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Fyre

Cheesecake Factory- a few facts

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I must lead a very sheltered life.  Somehow these Chessecake Factories are everywhere, yet I've only ever run across one of them.  It was in Providence, RI.  I only saw it becuase it was right across the street from the train station where I arrived.  I didn't see any line down the block, but it was about 3pm.

there be a bunch of them.

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Great Post, especially since FTV ran a story on CF on their 'into the fire' show the other night.

They do 'overserve' food!

God, the portions are enormous, judging by what was on tv. Can't believe there is constantly a 3 hour wait there.

They seemed like a fairly intense bunch of people, those bosses.


2317/5000

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Hi.  This is my first post here. I saw a bunch of posts about the Cheesecake Factory - specifically in Hackensack, NJ- and saw things like the food comes frozen and wanted to point a few things out and shed some light on some of the myths and urban legends of the super-hyped disneyland of a restaurant that is the CF.

1. The food is extremely fresh and every single thing is made when you order it.  Very little is pre-prepped.  Nothing is frozen or microwaved.

Good. Nothing frozen.

2.  The waits are almost deliberate.  That is why no reservations, no call-ahead.  And, if in every CF there are 2 to 3 hour waits virtually every night of the week, why don't they build the place bigger when they open a new one? Because they want you to wait 3 hours, it is part of the hype. Anyway, they shoved it in our heads many times that "people wait over 3 hours!!! to get into "our" restaurant.  They want people to come in and think the place must be so fabulous if there is such a crowd waiting and dying to get in.  Makes it almost exclusive-like, sort of.

That is really fucking annoying. I wouldn't go there for this reason alone.

4.  The cheesecake is made in a factory in Texas and is frozen and shipped.  It is then thawed. 

So... things ARE frozen? I thought nothing was frozen. And the item which they name themselves after? What the hell is that? And they run out of it? How rediculous. Frozen cheesecakes, and they run out to boot.

The only way I know of to get a table faster: sometimes when I was in smoking, people would bribe me to give them tables.  Yep! I did it!  By the time the hostess passed the table to check if it was "open" like they do, someone was sitting and they didn't know it was someone not from their list; no one was the wiser and I was $10 or $20 richer. Nope, no guilt for it either.  If you are desperate, I would try that.

I can not for the life of me imagine why anyone would be desperate to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and pay an additional $.50 much less $10 or $20. Pathetic.

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The portions are so huge, when they get to part about what cheesecake you want, you just start laughing.

Have you seen our 'Doggie Bag" thread?


Edited by elyse (log)

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I must lead a very sheltered life.  Somehow these Chessecake Factories are everywhere, yet I've only ever run across one of them.  It was in Providence, RI.

That's the one I've been to. All the times I went were during peak hours, and there was no line out the door, but the entryway was packed and there was about an hour wait each time. It's worth it when your other choice is the food court :biggrin:

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Second,  everyone says that the cheesecakes are delicious, probably so, but how can they be classified as fresh, if they were made in Texas, and shipped frozen?  Does not sound that fresh to me. Sounds like something I could buy in Shop Rite.

I still haven't eaten in a CF and don't expect that I will unless the GF drags me to one and I give in (I did once wait 90 monutes for a table at OG just to satisfy her idiosyncratic taste but that won't happen again).

I can comment on the cheesecake, having once purchased a slice for takout to have at the hotel I was staying in acorss the street. It was decidedly mediocre. The wide array of types of cheescake was an interesting notion but the quality in terms of texture and taste was less than appealing. It was also overpriced.

I did appreciate this post - fascinating insight into a large commercial operation and the foibles of rigidly designed "systems" that don't take into account the realities of the dining and serving experience.

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I must lead a very sheltered life.  Somehow these Chessecake Factories are everywhere, yet I've only ever run across one of them.  It was in Providence, RI.  I only saw it becuase it was right across the street from the train station where I arrived.  I didn't see any line down the block, but it was about 3pm.

Not for much longer V. I believe they are building one in Clarendon. Just what we needed eh?

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It gets on my nerves that some people in this post absolutely refuse to eat at Cheesecake Factory because they're against chain restaurants. Have you always eaten at upper scale establishments? Always? Since you were a kid? Your parents never took you to McDonalds or Sizzler or Red Lobster? I admit, I don't like eating at these places now, but you have had to at some point in your life and actually enjoyed it, to appreciate what good food is to you now. Some gulleteers are on this high-horse of eating, and they don't realize that the majority of people out there have kids, have lives outside of food, and yes, have watered-down simple tastes and un-sophisticated taste buds, and succumb to marketing and hype. It's just a fact.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not some Cheescake Factory evangelist, or even a chain restaurant junkie. What I am is a practical, mildly succesful, everyday person that eats what he likes, wherever it comes from, whoever cooks it, regardless of the name on top of the door.

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"What I am is a practical, mildly succesful, everyday person that eats what he likes, wherever it comes from, whoever cooks it, regardless of the name on top of the door. "

You've just described the typical Egullet regular, I think.


Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"

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They're pretty big in St. Louis (Missouri). One of my cousins lives there, so he should know.

As for their cheesecakes, I can't say they're special. I mean, they're better than your average cheesecake (which isn't saying much), but then again its hard to elevate something like a cheesecake to something that's outstanding. (I'm not a fan of cheesecake in general. Most of them are too heavy or too rich. I thought I'd never say that, but there's always a first time I suppose.)

Soba

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Some gulleteers are on this high-horse of eating, and they don't realize that the majority of people out there have kids, have lives outside of food, and yes, have watered-down simple tastes and un-sophisticated taste buds, and succumb to marketing and hype.  It's just a fact.

the problem, as i see it, is that when people attack a place or a style of food or wine or beer, in some sort of effort to prove how "right" or sophisticated they are, they are, by extension, putting down those who make those choices to eat at such places or drink those wines or whatever it is. i'm not sure if people mean to do that, but it seems clear that this happens over and over again. threads on things like fast food, chain restaurants, white zin, etc, have a history of being long and not very pleasant.

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Some gulleteers are on this high-horse of eating, and they don't realize that the majority of people out there have kids, have lives outside of food, and yes, have watered-down simple tastes and un-sophisticated taste buds, and succumb to marketing and hype.  It's just a fact.

the problem, as i see it, is that when people attack a place or a style of food or wine or beer, in some sort of effort to prove how "right" or sophisticated they are, they are, by extension, putting down those who make those choices to eat at such places or drink those wines or whatever it is. i'm not sure if people mean to do that, but it seems clear that this happens over and over again. threads on things like fast food, chain restaurants, white zin, etc, have a history of being long and not very pleasant.

It could also be that due to the fact that chains keep popping up, people are more excited when one comes to their area, and choose a chain over locally owned restaurants.

It could be that many egulleters have eaten or worked in chain restaurants ( I have) and hate the corporate environment of these places, which is often reflected in the flavor of the food itself due to the contractual agreement to use Company X's brand of breading crumbs or Company X's cleaning products. Have you ever noticed that "corporate flavor" in chain restaurant food?

These are a couple of examples of why I dislike chain restaurants. It's not a high horse, it's experience. When I am invited out and it is a family gathering, I go, I eat what I think will be the best, am usually disappointed, and deal with it. When I am paying, I will always opt for something locally owned and usually small.

If someone is trying to prove how right or sophisticated they are, or feel that others are trying to prove how right or sophisticated they are, then I guess we can agree that there are a lot of inferiority complexes abound.

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If someone is trying to prove how right or sophisticated they are, or feel that others are trying to prove how right or sophisticated they are, then I guess we can agree that there are a lot of inferiority complexes abound.

oh yes quite right. i fit that bill.

It could also be that due to the fact that chains keep popping up, people are more excited when one comes to their area, and choose a chain over locally owned restaurants.

for sure. but i was talking about the people who are trying to prove how sophisticated or right they are. two different things as far as i see it.


Edited by tommy (log)

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I've been thinking for a while that people on egullet 'turn up their noses' a lot but I didn't know how to word it or where to post it. When I say I like Olive Garden and people laugh, I still wonder why. Sure, maybe it's not authentic Italian, but I don't expect authentic Italian food anywhere but Italy. And maybe 90% of it is prepared ahead of time and nuked, but would you really want to wait a couple hours while they make your chicken and white wine sauce, bread sticks, and soup to order?

If it tastes good and I leave full, satisfied and not sick, I'm happy with what I ate. I don't usually care if it's authentic, made to order, or aesthetically pleasing. Once in a while if I go to a top notch restaurant I expect a "dining experience". But not when I'm hungry and just wanna eat. I work at a Ruby Tuesday but still go there sometimes on my days off with my SO because they have good, simple food.

As someone said before, some of us have limited money, kids, picky dining companions, limited diet, etc. and can't always get the best meal.

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As someone said before, some of us have limited money, kids, picky dining companions, limited diet, etc. and can't always get the best meal.

I fail to realize how this argument supports the ingestion of crappy food. :huh:

A rephrasing might be, "Some people are lazy." :wink:

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It gets on my nerves that some people in this post absolutely refuse to eat at Cheesecake Factory because they're against chain restaurants.  Have you always eaten at upper scale establishments? Always? Since you were a kid?  Your parents never took you to McDonalds or Sizzler or Red Lobster?  I admit, I don't like eating at these places now, but you have had to at some point in your life and actually enjoyed it, to appreciate what good food is to you now.  Some gulleteers are on this high-horse of eating, and they don't realize that the majority of people out there have kids, have lives outside of food, and yes, have watered-down simple tastes and un-sophisticated taste buds, and succumb to marketing and hype.  It's just a fact.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not some Cheescake Factory evangelist, or even a chain restaurant junkie.  What I am is a practical, mildly succesful, everyday person that eats what he likes, wherever it comes from, whoever cooks it, regardless of the name on top of the door.

I eat what I like without undue prejudice, but surely we all make qualifications in choosing where to eat and what to eat as well as what books to read. Why would it suprise you that those who are obsessed with good food might place Cheesecake facotry far down on the list of places they'd choose? Moreover, why does it get on your nerves that some people "absolutely" refuse to eat at Cheesecake Factory? I'm assuming we're both using absolute in a relative sense. I don't believe anyone would actually starve to death rather than eat at a Cheesecake Factory, although if the one hour wait is true, then it wouldn't be an issue. I assume I wouldn't last another hour if I was starving to death.

What Fyre said in the opening post convices me I woudn't be very pleased with the food. It really doesn't matter where I ate as a child. It matters far less is that a majority of people have kids. How would that affect which restaurant I choose? The most interesting thing in your post, and I'm not trying to be confrontational, is that somehow in gets on your nerves that some people absolutely choose not to go to restaurants that you describe as targeted to people who "have watered-down simple tastes and un-sophisticated taste buds, and succumb to marketing and hype." These people don't get on my nerves, I just don't choose to eat where they choose to eat for what should be obvious reasons and it has nothing to do with whose name is on the door. It has to do with food that appeals to watered down tastes and usophisticated taste buds. I'm a practical, less successful person who needs to be sure I spend my money on food that provides enjoyment to me.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I fail to realize how this argument supports the ingestion of crappy food.  :huh:

oh dear. ya see, this is what i'm talking about. if someone likes it, they like it. although i'm not convinced the poster actually *does* like it, but rather settles. :laugh:

i had lunch at applebee's today. a variety of factors went into that choice. anyone who knows me and follows my posts wouldn't suggest that i make bad decisions or make a habit of eating "crappy food." it served a purpose, at that time. the blackened chicken on salad wasn't all that horrible either. no, i didn't wait, and most likely would have left had there been a wait.

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I've been to CF twice I think, several years ago. Do the wait times change if you have a really young child with you? Is the restaurant willing to deal with baby meltdowns, or do they try to get infants and their families in and out? When I went it seemed like a date/hangout kind of place for people 16-27 or so. Folks with a lot of time and not that much money, looking for a lot of food and something to do on a Friday or Saturday night.


I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Folks with a lot of time and not that much money, looking for a lot of food and something to do on a Friday or Saturday night.

i can't help but suggest that it ain't cheap. my applebee's lunch was considerably more than i would have spent at the awesome vietnamese place down the street, or the local steak and burger joint.


Edited by tommy (log)

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As someone said before, some of us have limited money, kids, picky dining companions, limited diet, etc. and can't always get the best meal.

I fail to realize how this argument supports the ingestion of crappy food. :huh:

A rephrasing might be, "Some people are lazy." :wink:

How is driving to a crappy restaurant any more lazy than driving to a fancy restaurant? What's really lazy is going out to eat at all. Better to learn how to cook.

Edit: to expand more: chain restaurants cater to kids more, are more open to substitutions, are *usually* cheaper than good restaurants, unless you live in a town that is crawling with those holes in the wall that turn out to be gems, and how often do you find those? and chain restaurants usually have at least one thing a picky eater will like, unlike the Vietnamese place, which doesn't.


Edited by KateW (log)

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I fail to realize how this argument supports the ingestion of crappy food. :huh:

oh dear. ya see, this is what i'm talking about. if someone likes it, they like it. although i'm not convinced the poster actually *does* like it, but rather settles. :laugh:

I actually do like it. I don't just go because my SO likes it. I like simple food, not always ethnic, sometimes i just like a good chicken sandwich or burger, and a coke. Trust me, I care enough about food that I rarely eat something I truly don't like.

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My "lazy" reference aims at eating well at home rather than eating crap out.

Of course, business lunches, gatherings with clueless friends & family, etc. may necessitate dining at somewhere like CF. :sad:

But when given a *choice,* I'd take a home meal over a chain all day long.

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I've been thinking for a while that people on egullet 'turn up their noses' a lot but I didn't know how to word it or where to post it.  When I say I like Olive Garden and people laugh, I still wonder why.

Perhaps I should first ask if you're complaining about people's rudeness, or asking for an explanation of why they laugh. I think it's rude to laugh at other people's choices, be they restaurants, clothing or mates. Nevertheless, people being who and what they are, it's going to happen. Let's say we were in an English class, -- maybe the better comparison is made with an honors class in English -- and the teacher started a discussion with the students about the books they may have read over the summer. The first person who mentions reading a Reader's Digest version of a novel is going to illicit a giggle or two. People who take food seriously, are not likely to take the Olive Garden food seriously in culinary terms. That's not to say it's wrong to enjoy eating there, but it's hard to make a good argument that the standards are high there.

Most people who take food seriously really want and expect a lot more from a restaurant than just not getting sick and they're prepared to wait for it. Moreover, they expect to linger over food worth talking about. My question about Olive Garden is what can you say about it other than it fills you up without waiting and didn't make you sick? Where does the conversation go from there. I know you are a culinary student and have expressed interest in cooking at a place such as Tru someday. Why is that more interesting than cooking in a Ruby Tuesday or a Olive Garden? I really hope you were asking for insight into more interesting food and that you find some of that here, if not in school.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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i had lunch at applebee's today.

You're fired. :laugh:


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I think that what this whole chain vs non-chain discussion gets down to is available choices. Many of us just can't comprehend how anyone chooses cheescake factory, olive garden, ruby tuesday over a locally owned establishment that in our opinion offers better food, better service (i'm personally sick and tired of Hello, I'm nicky and I'll be your server today) and an overall better dining experience.

I was meeting a client for dinner during a recent trip to Cedar Rapids and he suggested we meet at a steakhouse called The Roadhouse, a country music themed take-off of the Autralian themed Outback. Thirty minute wait on a Tuesday night with loud country music and young servers upselling everything in sight. I ordered a ribeye and my guest ordered the filet. Unbelievably, both steaks showed up in about 12 minutes. My steak was well charred on top but had a funny consistency on the bottom. I looked at the bottom and there was no char at all. My guess is it was cooked similar to the White Castle method. I asked the server about it on the way out and was simply told that was the way we do it.

The next evening, I had dinner with another client at a local tavern/pub (Irish Democrat). We were greeted by the manager who knew my client as he frequested the restaurant often. There were maybe ten tables taken on a wednesday evening although the bar was pretty crowded. We had a leisurely dinner with a professional waitress and wonderful food at approximately the same cost as the unenjoyable experience the night before at The Roadhouse.

I think this experience is representative of many egulleteers view of chains. Why go to The Roadhouse (or CF, Outback, OG) when a better alternative usually exists?


"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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