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Coerced into Cheesecake Factory

So I'm already set against this place based on knowing a couple of the waiters there, but I'm being forced to go as a group outing...

Are there any decent menu items that aren't

1. Substituting quality for ridiculous quantity
2. Not terribly overpriced (and oversalted)
3. Trying to over-impress you with something that was invented /put together in a factory

I've had the cheesecake before and although everyone seems to think "it's so amazing" I've had better cheap frozen cheesecake. Seriously, do these overpriced chains rely on overpricing their items to convince people they are eating fine cuisine?

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  1. They have a Spicy Cashew Chicken that I really like. It is lightly breaded chicken breast that is stir fried in a fantastic spicy sauce, tossed with cashews, green onions and sesame seeds and served over a huge bowl of rice. I get it pretty much every time I go.

    1. cheesecake factory, terrible, probably one of the 5 worst restaurants I have ever been to. Below average food, poor service.

      Waited in the bar for a server to come to my table for 15 mins,then waited another 10 mins for a drink. At the table, we didnt see a server for almost 15 mins after we sat down.

      The food, other than the deserts which some @ my table ate, was of worse quality than you might find at the local Bennigans. They should stick to cheesecake. It seems they are understaffed, and are trying to do to much.

      try the liquid dinner route (shots, and some cocktails, and go elsewhere after you leave...

      I would never return to the Cheesecake Factory @ Oak Brook, IL.

      1 Reply
      1. there's a post a few weeks back on this. i had the chicken "tortillas" the last time I went, reminiscent of an enchilada and I liked the sauce and side of black beans.
        but, yeah the other two things i had (cheesecake and tempura roll) were gross.

        1. Sorry (inmybackpages) but you have some beef with Cheesecake Factory. They are one of the most successful chains in the country, and they didn't get that way by having customers like you, or being too salty, or being too overpriced, and they happen to sell more cheesecakes then anyone in the country. Their training school demands waiters to work for about 3-weeks before going on their own, and to taste every dish they have so it can be explained to the customer. Who else does this. Their chefs must go through very rigid training in their own schools. They buy only the freshest products, and must past certain tests before you can become a vendor of Cheesecake Factory. They are one of the best run, best organized, most successful, profitable chains that has more managers on the floor watching product, delivery, quality and customer satisfaction then any chain. I could keep going, but its us who made them successful. Any large successful shopping center in America would give Cheesecake Factory 6-months or a year of free rent just to get them to spend millions for a new restaurant in their shopping center.

          5 Replies
          1. re: irwin

            Be that as it may, I'd have to agree that they are very overrated. If you must go, I have two recommendations. No wait, three, first don't order the tea (it is some fruity tea, not regular iced tea). Second, they have a pretty good caesar salad. Third, my wife likes some corn cake appetizer thing they make. Beyond that, I've never been impressed with their service nor how they jam diners together like cattle (or perhaps sheep is a better analogy).

            As far as their cheesecake, Sams Club frozen ones are superior to the CF ones in my opinion.

            1. re: citizenconn

              my wife loves their ice tea....
              I hate their ice tea, so I order something else...

            2. re: irwin

              It is only fair to point out, however, that "success" does not necessarily mean that it is "great chow." I can cite and endless litany of places that are hot, trendy, popular, successful, and have long waits, yet the food is mediocre at best.

              1. re: Seth Chadwick

                I think you've hit the source of their success. If you have to wait in a line to get something, it must be good. My mother-in-law only reads books that are on the NYT Bestseller list because they must be good since they sell a lot of copies.

                If CF were to double their already gargantuan proportions of food and make it taste worse, they would STILL have long waits to get in. Many of their customers associate volume with value.

                I'd eat elsewhere beforehand and just nurse my Bubblegum Mugarita or whatever liquor it is they peddle.

              2. re: irwin

                That's a whole lot of work waste on such a mediocre product...

                But I almost forgot: if it's successful, it must be good!

              3. I agree with irwin. I think when you really look at them from a business perspective - the CHeesecake Factory is a brilliant success story. I've read how they have NEVER advertsied and then you see where others advertise in their menus.

                I'm often surprised by the beefs people have with restaurants. I personally love the iced tea at Cheesecake Factory - it's something a little bit different than your plain old glass of tea. And, every time I have ordered it, the waiter has said "we serve a special fruit iced tea, is that ok with you?" - so it's not that you don't know what you are getting.

                As far as most restaurants who have huge and varied menus, Cheesecake Factory is one of the only places I have ever been where they actually seem to be abel to make the variety of dishes well.

                So, some may have their beefs with the place, but I agree - they aren't tremendously successful by serving bad food, so they are doing something right, even if some people here don't like them.