Here is a thread for what else is good at TCF. The menu is gigantic, so guidance may be helpful on those occasions when a group chooses the restaurant because its members have divergent tastes and everyone can find SOMETHING on the menu that they will/can eat.
While repair work is done at my house, I am staying in a hotel room with a kitchenette, cooking sometimes and other times taking the opportunity to get delivery from restaurants at a nearby mall. I had rarely eaten at The Cheesecake Factory, and was surprised at how good the mushroom cheeseburger is, with its fontina and caramelized onion. It’s enormous of course, so I am glad I ordered a side salad rather than fries. No room for either, but the salad was a better thing the next day than microwave-reheated fries would have been. Chicken Riesling - pieces of bonelrss, skinless breast with bacon, shrooms, and onion in a garlicky wine sauce, over parmesan-topped buttered pasta, was TRULY superb. Their huge portion of meatloaf (easily enough for three meals) is topped with an ample amount of caramelized onion and is tasty if perhaps overly salted for my salt-averse palate. It comes with chunky mashed skin-on red potatoes, and buttered corn which has a few strings of silk, indicating it is not canned or frozen.
I don’t know if they still have them on the menu (it’s been quite some time since I’ve visited a CF), but they used to have chicken stuffed tortillas with black beans and corn cakes that I thought was pretty darn tasty for a chain restaurant with such an extensive menu.
I haven’t been in years, but I’ve never had bad food or cheesecake in any location, it’s always been delicious, in fact. I love the Chicken Madeira, so good, always leftovers to take home too. Once in Sacramento, with my parents and DD1, after a long stormy weather day, couldn’t decide collectively what we wanted to eat; my dad wanted comfort food, another wanted Mexican, etc., we passed a Cheesecake Factory, and voila, decision made. Everyone got what they wanted, and everybody was happy! Win win.
For me, this is the biggest drawback of CF. I think all across the board, their food is adequate and sometimes pretty ok. The portion size is ridiculous and is either (1) contributing to the obesity epidemic or (2) the food waste/landfill space one.
But the worst is that it seems to be the lowest common denominator place, where although you can get a better rendition somewhere of almost anything they make, they are just so darn consistent and pleasing to large groups with varied tastes that you can rarely get in without waiting an hour. For only ok food.
I had two different jobs near a Cheesecake Factory that no longer exists. In both jobs we used it for lunch celebrations several times a year because everyone could find something they liked, including me. And it wasn’t too expensive. But I have not eaten at one for many years.
If you join the restaurant’s club (no charge) one of the benefits is being able to make online reservations. Also $10 off the first time you visit as a member, and a free slice on your birthday. What’s not to like?