecake Factory?" "

In 1991-4, when we were living in Inglewood, CA, near The Forum, which was at that time the home court of the L.A. Lakers, we used to regularly see Magic Johnson eating at a local soul food place called M&M Quick Snack. From its name, you'd think it was a carry-out stand, but it was a full-service restaurant with a big menu, and reasonably good, simple food. One time, we were leaving just as Magic was coming in. He was very friendly, and very tall.

#19 porcupine

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:01 PM

Weird restaurant karma the past week culminated in a trip to Cheesecake Factory. Birthday Girl wanted to go to Dino, but there were complications and the group couldn't make it work, so Birthday Girl chose Amina Thai instead, and the group was happy, because Amina Thai is a nice restaurant if unremarkable, and satisfies my foodie sensibilities without challenging my non-foodie friends. But then Complications Girl mentions the gift certificate she had gotten for CF and how we could head over there next for dessert (which was really considerate of her, really), and I had to keep my mouth shut and mourn the loss of a Mango with Sticky Rice, because Birthday Girl thought it (CF) a wonderful idea, because CF has some sort of monster many-layered chocolate cake concoction that she loves. And that's how I found myself standing inside White Flint Mall hoping nobody recognized me at 8:00 on a Tuesday night, because there was a wait. Is there never a wait at this place?! Every time I walk by one - anywhere - it's mobbed. (And Amina Thai was almost empty. :blink: )

MrP got a basic cheesecake with cherry sauce (inoffensive) and others got chocolate cake and whatnot. I asked about the ice cream flavors (chocolate, coffee, and vanilla), then had the brilliant idea of asking for a milkshake, which was about the only item known to late 20th century popular American cuisine not specifically mentioned on the menu, and the nice (flairless) waiter said, sure, we make milkshakes, so I asked for a coffee and chocolate one, because how hard can it be to mess up a milkshake?

:D

The resulting drink was watery, topped with way too much thin whipped-cream like substance, and utterly lacking in chocolate. I spent the rest of the night running my tongue around the inside of my mouth, because my mouth felt like I'd been licking low density polyethylene for three days straight or something.

Yuck.

Elizabeth Miller
fast cars, slow food

http://elizaberryblog.wordpress.com/


#20 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:43 PM

Pro athletes LOVE CK. (I do not, but they get to pick the restaurant more often than not)

Flowchart madness


Thankfully, I've never set foot in the place. But as a Yankee fan, I remember reading somewhere that Derek Jeter considers CF his favorite restaurant.

Derek Jeter makes about $30 million a year, all told. He dates supermodels. Not just any supermodels, but like Miss Brazil or Jessica Biel. He can afford to close down Le Bernardin or French Laundry for a night, every night. And he likes Cheesecake Factory?

That would be like Anthony Bourdain eating tuna out of the can every night.

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No, I eat my fingers separately.


#21 Al Dente

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:57 PM

Thankfully, I've never set foot in the place. But as a Yankee fan, I remember reading somewhere that Derek Jeter considers CF his favorite restaurant.

Derek Jeter makes about $30 million a year, all told. He dates supermodels. Not just any supermodels, but like Miss Brazil or Jessica Biel. He can afford to close down Le Bernardin or French Laundry for a night, every night. And he likes Cheesecake Factory?

That would be like Anthony Bourdain eating tuna out of the can every night.


didn't he also bang the cheesecake factory of the music world-- madonna?

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#22 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:28 PM

didn't he also bang the cheesecake factory of the music world-- madonna?


That was Alex Rodriguez, who, among Yankee aficionados, is known as the anti-Jeter.

Do you eat chicken with your fingers?
No, I eat my fingers separately.


#23 JLK

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 08:11 PM

Thankfully, I've never set foot in the place. But as a Yankee fan, I remember reading somewhere that Derek Jeter considers CF his favorite restaurant.

Derek Jeter makes about $30 million a year, all told. He dates supermodels. Not just any supermodels, but like Miss Brazil or Jessica Biel. He can afford to close down Le Bernardin or French Laundry for a night, every night. And he likes Cheesecake Factory?

That would be like Anthony Bourdain eating tuna out of the can every night.


If you surveyed every athlete in the four major professional sports, I suspect you'd have at least 20% say that CF is their favorite restaurant. At least. Another 5-10% would say The Olive Garden and a similar quantity would proffer P.F. Chang's (for me, that's the least offensive of the bunch - I get dumplings and short ribs with pineapple and brown rice. Every time.). A smattering would name a fast food restaurant such as McDonald's, Popeye's or Chipotle.

You'd find correlations between age and these choices too. Some open their minds to new things over time, some don't. But you can pretty much guess that you'd get 40 rookies in a room and hear 5 non-chain favorites in the bunch max.

Jennifer


#24 mdt

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 06:46 AM

Thankfully, I've never set foot in the place. But as a Yankee fan, I remember reading somewhere that Derek Jeter considers CF his favorite restaurant.

Derek Jeter makes about $30 million a year, all told. He dates supermodels. Not just any supermodels, but like Miss Brazil or Jessica Biel. He can afford to close down Le Bernardin or French Laundry for a night, every night. And he likes Cheesecake Factory?


Just because folks have money does not mean that they have good taste.

#25 Al Dente

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 06:54 AM

Just because folks have money does not mean that they have good taste.


And then there's the sad reality of having good taste and little money. Posted Image

Michael Ollinger

 

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Seafood! The Mercedes of food!


#26 FunnyJohn

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 07:35 AM

If not for establishments like the CF and other corporate monuments to gatronomic mediocrity how would we appreciate all the great dining opportunities that we are fortunate to enjoy around the DC Metro area. Everytime I pass by the Clarendon CF, taking note of its many patrons enjoying themselves inside, or even sometime lining up waiting for a seat, I just shake my head and smile, and thank my lucky stars for places like Liberty, Eventide, the 11th Street Bar (when Antonio was there) etc., etc.

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#27 slarochelle

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:29 AM

If I were away from home for half the year, a different city every week, I'd probably gravitate towards those places as well. They are everywhere you are, and consistent. Plus, the portion sizes at Cheesecake a just right for professional athletes :D

Now, if I knew I was to be in city X three times in the next five months (and hopefully next 10 years), and had some free time scheduled, I'd look for something interesting - at all dining levels. Someone not into food of course would not do that, and would be happy with the plane-bus-hotel-arena-entertainment establishment-hotel-bus-plane schedule, with a meal thrown in somewhere.

#28 Waitman

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 09:02 AM

If I were away from home for half the year, a different city every week, I'd probably gravitate towards those places as well. They are everywhere you are, and consistent. Plus, the portion sizes at Cheesecake a just right for professional athletes Posted Image

Now, if I knew I was to be in city X three times in the next five months (and hopefully next 10 years), and had some free time scheduled, I'd look for something interesting - at all dining levels. Someone not into food of course would not do that, and would be happy with the plane-bus-hotel-arena-entertainment establishment-hotel-bus-plane schedule, with a meal thrown in somewhere.


I spent a year as an Advance Guy and in that job you tend to find yourself in places like Kalamazoo and Modesto and Council Bluffs a lot and there are plenty of times a Cheesecake Factory would have been an improvement over the local offerings (I guess; I've never eaten at one). On the other hand, pro athletes tend to hit the same circuit many times over the course of a year, and they're all reasonably-sized cities that would seem to offer alternatives to chains. Edmonton and Calgary excepted. Posted Image They have little excuse.

I suspect the reason they go there is that 90% of them came from poor or middle-class backgrounds, or more (culinarily) conservative towns and regions, and they're not familiar or comfortable with "weird" food. If your dad was an insurance claims adjuster and your mom was a legal secretary and you grew up in Westen Pennsylvania, it's not like you grew up sitting around Saturday nights saying, "hmmmm Vietnamese, Sushi or something with a little foam on it tonight?" You went to the steakhouse, the Italian place or some chain over by the interstate.

Hell, what percentage of the people eating at CF in Bethesda on an average night could have afforded to eat at a real restaurant, but prefer the safety and security of CF?

As an aside, I once heard Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff (for Cowboys fans and other deviants, two serious redneck ex-Redskins who do color commentary on radio broadcasts) drawling on and on about how dinner at Bouley was the greatest meal of their lives. And it was rumored at one time that Sonny was a serious customer at Arrow Wines. So, give these kids a little time.

"Don't go braggin' about how cool and clean your kitchen is. 'Caus if your kitchen's so cool and clean, ain't nothin' cookin'!"

-- Jesse Jackson


#29 Bob Wells

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 09:09 AM

Thankfully, I've never set foot in the place. But as a Yankee fan, I remember reading somewhere that Derek Jeter considers CF his favorite restaurant.

Derek Jeter makes about $30 million a year, all told. He dates supermodels. Not just any supermodels, but like Miss Brazil or Jessica Biel. He can afford to close down Le Bernardin or French Laundry for a night, every night. And he likes Cheesecake Factory?

That would be like Anthony Bourdain eating tuna out of the can every night.


Derek Jeter has being hanging around and eating with ballplayers since he was probably 5 years old. Ballplayers like their food tasty, relatively simple, and in huge quantities. He could afford to BUY those restaurants, but eating there? Not unless his girlfriend drags him. He'd get his chops busted by his team mates if he suggested going to such a place.

"Consider the source" -- Jim Bouton, Ball Four.

 

Bob Wells as of September 23, 2014; Twinsdaddy forever.


#30 Anna Blume

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 09:16 AM

When growing up w an allergy to wheat, cheesecake was the best possible dessert ever, the culmination of a birthday visit to Chuck's Steakhouse. Since it was decided my dairy allergy was officially outgrown, there was even a bit of Forbidden Fruit about it, especially were I to sneak bites of the crust.

Still remember that first visit to Cheesecake Factory with fondness since trips to restaurants when your mom's a poor, starving grad student were rare. The wonder of discovering you could get chocolate swirled into it...

FTR, choices for dining in Kalamazoo are much, much better these days than they were even back in the late 80's. Better to dine around town than in the university cafeteria during conferences, though I don't recommend ordering seafood.

#31 Rieux

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 11:05 AM

I am not a fan of chains AT ALL. But, I must say, the chinese chicken salad at the Cheesecake Factory must be laced with crack, because I crave it. It's the ONLY thing I'd eat there, but man, it's good.

Funny story. When my very frugal WASPY Massachusetts 90 year old grandmother was living in DC, her retirement home had an excursion to "the Cheesecake Factory." She signed up.

When she got back she called me and said "Well, that was strange. It wasn't a factory at all! It was just some awful chain restaurant full of people gorging themselves. I couldn't even get a good gin and tonic. I ordered some ghastly appetizer that was enough for four meals. Why do they call it a factory if there is no factory tour?" :D

#32 Poivrot Farci

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:45 AM

Ruhlman’s humble pie ratio.

#33 B.A.R.

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:22 PM

The Winter Salad* of baby kale and frisee is actually quite good, and the portion, for $5, makes this a really good deal. The Thai lettuce wrap appetizer could feed two people easily, and if you forgo the trio of treacly dipping sauces, you can have a well seasoned, fresh, and healthy dinner for $12.

I feel dirty I even wrote this.

*ETA- Baby kale, baby frisee, diced haricot verts, marcona almonds, dried cranberries, diced granny smith apples

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#34 genericeric

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

On the one hand I applaud the CF for trying to add at least a few menu items to their menu that won't cost you 3 days worth of calories, but on the other hand, I find it somewhat embarrassing as a grown man to order an item by the 'Skinnylicious' moniker. When there are two versions of the same item on the menu, its difficult to get around using this identifier when ordering.

Or maybe I just need to get over myself... or eat somewhere better.

#35 jiveturk21

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:09 PM

I feel dirty I even wrote this.


As a pretty active member of this board and someone that likes to think that I have a good palate, I understand this sentiment. At the same time, I have gotten over beating myself up every time that I don't eat at a locally owned non-chain that sources its food from some family farm down the road. There is room in the culinary world for a place like Cheesecake Factory, I have been to many places much worse.

#36 Pat

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:58 PM

On the one hand I applaud the CF for trying to add at least a few menu items to their menu that won't cost you 3 days worth of calories, but on the other hand, I find it somewhat embarrassing as a grown man to order an item by the 'Skinnylicious' moniker. When there are two versions of the same item on the menu, its difficult to get around using this identifier when ordering.

Or maybe I just need to get over myself... or eat somewhere better.


I hate those stupid kind of cutesy names. At a Denny's in Texas with a large group about a decade ago, I was surprised? amused? that people actually ordered food by the ridiculous names they have on the menu. I think I may have just gotten coffee, but I can't recall.
Maybe I need to get over myself too, but if I'm in a CF* and want the lower calorie option, I'm pretty sure I'd follow my request by saying "the skinny one." <_<

*The only one I've ever been in (and I don't remember seeing that many) was at Chevy Chase Pavilion, in the vast space that I'm to understand has been taken over by Range.

#37 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:40 PM

Maybe I need to get over myself too, but if I'm in a CF* and want the lower calorie option, I'm pretty sure I'd follow my request by saying "the skinny one." <_<

*The only one I've ever been in (and I don't remember seeing that many) was at Chevy Chase Pavilion, in the vast space that I'm to understand has been taken over by Range.


I think the Range is in a different part of the mall. The CF seems to be alive and kicking there.

#38 B.A.R.

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:44 PM

I have gotten over beating myself up every time that I don't eat at a locally owned non-chain that sources its food from some family farm down the road.


As someone who once spent $35 on a free range chicken, I don't give a shit. I have no problem saying that the food I ate at CF last night was really good, dirt cheap, and an excellent value. The cucumber that was one of the 6 garnishes for the Thai app was sliced on a mandolin and lightly (dare I say expertly?) marinated in Mirin with toasted sesame seeds.

Just to keep it real, their beverage program is a shitshow.

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#39 TheMatt

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:57 PM

I actually don't mind some CF dishes. Sometimes when I'm on travel, it's the best option of what's around some convention center. And I for one am glad for the new skinny menu.

But, I will also say that some of their other dishes are just plain obscene. I checked out the latest "Eat This, Not That" from the library last week and it's amusing how many CF dishes are in the "worst offenders" list. And even their alternatives aren't that low-cal, just not as bad.

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#40 B.A.R.

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:14 PM

and it's amusing how many CF dishes are in the "worst offenders" list. And even their alternatives aren't that low-cal, just not as bad.


I imagine some of this is due to portion size. I ordered two appetizers last night and could not finish my meal. I can pretty much eat four courses and finish all of my wife's courses at most restaurants.*

*note to self, getting very doughy

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I'm in the business but content here solely my own and is not associated with my employer at all.

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#41 TheMatt

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:25 PM

I imagine some of this is due to portion size. I ordered two appetizers last night and could not finish my meal. I can pretty much eat four courses and finish all of my wife's courses at most restaurants.*

*note to self, getting very doughy


Oh yes, the portion size at CF is waaay too big, bordering on what I call "big a#$ Italian" size (aka Maggiano's, Buca...). And, of course, those skinny dishes' calorie counts don't include the bread. Nothing kills my calorie counting like a basket of bread and some olive oil (I'm look at you, Dean!).

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#42 Pat

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:50 PM

I think the Range is in a different part of the mall. The CF seems to be alive and kicking there.


Ah. Okay, thanks for clarifying.

#43 DonRocks

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:41 AM

Thankfully, I've never set foot in the place. But as a Yankee fan, I remember reading somewhere that Derek Jeter considers CF his favorite restaurant.

Derek Jeter makes about $30 million a year, all told. He dates supermodels. Not just any supermodels, but like Miss Brazil or Jessica Biel. He can afford to close down Le Bernardin or French Laundry for a night, every night. And he likes Cheesecake Factory?

That would be like Anthony Bourdain eating tuna out of the can every night.

Just because folks have money does not mean that they have good taste.

And then there's the sad reality of having good taste and little money. Posted Image


I just read this very interesting discussion of pro athletes (NBA players in particular) spending a disproportionate amount of time at Cheesecake Factories.

As people noted, they serve huge quantities of food (and these are *big* guys), emphasize the primal flavors of salt, sweet, and fat (and these are *big*, *hungry* guys), and are also located downtown in most big cities, often not far away from the major hotels or even the stadiums.

Acquiring a palate for dining well (I won't say "fine dining") requires several things, money only being one of them. It also requires an enormous amount of thinking, dedication, and experimentation, and these big, hungry guys do almost none of these things. They're too busy hitting the gym, and honing their basketball skills to be worried about becoming gourmet diners, and I don't blame them.

One thing that I'm surprised nobody has brought up, however, is the possibility that the teams are paid - handsomely - to show up at these restaurants with a busload of star NBA players. And you know what else? Something tells me they probably don't have to suffer through the two-hour waits that the rest of people do.

I doubt they can all sit their during dinner and get hammered, so this is hardly "a night on the town." It's probably a paid substitute for hotel room service or banquet food, though Jennifer would surely know more about this than anyone.

When in doubt, think "money," and you're probably close to being on the right track.

Something also tells me they don't sit there and read Dostoevsky during dinner. I remember once someone asked Darrell Dawkins what he liked most about moving to Philadelphia. His response? "The Flintstones starts an hour earlier."

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#44 Heather

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:17 AM

It's funny that this should come up. Holiday shopping after work with the kids in tow is generally not a good idea, as it puts you in a mall at dinner time. The kids vetoed driving anywhere else, so I let them choose where to eat and they picked Cheesecake Factory. There was no wait, surprisingly. I won't detail what we ate, because it wasn't very interesting, but would note that everything was very salty, so much so that no one ate much. Also, you would think that with a menu the length of the King James Bible that they could put together a children's option that is something other than the same cheeseburger/chicken tenders/french fries bullshit that one sees everywhere else, but alas, they cannot. Ordering from the adult menu there for your child is especially ridiculous given the mammoth portion sizes.

Lesson learned, and they won't ask to go back. It was full when we left, though, with a line forming at the host counter. I totally understand the popularity. The cost to perceived value here is tremendous. Almost every I saw leaving was carrying at least another meal in leftovers, nothing whatsoever is threatening about the food, and the featured dessert is something that most people won't make at home. The overwhelming majority of people I know aren't "foodies" and they are all educated professionals. It's perfectly possible to be a Dostoevsky-reader ;) ,or a rocket scientist, or a brain surgeon, and patronize The Cheesecake Factory. Intellectuals don't necessarily care about food. Sometimes value and convenience are enough.

#45 B.A.R.

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:02 AM

Also, you would think that with a menu the length of the King James Bible that they could put together a children's option that is something other than the same cheeseburger/chicken tenders/french fries bullshit that one sees everywhere else, but alas, they cannot. Ordering from the adult menu there for your child is especially ridiculous given the mammoth portion sizes.


My kids split one order of the Chicken Samosa Appetizer (not a samosa at all actually) and had some of my kale salad. We did not run into any salt issues, but the dressings and dipping sauces were too sweet. I can honestly say that I have had much worse meals at dozens of restaurants this year - none of those being chain, food factories.

As for the menu, I never looked past the appetizer section.

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Sometimes, I try to disassociate myself from my own opinions.





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