The Cheesecake Factory

Overview: It’s time to be real about everybody’s go-to restaurant, the Cheesecake Factory on University Avenue. The typical explanations for why people typically want to go to the Cheesecake Factory is because it has a wide array of food, is inexpensive or is large enough to accommodate a crowd of Stanford kids out on the town.  While it is true that the Cheesecake Factory provides ample seating and even more food options, this reviewer believes that the food is just not worth the convenience. It’s time to sacrifice the picky food eater in your group (sometimes its me) and just go to a restaurant that specializes in one type of food, not 53.

People out there may ask, why the bitterness? Is Cheesecake Factory really that bad? I would say yes, although I know plenty of people who love Cheesecake Factory in an odd way. In fact, I used to be one of those people. So why the change in heart? Let me describe the last two times I have gone there.

I will break it down into categories so you all can truly understand my angst.

The Space: When you first walk into the Cheesecake Factory, it looks quite nice. A bit of Roman temple decor never hurt anyone and the lighting is just dark enough to be rather romantic. Don’t look too hard at the murals or the effect will be ruined, but I must admit I get caught up in the cheesy decor.

The Service: Very hit or miss. The first few times I went there I had perfectly lovely service, with waiters who refilled my drink often and were always very courteous. However, the last time I went there I had one of the worst waiters I have ever had. He forgot my food (twice), forgot to bring me my drink until I asked three times, and when my food was finally brought out it was cold. Maybe it was just an off hour during an off night, but I must say I was not happy with that.

The Food: Again, hit or miss. If you are in the mood for a ton of very normal food then this is the right place. I have had the fettucine alfredo before with no complaints. In addition, I usually order the spinach and cheese dip for an appetizer which is quite good. However, in general, I think their main entrees suffer a bit. I have had dishes ranging from all different types of burgers to their shrimp scampi to their morning quesadilla but I never found the food to be anything more than “meh”. Overall, I would suggest getting a couple small appetizers over a full meal: it will probably save you money and the entrees on the whole are much too large and much too expensive.

** The Prices**: Appetizers range anywhere from $6-12 while the appetizers range anywhere from $12-25. Their cheesecakes are also a little pricey but are probably some of the best things on the menu. I would recommend any of the fruity ones–the chocolate ones are pretty heavy on the stomach but if you are a chocolate lover it may just be perfect.

** The Hours**: Mon-Thurs 11:30 am-11 pm

Fri, Sat 11:30 am-12 am (great for late night snack!)

Sun 10 am-11 pm

Overall, the Cheesecake Factory is good if you do not have the highest of expectations (and you have a craving for many different types of food). While it is clear that this restaurant is not my personal favorite I do know many people who enjoy it so don’t throw it out totally on my recommendation. Give it a shot, try some cheesecake, and see for yourself!

Also, check back next week for some more delicious or deliciously bad restaurants to investigate!

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