So, we all know chain restaurants are typically held to lower standards than most restaurants. In recent years, the chain restaurants seem to have made a concerted effort to step up their game- so when my young daughter innocently asked to go to the Cheesecake Factory after her pre-school "graduation" ceremony, I was curious to see how they would do (and have a nice big hunk of cheesecake too...)
The local Cheesecake Factory is impressive looking- a massive, cavernous place decorated with a combination of new-age and ancient Egyptian styles, with very high ceilings. The effect reminded me of a casino in a way.
So far, my appetizer was a hit, and my entree missed on execution. Naturally, a killer dessert was needed to save the day- and naturally, at this restaurant, that means Cheesecake. This dessert was a home run. White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake- an over-the-top-decadent combination that delivered the goods. The big chunks of macadamia broke up the heavier cheesecake, and kept the cake from being too heavy. The caramel and white chocolate (and the whipped cream) are pretty much the perfect thing to go with something so heavily studded with macadamia nuts. I think the photo speaks for itself.
All in all, the Cheesecake Factory is missing the mark, but they do seem to be trying hard to be better than just a joe-average chain restaurant. I suspect that on any other day, my fish tacos would have been executed better (or maybe I should have asked for the version with grilled fish). I do suggest that the restaurant actually name what kind of fish they are using in the tacos- even if it isn't something exotic.