I’m not usually one for big-box style restaurants. They are crowded, cacophonous, and almost always contrived. I prefer the hole-in-the-wall taqueria–one window, no decor, but delicious food. However, I do believe there is a time and place when bigger truly can be BETTER.
Take The Cheesecake Factory, for instance. It’s the size of a shopping mall. Every tourist from Beijing to Iceland is in attendance. Their decor is a flat, bastardized amalgam of Italian eatery and pre-World War II lounge restaurant. And yet, I find myself coming back for more. Why?
It’s simple. My grandmother is Jewish…and amazing, which means there is never a shortage of seconds during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. To this day, my grandmother will serve me a pound of fresh lox when I wake up in the morning. This is not an exaggeration. There’s no stopping her. It probably goes without saying that I’ve had ample opportunity to refine my tastes, AND cultivate my penchant for over-eating.
If you are a big eater like me, who enjoys having a wide variety of selections when dining out, this is your place. The size of Cheesecake’s buildings are remarkable, but dwarfed by the size of their menu. They have everything from “Fish Tacos” to “Chicken Madeira,” and of course, a dessert list that goes on for miles–my personal favorite: the Oreo Cookie Cheesecake.
My girlfriend happens to be a server at the Beverly Hills location, so in addition to hearing some fantastic server nightmares about over-aged, bourgeois customers complaining about the dim lighting and loud noises (while not tipping!), I’ve had the chance to develop a fondness for The Cheesecake Factory’s emphasis on SIZE. A personal gigantor-dish favorite is the “Four Cheese Pasta with Blackened Chicken.”
If you are hungry, and I do mean HUNGRY, go enjoy the huge portions and tell us what you think! Beware, however, of low-lighting, poser decor, and nagging rich folk. Also, please feel free to tip your servers well, especially at the Beverly Hills location…
As always, Keep Calm and Engorge on!