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Jul 30, 2008 10:44 AM

Cheddars Casual Cafe

When I lived in Dallas five years ago, there was a restaurant called Cheddars Casual Cafe right off the main loop. All my friends raved about it and everytime I drove by, it was packed.I heard their Cookie Monster Skillet was awesome, but I never ate there. Now I live in Kansas City and a friend started talking about driving out to this place called cheddars--40 minutes away. I doubt ANY chain is worth a 40 minute drive especially with the price of gas--but she really wants to go. Looking at their website, it seems pretty standard as far as chain menus go, harkening to that of Applebees and TGI Fridays. However, their "4 Walls" policy states that they dont do any advertising as to keep the cost of the food lower. I must admit word of mouth seems to have worked for them. So I am curious--has anyone eaten there? What is the best thing(s) to order? Are the prices that much less than "normal"?

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  1. The one where I used to eat in Lexington, Ky. about 10 years ago was astonishingly good. Best chicken tenders I've ever had. The country fried steak was excellent, too. Although I wouldn't drive 40 miles to get there. One opened here in the greater Cincinnati area a couple years ago. The food and service were both abysmal the one time I went.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Emm

      I lived in Lexington 10-12 years ago too, when the Cheddar's opened, and it was great!! (especially on a college budget)

        1. re: asiansensation007

          Chicken fingers and battered shrimp are both awesome. I know, how can fried food not be good, but these really are. The little croissants with honey butter can be ordered as a side, which I find very addictive. I love that there are lots of side options beyond french fries. The lunch combos are good and really inexpensive. The BF likes the pot roast, though I don't know if it's that good or just something that I never make.

    2. We have one near me and it is similar to an Applebees. When they first opened several years back, they were quite good, however the last time a went about a year ago I was disappointed by the food and the service.

      1. I live in Lexington Ky and the Cheddars here is always very good...they just recently opened a 2nd location here...but I just had a terrible experience in the Florence location. I agree that I don't think it is worth a 40 minute drive but the Cookie skillet is stupid

        1. Just ate at the Wichita location this weekend - my sister bought me a gift certificate, so I took the family out for cheap eats. 3 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, and the place was 90% full, it probably helps there's a 20-screen theater just across the parking lot.
          I had baby-back ribs -- smoky, fall-off-the-bone tender with still some nice chewiness on the edges. My wife had a nice looking Philly steak (although she thought it could use some, dear, they don't put jalapenos on a Philly steak). My older daughter had cheese fries, which are good so far as french fries smothered in grated cheese and bacon, with Ranch dressing can be, and my 8-year-old mistakenly ordered the chicken fried steak, which was a foot long and 6 inches wide and covered most of a serving platter. With a loaded baked potato and broccoli casserole as sides, she had to take 1/2 of it home for later. She let me have a couple of bites, it's a decent chicken fry, and only $6.99.
          Our meal, with 4 sodas, was just under $40. Prices are comparable to slightly under those for the other casual chains. The chicken fry at $7 is $2 less than most chains charge, I think my 1/2 rack of baby backs was $10. The cheese fries, which my daughter took half home, were $4.99.
          They must be doing something right, because when we left at 4, they already had a line out the door waiting for tables.

          1. I used to go there for the Cajun Chicken Strips. Maybe the best chain food I ever had. Don't even know if they still serve them, as it's been over 10 years since I've been.
            I haven't even thought about them for years. Maybe I'll have to check out the strips again sometime.