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Oct 4, 2007 08:56 PM

Cheesecake Factory - Freehold Raceway Mall

I don't know how chow worthy this post is but here goes: reportedly the Cheesecake Factory has opened. While IMHO I think that CF is one of the best chain restaurants out there its far from meriting serious discussion on this board.

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  1. I have been waiting for the CF to open. I usually go for the desserts. Their cheesecakes are great, however, I love their apple crisp. I just might go today.

    1. I know that there is also a PF Chang's on its way. Anyone know what's being built in front of the Walmart/Sam's Club adjacent to the mall on Rt. 537? Looks like it might be a restaurant.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jsfein

        I believe that the building coming in front of Sam's club is going to be a Longhorn Steakhouse. That would be great!

        1. re: dimples66

          I thought it looked like a restaurant when I posted a couple of weeks ago and it looks even more so now. However, I can't say that I'll jump for joy for a Longhorn Steakhouse.

        2. re: jsfein

          It's aLonghorn Steakhouse. I just drove past it yesterday

        3. Can you imagine around the holidays how busy the mall will be?? OH MY!! I am glad to see it open also. A little change of venue.

          JSEFIN~I was wondering the same thing. Then I tought, it is going to be another bank? It would be great if it were another restaurant.

          21 Replies
          1. re: Angelina

            "It would be great if it were another restaurant."

            If so, Angelina, it's bound to be -- Italian!! lol

            Note: The moderators insist that discussion of chain restaurants, regardless of their location, take place on the Chain board. So, they'll probably move this thread there.

            1. re: RGR

              The building on Rte 537 in front of Sam's Club is going to be Chase Bank. There's going to be another bank in there as well. Ocean First Bank??? Or something like that.
              And the empty lot between the school and WalMart is going to be a storage facility and they plan to build a day care center in there, too.

              BUT, in the strip mall where Walgreens is, Patticakes Family Restaurant is being built and coming soon!

              1. re: wench31

                Thanks Wench. I've seen the Chase Bank sign, but thought that it was because they were financing the project. I was hopeful that we might be getting a new restaurant as the building seemed on the large side for a bank. Oh well. I've also seen the coming soon sign for Patticakes. I have no idea as to what this place might be about.

              2. re: RGR

                It's fine to discuss news about local restaurant openings (including chain restaurants) on the local boards, but if the discussion is about the food or menu at those chains, the best place to have that discussion is on the Chains board, where hounds from all over can add their thoughts, and benefit from the information being shared.

                1. re: The Chowhound Team

                  Took the kids last night.

                  Same as any other CF, but glad to have the choice at the Freehold Mall, and yes, PF Changs is on the way there as well.

                  Is Patticakes a chain also?

                  1. re: seal

                    I couldn't find a webpage for Patticakes so I assume they are not a chain.
                    Seal - How bad a wait was it last night and how was the service?

                    1. re: bgut1

                      Well, we went at 4:30 ;o) so none at all.

                      But on our way out of the mall around 6 it was hoppin.

                      1. re: seal

                        I wont even bother asking about the food as I know its quite uniform across the brand. I am however interested in knowing whether the new service team has "got it down" this early. Looking forward to my extra cold Well-Mannered Dirty Martini with blue cheese stuffed olives ...... :)

                        1. re: bgut1

                          I didn't know what was going on with the service. My husband and I went there tonight; neither of us had ever eaten in one before and everyone always hypes it up so we figured we'd give it a chance. We got there around 9:15pm so that there was no wait. It took the hostess forever to notice us standing directly in front of her because she was too busy flirting with some guy. When they seated us at a table, they forgot to give us menus and it took our waitress forever to notice us sitting there because it was late and she was trying to get all her side work done. We just sat there laughing the whole time, it was like, 'this is the hype?' My husband ordered the pulled pork sandwich. When it came, I stole a french fry from his plate and almost spit it out. WORST FRY EVER. Dry, overcooked, tasteless, brown, saltless french fry. His pork sandwich had actual layers of white fat that he pulled out of it and he said the bbq sauce on it tasted more like ketchup. The pork was dry, overcooked, tasteless. Even the cole slaw was bizarre, playing more on looks than actual flavor, of which there was none. I had the farmer's market salad which was ok, though the shallot dressing was way too sharp. The chicken potsticker appetizer was cooked perfectly and was delicious. We took a piece of their original cheesecake home and I was not impressed. It was ok, I wouldn't need to have it ever again. My husband like it better than I did. We decided to give it one more try; maybe it was an off night.

                          1. re: Angelika

                            Angelika - You should give it another try but maybe at a different location. CCF as a whole is one of the best and most consistent chain restaurants around. I've had many of the dishes on their large menu and while there have been misses, most have been very good. At this point in my life I usually order an app to share with the table and one of their weight management salads (and maybe sneak a bite or two of cheesecake or other dessert if ordered by my kids). As you may know, I eat out a lot and wouldn't continue to go if the food wasn't good. BTW, you may also wish to try their new upscale concept called the Grand Lux Cafe which opened recently in the Garden State Mall in Paramus. I tried one while on vacation in Arizona and was very impressed (especially with the bake to order items available for dessert). Good Luck.

                            1. re: bgut1

                              bgut1 - Thanks for the advice. We did decide to try it again as maybe we just ordered the wrong things or that it was an off night or the staff didn't work themselves out yet since they only recently opened. The chicken potsticker appetizer we had was admittedly delicious and perfectly prepared. It was everything else that was questionable. But we will definitely try it again - we wouldn't want to miss out on a great meal! Thanks again!

                        2. re: seal

                          Hi Seal! What did you order? I always seem to have the burrito, but I like suggestions on other items. Thanks!

                          1. re: Angelina

                            Quick list of orders:

                            Raw Ahi app
                            "Kobe" burger
                            Chopped salad

                            Oddly enough we didn't get any cheesecake as we had
                            just bought an apple pie and cider donuts from Delicious
                            Orchards ;o)

                      2. re: seal

                        We've never been to a Cheesecake Factory. :-o But since you all seem to have a positive view of it and it's so close, I guess we should try it.

                        1. re: RGR

                          This place was good. I went there for lunch with a girlfriend and we had guacamole made2order (that was how they wrote it on their order :)) for apps, and we shared a luau salad and shepherd's pie. Both entrees were lunch portion but they were so big that we shared it. I ended up bringing some back home. Service was great! Waiter was very attentive. He knew that we were in a rush as we were trying to squeeze in a quick shopping and getting home in time to pick our kids up from the bus stop. He made sure that we got our meals as quickly as possible. They also have bar menu from 4-6 Monday to Friday for those of you who are interested and Sunday Brunch from 10-2!
                          I have to try their brunch. Their menu is Asian fusion.
                          PF Changs will be opening on 11/8!

                          1. re: wench31

                            I have had their brunch and it is worth the calories. I odered the french toast with strawberries and fresh whipped cream. If you wait until after 12 you can get a mimosa which just tops the meal off.

                          2. re: RGR

                            Wow RGR - That's almost like never trying McDonald's!!!! :)

                            1. re: bgut1

                              LOL! I've only been to Burger King once. I think it was in 1970! :-))

                              1. re: RGR

                                Only you RGR - Only you. :)

                                1. re: bgut1

                                  I agree with RGR - I have never eaten at one of these, and haven't had Burger King since the 1980s, when I was a child.

                                  That said, I hate to add to this post, as I agree (now that food is being discussed) that it move to Chains.

                  2. Went to CF last night. All of Freehold must have been there. Half hour wait at 5:30. Food was served hot, we had a nice waitress. Portions were huge. Shepherd's pie was great. Cheesecake is not as good if you compare to Juniors or Michelle Lauries. $7 a slice. By the way, I heard from the owner who is building on the Walmart property that they are building a Golden Coral, not a Longhorns.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: shesallthat

                      There is a rumor that there will be a Golden Coral and a Longhorns on that property.

                      1. re: dimples66

                        My wife told me she saw a Longhorns sign or banner at the property yesterday.

                        1. re: jsfein

                          Not being familiar with Longhorn, I Googled. There are three locations in Central NJ: Piscataway, North Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Howell.

                          Golden Corral? Another one I've never heard of! Googling again, there is only one in NJ, on Black Horse Pike, in Audubon.

                          Has anyone tried any of the Longhorns? If so, how does it stack up against other chain steakhouses?

                          1. re: RGR

                            I really like Longhorn's for a chain steakhouse. The rib eye is great! I hate the whole country-mid western theme of decor, but I really like the rib eye, and I also like Flo's filet on the menu.

                            1. re: RGR

                              Longhorn is actually pretty decent. We go to the one in Howell now and again, and have had no complaints. BUT...... I'd recommend The Ivy League on Rte 9 over it.

                              1. re: RGR

                                And don't go to the Golden Corral in Audubon, NJ...
                                it's currently boarded up, for unknown reasons....
                                I was suspiscious when their phone was "temporarily disconnected" all week.. I wrote to the company headquarters, no response...

                                I called the Wal mart in that shopping center in Audubon to find out what the heck is going on!! Is it open? Closed?
                                Rumor is they were opening again with "new management'...

                          2. re: shesallthat

                            Unfortunately though Michele Lorie cheesecakes is out of business (since the middle of June) As of now they did not sell the recipe, name or business (hopefully they will probably not be as good though even if they do). I too agree that CF cheescakes did not compare to MLs in taste (or price)

                          3. CCF might be the best chain restaurant in the biz, but unfortunately it's still a chain which means: same food everywhere.

                            And you gotta love the 2 hour wait times!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: joonjoon

                              Joon - To me as long as the food is good I don't care that its the same at every location. To some that may even be a selling point.

                              1. re: bgut1

                                To post (and extend this chain) or to stay silent? Hmm, I vote to post. Please, don't post in this anymore. Chain discussions belong in chain.

                                The chowhound team has said:

                                It's fine to discuss news about local restaurant openings (including chain restaurants) on the local boards, but if the discussion is about the food or menu at those chains, the best place to have that discussion is on the Chains board, where hounds from all over can add their thoughts, and benefit from the information being shared