Cheesecake Factory. I admit is one of my guilty pleasures, I must go to this place almost everytime I go to the States even though I know there’s better food out there. I can guarantee they would do really well if they opened up in Vancouver. For those unfamiliar they aren’t just cheesecakes, they actually have a huge menu. Not sure how good the menu is overall, because I typically stick to the pastas, appetizers and cheesecakes.
On this visit, we decided to try a bunch of small things, and two of what we thought would be small, lunch-sized salads. We ordered the wild mushroom pizzette and Vietnamese tacos from the small plates section. From the appies we chose the Tex Mex Egg Rolls, and the Macaroni & Cheese balls. We also got lunch sized Cobb and Chicken Caesar Salads.
The wild mushroom pizzette was delicious (as is the Italian sausage and ricotta). The crust was thin and crisp, and it had a very nice mix of wild mushrooms. Awesome flavour, and a good amount of cheese. The Vietnamese sandwich was probably the worst starter of the bunch, but it was still pretty decent. It had a steamed asian rice bun as the taco shell, and filled with pork, cucumber, cilantro, carrots and onion. It worked, but wasn’t the greatest. Maybe it could’ve used a bit of hoisin sauce. It had a little bit of spiciness too. The macaroni and cheese balls were a bit over fried with the crust being too dark. Still it was crspy and the inside was nice and rich, very rich. The creamy tomato sauce added more richness and a bit of sourness. I love these things, but 1 is the perfect amount. The tex mex rolls were really good too, and our favourite appetizer of the bunch. Crispy egg roll stuffed with chicken, corn, beans, peppers and a bit of cheese with a nice creamy avocado sauce. All the flavours worked well together.
Now onto the bad part. We ordered lunch sized salads, but these things were shockingly still massive. I’m scared to see what a regular sized salad looks like. Anyways both salads were very bad. Both salads didn’t seem to fresh. The cobb salad didn’t taste very good and was over loaded with crumbled egg. The bluecheese was a bit too strong for my liking, but I think overall the unfreshness of the lettuce really turned me off. I think I prefer my cobb salad separated instead of mixed all together. The Caesar salad just seemed a bit off too. The chicken had an odd smell, similar to those precooked sliced chicken breasts you can get at the grocery. The leaves were a bit dead too.
For dessert we ordered the white chocolate caramel macademia nut cheese cake, which I admit I like becasue it has caramel and macademia nuts, and white chocolate. It has my favourite cookie plus caramel. It is overly sweet though, and the cheesecake is a bit uneven and lacking in the cheesecake portion. There are large chunks of caramelly white chocolate and macademia which overpowere the cake. Way too sweet, and not enough cheesecake.
I still like Cheesecake Factory though. Pretty decent prices, and lots of selection. I’m usually happy with the appetizers and the pastas. I think I’ll continue to stay away from their salads.
700 Pike St