Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Cheesecake Factory

This is my first review after having been diagnosed with prediabetes. But, after having pretty much behaving for 4 days, did that stop me from dining at this place? Nope. I've had some really great experiences at other locations, but for some reason, most of my experiences at the Corte Madera location haven't been all that great. Sometimes its the service, sometimes its the food. The service is definitely inconsistant, as is their staff. The reason I say this is because every time I've been there, the server has indicated to me that they are new. When a restaurant can't keep their staff, it makes me wonder whats going on in the back of the house...

Anyway, today I was craving something I shouldn't have and we needed to go shopping for shorts for The Husband at the Village, and I had some returns/exchanges to do.

Our wait was just a few minutes, which was nice. We were seated in that horrible round room in the back, which I hate, but it was a booth with a view of Nordstrom. Our server was fine. We were involved in a heated conversation and she seemed to respect that, so there wasn't a whole lot of diner/server interaction.

We ordered the chicken potstickers as an appetizer because that is what Bella wanted. I'm not a fan of chicken anything, unless it's a chicken breast. The presentation was 5 potstickers in a bowl of dipping sauce, which was quite thin. The wonton wrappr was soggy, and when I cut my peice in half, it pretty much fell apart. The filling was basically just chopped and mushed up tasteless chicken. Not a fan of this dish.

TH (the husband) and I shared the Steakhouse Salad, which was sliced mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, chunks of bleu cheese, red onion, sundried tomatoes, and a bed of greens tossed in vinaigrette on the side. I enjoyed this dish and wanted more!

My entree was the Cuban Sandwich. What a disappointment! In their defense, it was my first one ever, but I'd heard of them and have been wanting to try one. It had slow roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard and
was served on a "pressed cuban style roll". The pork was really dry and tough, so I took it out, but with it went the swiss cheese. So I was left with the ham, which was fine, pickles, a roll, and if there was any mustard, I didn't taste any. I had a few french fries, and I have to say, they were actually pretty good.

TH had the Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta, which I didn't get to taste until I reheated it at home. It was very good. I like a lot of spice, but I doubted this dish would come close to being considered "spicy", but it proved me wrong. It had a nice zap to it. Penne pasta was served with honey glazed chicken medallions, asparagus, peppers, peas, garlic, and onion in a spicy parmesan cream sauce. It was topped with some (unnecessary) tortilla strips. I've never been a fan of those. Overall, this dish was delicious.

Bella once again ordered a 20 dollar dish, which needs to stop! She wanted the beef ribs, which were served with french fries and onion stings. She loved it. I'm not a fan of beef ribs; I prefer pork, so I didn't try them, but I trust her judgement. Besides, my dogs benefitted from them being beef since they can eat bones from beef! :) I don't think any of us had a chance to try the onion strings, but I was eyeing them! I'm sure they were delish. I guess my only question was: where was the vegetable? Ya know, some steamed veggies or a salad? For me, a meal is not complete unless it has a fresh, green vegetable.

My biggest pet peeve is when I'm ready to go and I can't get the bill or I get the bill and I can't get the server to take it and process it. This was not a problem today; we got our bill, payed it, and went on our way to get some shopping done.

I have a question for The Cheesecake Factory people: where is the Southern Fried Chicken Salad? That was the best salad I've ever had!

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