Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I love a chain restaurant?

So chain restaurants are far from what I consider “good dining” – the mere phrase “chain restaurant” conjures up thoughts of pre-frozen, over-salted, under-seasoned and completely unhealthy excuses for food. Entrees we as a public are supposed to be happy with – even excited about if you believe certain advertising campaigns…

This is why this particular piece may be surprising to people – I know it is to myself. But everything I have had at The Cheesecake Factory is good – the ingredients seem to be high quality, and although there is not a whole lot to be considered “healthy” on the menu – there are healthy options that are equally as delicious as the more sinful choices.

The restaurant as a whole is more upscale than most chain restaurants – the d├ęcor is extravagant and castle-like. The service I have found to be above average. There is a full bar and an extensive menu – it’s more like a book – complete with a spiral binding – it takes a good 25 minutes to get through – so sit back, order yourself a drink, and read on…

My all time favorite dish is the Seared Tuna Tataki Salad – it is amazingly good – especially for a “healthy” dish. The dinner-sized salad features a mound of mesclin greens in a Wasabi Vinaigrette dressing that is both tangy and sweet, but so light and refreshing I have to stop myself from shoving forkfuls into my mouth... The salad is surrounded by thin slices of seared tuna, the center still raw and incredibly delicious and tender. It is served with a generous helping of sliced pickled ginger, tomatoes and slices of avocado.

And oh yeah, if you happen to like cheesecake, you’re in luck.