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Old 02-02-2020, 01:39 AM
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The Cheesecake Factory


The wife and I finally went to a Cheesecake Factory, our first ever. The one here in Waikiki. Not far, we walked home, but is place we always meant to try but never got around to. It was pretty good. The first thing we thought of was the Waikiki location looks a helluva lot fancier than the one Penny worked at in The Big Bang Theory. That one looked pretty dull. This one is huge and packed full of tourists all chattering on about how happy they are to be in Hawaii, so it was a pretty happy vibe. We kept quiet about being locals. As chance would have it, we both were craving a hamburger, so I had the Bacon Bacon Cheeseburger, the wife some sort of barbeque burger, both excellent. Then the cheesecake. We were surprised about how huge it was. Most restaurants will give you a sliver for the same price that we had a monstrous portion. Thinking it would be small, we ordered two slices -- some sort of Reese's Peanut Butter concoction and a Mango Key Lime Cheesecake. Huge, especially the Reese's. Had to take them home, couldn't finish them.

All in all, we were favorably impressed and will return, possibly for their weekend brunch.
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Old 02-02-2020, 02:23 AM
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They are a decent chain. Better than Friday's, for example. Best to stick with the burgers or pasta. Nearest one to me is in Sherman Oaks, CA. Just a few miles. HUGE! Much different than poor Penny's location. It's just below the Arclight Theater two levels up, so I like to go to movies early for vodka and the Key Lime Cheesecake you mentioned.

I've been to one in Pasadena too, and it's much bigger and more factory-ornate than in the show.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:30 AM
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I was all prepared to say that we don't have them in Michigan, but I decided to double check, and it turns out there is one in Michigan, and not far. It looks like it's attached to a mall, so the chances are good that I'll never eat there.

I remember seeing one in Phoenix or a suburb back in '04 or so, whenever I drove up from Hermosillo. It was in some type of "fashion mall" that I never bothered to stop at, either.

I just took a look at their website. I'm not really sure what they're trying to be, so if I ever find a freestanding one, I have no idea whether or not I should go inside. Their menu seems to be all over the place, and I worry that it's just frozen stuff microwaved.

If I'm ever a tourist someplace with one, you can bet I'll be looking for local favorites, though.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:43 AM
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There is one in ‘Tosa. We don’t care for it. The food is good though overrated.

What we don’t like is the architecture. The dining area is open air. There is no sound buffering at all. Even when there aren’t many patrons it’s loud as hell in there. You can hardly hear yourself think. It really subtracts from the dining experience.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:50 AM
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The food is pretty decent and the portions are huge. Slightly upscale. Nothing groundbreaking. Enough variety that everyone will probably find something acceptable. Good desserts. The downtown one here often has pro sports athletes eating there, presumably because the portions are huge and the food is pretty decent and they're open late.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:03 AM
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I always plan on taking leftovers home. Their servings are ridiculously huge.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:11 AM
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It's been nigh ten years since I've been in a Cheesecake Factory, but I remember it as being pretty decent food for the niche. Like somebody said above, better than TGIF or Chili's or Applebee's. I wouldn't say they're over-rated, at least not here, because they're not really seen as something particularly special, so they're not particularly rated. If anything, I'd say they're slightly underrated because their food is a bit better than I would expect from that type of chain.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:22 AM
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‘Tosa’???
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:35 PM
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Of the other places mentioned here, I'm not sure I've ever eaten in a TGI Fridays. There is an Applebee's here, at least one, and when we tried it the one time, we found it decent, but it's all the way out in Pearl City, so not someplace we'd go often.

But Chili's -- man alive, it doesn't take much to be better than Chili's. Ate there once. Ordered a burger and thought they brought me an empty plate. Then I shifted the paper napkin and spotted it underneath. Small portions, big prices. Never again.
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Last edited by Siam Sam; 02-02-2020 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:54 PM
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Every Applebee's I have had the misfortune to dine in labored from the misconception that french fries need to be peppered to death, or at least ineatability.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:01 PM
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‘Tosa’???
My guess is that would be "Wauwa-"
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
‘Tosa’???
My guess is that would be "Wauwa-"
Can we stop assuming that everyone understands whatever stupid local abbreviation is obvious to you?
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:38 PM
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To be fair, "tosa" and "Wauwatosa" convey about the same amount of information to to most of us, I would imagine. Which is to say, not much. But in either case, looking at the poster's location data, it is logical to assume that "tosa" is a town in Wisconsin.

As for me, I'm sufficiently incurious about nailing down the precise location that I don't really care if pkbites wants to use a local nickname.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:49 PM
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Oh, I don't care either. But if you want to pretend that we're having a conversation, it helps if you don't leave others lost.

BTW, I've never been to The Cheesecake Factory but I remember reading, perhaps in previous threads, that they deliberately made people wait to be seated, even if tables are available. Do they still do that?
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:52 PM
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Oh, I don't care either. But if you want to pretend that we're having a conversation, it helps if you don't leave others lost.

BTW, I've never been to The Cheesecake Factory but I remember reading, perhaps in previous threads, that they deliberately made people wait to be seated, even if tables are available. Do they still do that?
Not in my experience this year and last year, or my daughter's who was a waitress there 2 years ago. This is in Seattle/Bellevue. Your city may vary...
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:45 PM
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I can walk over to Junior’s Cheesecake on Flatbush Avenue if I want, so I’ve never been tempted to go anywhere else for cheesecake.

Only had a meal there once though, when Little Banjo was eight or so. Stole the glass the egg cream came in, because it was marked with the recipe ingredients and levels to pour the Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup, the milk, and the seltzer.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:45 PM
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But Chili's -- man alive, it doesn't take much to be better than Chili's. Ate there once. Ordered a burger and thought they brought me an empty plate. Then I shifted the paper napkin and spotted it underneath. Small portions, big prices. Never again.
Such a travesty! Chili's used to be really good before they went corporate.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:48 PM
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One thing I hate about them is that it is corporate policy to make you wait even if they dont need you to do so. They think it makes the place look more in demand.

I wont patronize them for this reason.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:58 PM
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Of the other places mentioned here, I'm not sure I've ever eaten in a TGI Fridays. There is an Applebee's here, at least one, and when we tried it the one time, we found it decent, but it's all the way out in Pearl City, so not someplace we'd go often.

But Chili's -- man alive, it doesn't take much to be better than Chili's. Ate there once. Ordered a burger and thought they brought me an empty plate. Then I shifted the paper napkin and spotted it underneath. Small portions, big prices. Never again.
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Such a travesty! Chili's used to be really good before they went corporate.
Oddly, in our little TX town, Chili's is one of the better choices. Pretty consistent food, service, but it's loud.

I prefer our Applebee's for food/menu but the kitchen is inconsistent in speed (the old hand wait-staff are consistently good) and the owner doesn't seem to care about basic maintenance such as making sure the AC can keep up in the summer time.

As far as the Cheesecake Factory, we have to drive 1+ hours to get there. The last time we happen to be there, the food seem to be a cut above. But, it also seemed over priced.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:00 PM
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BTW, I've never been to The Cheesecake Factory but I remember reading, perhaps in previous threads, that they deliberately made people wait to be seated, even if tables are available. Do they still do that?
Just so you know, you're not going crazy. I know I've read this about some chain -- it may very well be complete bullshit -- but I swear I have read this as well. I thought maybe Cracker Barrel or something like that, but that doesn't make sense, as it's not trying to be semi-upscale. They have the whole gift shop you walk through, so no need.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:02 PM
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One thing I hate about them is that it is corporate policy to make you wait even if they dont need you to do so. They think it makes the place look more in demand.

I wont patronize them for this reason.
Ah. Can we have a cite for this? I was trying to tell my wife about it, but my Googling is failing me.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:15 PM
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Ah. Can we have a cite for this? I was trying to tell my wife about it, but my Googling is failing me.
I am sorry. I read a interview with the CEO in a restaurant Trade magazine some time ago.

However, many people have confirmed that they are never immediately seated.

Here are some reviews:


https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...hu_Hawaii.html

This may work:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-c...enon_b_7530114
There’s something funny about The Cheesecake Factory.

It seems no matter what time you go and no matter which location you visit, there’s a wait to get in...There’s something funny about The Cheesecake Factory.

It seems no matter what time you go and no matter which location you visit, there’s a wait to get in.


So, the wait is real, and is well known. The why is not.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:20 AM
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Can we stop assuming that everyone understands whatever stupid local abbreviation is obvious to you?
Sowwy. Everyone here uses Tosa for Wauwatosa so much it's almost official. Even newscasters use the term.

The where-abouts of the Cheesecake Factory I've had grub & barley pops at is in Wauwatosa, WI near the stop 'n go lights by the Mayfair Mall. For cripes sake, you can betcha I didn't mean to get myself in a trick bag with a couple two-three of youse in the cheeseless 49 by using a local colloquialism.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:33 AM
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I am sorry. I read a interview with the CEO in a restaurant Trade magazine some time ago.



However, many people have confirmed that they are never immediately seated.



Here are some reviews:





https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...hu_Hawaii.html



This may work:



https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-c...enon_b_7530114

There’s something funny about The Cheesecake Factory.



It seems no matter what time you go and no matter which location you visit, there’s a wait to get in...There’s something funny about The Cheesecake Factory.



It seems no matter what time you go and no matter which location you visit, there’s a wait to get in.




So, the wait is real, and is well known. The why is not.
Again, as in my previous post #15 which apparently is invisible, I have NEVER had to wait when tables were available, in the year and a half I've gone there (one of my friend groups meets there regularly). And in the 2 years my daughter was a waitress there, prior to my going there, she confirms there was no policy to make people wait. Likely the one you read about was short-staffed.
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Old 02-03-2020, 01:05 AM
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Again, as in my previous post #15 which apparently is invisible, I have NEVER had to wait when tables were available, in the year and a half I've gone there (one of my friend groups meets there regularly). And in the 2 years my daughter was a waitress there, prior to my going there, she confirms there was no policy to make people wait. Likely the one you read about was short-staffed.
No, I read about the whole chain, it was the idea of the CEO. Mind you, maybe they dropped that policy, who knows? But the extreme waits there are well known and remarked upon in many forums.
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Old 02-03-2020, 01:07 AM
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We went to the one in Crocker Park for the first time a week ago. It was fairly busy but we were seated immediately. Very ornate inside with huge faux Egyptian columns and awesome colored/blown glass lights. Service was beyond reproach and our waiter was very helpful. There are like 15 pages in the menu. What we had was good and plentiful. The layered cheesecake with regular cake and two toppings was amazing.

Hah! thought I dropped a local name, huh? Well, here is Crocker Park:

https://www.google.com/maps/search/c.../data=!3m1!1e3
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:30 AM
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I was all prepared to say that we don't have them in Michigan, but I decided to double check, and it turns out there is one in Michigan, and not far. It looks like it's attached to a mall, so the chances are good that I'll never eat there.

I remember seeing one in Phoenix or a suburb back in '04 or so, whenever I drove up from Hermosillo. It was in some type of "fashion mall" that I never bothered to stop at, either.

I just took a look at their website. I'm not really sure what they're trying to be, so if I ever find a freestanding one, I have no idea whether or not I should go inside. Their menu seems to be all over the place, and I worry that it's just frozen stuff microwaved.

If I'm ever a tourist someplace with one, you can bet I'll be looking for local favorites, though.
While 12 Oaks is never a joy to navigate in and around, the cheesecake factory is at least accessible without having to go into the mall itself. Don't know if that will change your mind much. It is always rather chaotic in there.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:50 AM
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Haven't been to a CF in a few years but I remember they always listed the calorie counts underneath each meal, and we made a game of who could order the most calories (it's not difficult at all; almost any entree+appetizer combo will top 2,000 calories).

That said, I'll admit for a restaurant with as extensive a "try to please everyone" menu as they do, the food is pretty decent.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:56 AM
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FYI, and only sort of related, this is a New Yorker article by Atul Gawande (paywall warning) about what lessons the healthcare industry can learn from places like The Cheesecake Factory, where 80 million people a year are served food that is almost entirely made from scratch.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:24 AM
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While 12 Oaks is never a joy to navigate in and around, the cheesecake factory is at least accessible without having to go into the mall itself. Don't know if that will change your mind much. It is always rather chaotic in there.
That's the one. I avoid Novi completely unless I have to drive through it to get somewhere else. It's my idea of hell.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:25 AM
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There is one in ‘Tosa. We don’t care for it. The food is good though overrated.

What we don’t like is the architecture. The dining area is open air. There is no sound buffering at all. Even when there aren’t many patrons it’s loud as hell in there. You can hardly hear yourself think. It really subtracts from the dining experience.
Is that floor-plan a chain-wide thing? We've gone to one in Pittsburgh (a city in the south-western portion of Pennsylvania) and it was a huge, open floor plan.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:47 AM
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My main complaint is the menu is just too large. I really do not want to invest that much time scanning that many entree offerings to figure out what I sounds good for dinner. I like a well designed menu with a good range of offerings but their menu is just too much.

As for quality, anytime I've eaten there the food has been good. They are an upgrade from the Applebee's, Chilis, etc., chains. Service has been good. The wait times to be seated are another factor that results in my choosing a different option. I suspect that is mostly because the only one I have dined at is located in an incredibly popular retail shopping center and Cheesecake Factory draws large crowds. In the warmer months it is not unusual to see a large crowd standing outside the restaurant waiting to get in. The other restaurants available may have a wait list but it seems no where near the sheer volume of people waiting.
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:50 AM
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My main complaint is the menu is just too large. I really do not want to invest that much time scanning that many entree offerings to figure out what I sounds good for dinner. I like a well designed menu with a good range of offerings but their menu is just too much.
Shout-out to neighbor Locrian. Sherman Oaks Arclight is our local movie theater.

We haven't been in the Cheesecake Factory there in years. Prefer Frida's or P.F. Changs. The Cheesecake Factory portions are way too big for us, and we're not into eating a 3,000 calorie slice of cheesecake.

Regarding the menus, I recall that they have advertisements in them. So, not only are they pages and pages (and pages and pages), but some number of pages are taken up with advertisements. Egads!
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:55 AM
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I've been there and enjoyed it, but I think just the one time. The nearest one to me is 90 miles away, in another state. I wish we had one here. There's literally only one in my state, and it's about 150 miles away.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:00 PM
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My wife and I have been a handful of times. I will go for the Fire-Roasted Fresh Artichoke appetizer alone.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:08 PM
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I ate dinner at a Cheesecake Factory maybe ten years ago, and I'm still digesting it.

As a rule of thumb, I steer clear of restaurants whose names include things like "factory," "warehouse," or "abattoir."
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:04 PM
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Found this:
https://www.eatthis.com/cheesecake-factory-menu/
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:11 PM
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I ate dinner at a Cheesecake Factory maybe ten years ago, and I'm still digesting it.

As a rule of thumb, I steer clear of restaurants whose names include things like "factory," "warehouse," or "abattoir."
Also, "barrel", "corral", "outback" and days of the week.
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:21 PM
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If the menu has more than two pages, and "pasta alfredo" is one of the items on it, (especially if it's making the laminated pages stick), no way in hell is that sauce not coming from a 5 gallon plastic bucket.
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:21 PM
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Perhaps, but at the Cheesecake Factory they are kind enough to warm it up before bringing the bucket to the table.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:06 PM
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Cheesecake Factory is the place where there's like 2 or 3 different types of bread in the bread basket, right?
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:23 PM
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As a rule of thumb, I steer clear of restaurants whose names include things like "factory," "warehouse," or "abattoir."
I'd totally go for an abattoir! I imagine it'd be like some American version of a churrascaria.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:37 AM
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I wouldn't say they're over-rated, at least not here, because they're not really seen as something particularly special, so they're not particularly rated. If anything, I'd say they're slightly underrated because their food is a bit better than I would expect from that type of chain.
Depends on who's rating it. Some brits seem to almost frenzy at the idea of a Cheesecake Factory, and never really realise they know the name from The Big Bang Theory, one of the cleverest product placements in a TV show.

I've also known people who NEED to visit Dennys, in places like Vegas. I ask if they were Married With Children fans... Seems the only valid reason, and as far as I remember, MWC was more slating them than advertising them.

Personally, the four or five places I've seen one, we ate somewhere else locally. If they're the only real option over a local local restaurant. Initially I'd never heard of them in Vegas, but I was put off by the long queue, so confirmary evidence there. I didn't look closely in SF, Denver or San Diego.

But if they opened one in the UK, there would probably be a riot on the first day.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:57 AM
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We went a couple of times several years ago. There has long been one at the mall >10 min from our home. Seems to always be crowded.

We do not go there for 2 reasons mentioned above:
-The room is incredibly loud. I've heard that some restaurants intentionally make their spaces noisy, as it is supposed to result in higher spending. Not from my wife and me.
-Also, the menu is full of very tasty offerings which are (in our opinions) extremely unhealthy - both in terms of ingredients and size. We find it easier to simply choose a different restaurant (or cook at home), than to try to figure the least unhealthy selections, and then bring at least half of it home. The food section in our local paper occasionally has articles listing some of the most unhealthy restaurant dishes. Something from TCF ALWAYS makes the list.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:29 AM
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The calorie counts at CF are high because the portions are very large - I always take half of it home in a takeout container. I don't consider that a bad thing. But they also have a reasonably extensive "lite" menu which includes lower-cal versions of some of their regular items, and they're not bad.

The actual cheesecake slices are large enough to share 2 or 3 ways, and they're very good. If you knew the calorie counts at all the places you dine at, they'd also have alarming options. Or did you think desserts at other restaurants don't have calories? CF has other dessert options. You can get a bowl of ice cream if that's all you want.

I find it laughable that CF gets put down for serving large portions (at pretty reasonable prices considering). Nobody's forcing you to cram it all down your throat.

The noise is a problem, but it's a problem pretty much any large restaurant I go to.

The bead baskets have warm sourdough bread and brown bread, with butter.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
The wife and I finally went to a Cheesecake Factory, our first ever. The one here in Waikiki.
I'm still struggling with the idea of going to a chain restaurant in Waikiki.
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Old 02-04-2020, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
I'm still struggling with the idea of going to a chain restaurant in Waikiki.
I'm always surprised to see a McDonalds and a KFC when we drive around Sint Maarten. My gf always reminds me that there are people living on the island, working minimum wage jobs, who don't want to or can't spend a couple hundred dollars on a meal.
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Old 02-04-2020, 10:12 AM
Ashtura is online now
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The one we live in is on the fancier side inside (it has the Egyptian motif with the eye of Sauron light fixtures).

I really don't like most of the food there, almost everything they offer has a better version at some other chain. We go there a few times a year and I get their club sandwich. It is constantly packed and rarely under a 15 minute wait even on slow days.

Nice place to go if you want some atmosphere and don't want to spend a lot of money.
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Old 02-04-2020, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MeanJoe View Post
My main complaint is the menu is just too large. I really do not want to invest that much time scanning that many entree offerings to figure out what I sounds good for dinner. I like a well designed menu with a good range of offerings but their menu is just too much.
I'd laugh off a menu being too big, but I've been to China. We visited multiple restaurants that had literal BOOKS as menus. I couldn't believe any one place could make such an insane variety of food. We fended for ourselves a few times (and did rather well, for not speaking a word of the local language), but had a guide in Beijing who did most of the ordering for us without even having to glance at the menu. But holy shit, I'm not exaggerating about those menus. They were enormous.
  #50  
Old 02-04-2020, 10:15 AM
Kovitlac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I'm always surprised to see a McDonalds and a KFC when we drive around Sint Maarten. My gf always reminds me that there are people living on the island, working minimum wage jobs, who don't want to or can't spend a couple hundred dollars on a meal.
After finding McDonald's, KFCs and Dairy Queens in Shanghai, I am no longer surprised to see them virtually anywhere.
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