Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The CheeseCake Factory

On Saturday night the wife and I ate at The CheeseCake Factory. The older 2 children were off watching a movie and spending the night with their maternal grandparents. That left the wife, the baby and I to spend the evening together. The wife has wanted to go there since we stopped by and had a peek inside and at the menu a few months ago.

So, we got there at 17:30 on a Saturday evening thinking we might have a chance at a table or just a short wait. No such luck. This place is very popular. So we get a pager and plan how to wait out our 35 to 45 minutes. The wife is curious and wants to walk around in the Needless Markup (Nieman Marcus {sp.?}) across the street. I ask her to be back in 25 to 30 minutes and to take the baby. She agrees and departs, I head for the bar....

Where I wait and wait and wait while all 3 bartenders pay attention to the wait staff but ignore the patrons sitting there. I finally get some face time only to find out the only low-carb drink they have is Michelob Ultra. Since M.U. tastes like Rolling Rock mixed with water and horchata I walked away drinkless. I spent a bit of time gawking at the desert case and then outside to listen in on the conversations of random people waiting for their tables.

The wife came back after about 30 minutes and we found a spot inside to stand around so the baby wouldn't get cold. She got fussy so I took her from her stroller and we played the "Daddy bounces me around and I giggle game". She is such a good baby. The pager went off and we were shown to a comfy booth by the windows.

Before even taking our drink order the waiter came to the table with a plate containing a couple slices of bread and banana. The baby was totally happy to have stuff she could feed to herself. We ordered drinks and some Thai lettuce wraps and then began discussing what to order for dinner. The wife and I like to discuss what we're going to get. This helps us to not order the same thing so we can taste more menu items and to help dissuade eachother from choosing poorly. The wife got a chicken cutlet, breaded in parmesean, with greenbeans and garlic mashed potatos. I ordered a Thai steak salad.

The lettuce wraps were fabulous. Giant clean whole leaves of bib lettuce, lots of chicken, pleanty of veges and noodles for filling and 3 different sauces. The wife enjoyed the traditional spicy peanut sauce, I liked the other 2, one was a red pepper and sesame oil and the other the Thai version of pesto. The baby had her fill of bread and bananas and was on to playing with a small toy boat and an empty 35mm film canister.

Dinner came. Mine was this giant tower of salad with thin strips of steak rolling off the peak. It had shredded fresh Asian vegetables tossed with crispy rice noodles and cashews. The sauce was what the steak was marinated in, a sesame and ginger vinegarette. There was a sprinkling of finely chopped fresh mint over it which altered the flavor of occassional bites pleasantly. The wife's was a typical meat vegetable and potatos. The chicken breast had been pounded very flat and breaked in parmesean then broiled. The flavor was decent, but the edges were cooked so much that the chicken was like crisped jerky. She ate the center of the cutlet and shared my huge salad.

Finally, we ordered desert. It is THE reason to come to this restaurant, right? We both had the 6-carb cheesecake. They sweeten it with Splenda instead of sugar. The crust was made with crumbled walnuts instead of graham. It was fluffy, not quite as solid as sugared cheesecake. But, the flavor was perfect. I was very pleased, and had my desert craving satisfied. The wife had splenda sweetened strawberries and whipped cream on hers and said it was the perfect treat. I still want a piece of turtle cheesecake, but won't do anything stupid for it now. I only had to hold the baby during desert and while paying the bill. She did great in the highchair and was the best third wheel I've ever had on a date. :-)

Our total bill, including tax and tip was $60. That's better than some of our trips to a Lonestar. So, I was quite happy for the rest of the evening as I didn't feel ripped off. I must have been in a good mood as I agreed to the wife buying a bunch of clothes that night after dinner.


Blogger Jesse said...

ug, now I'm hungry and I just ate. :)

7:36 PM  

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