cheesecake factory...chain restaurants - love'em or hate'em?

yes...i do eat at chain restaurants.  sometimes you are in an area where that's what's easiest, so you go.  at least i did and do.  why do i go to cheesecake some of you might ask?  well...for starters, a very long time ago, i used to be incredibly frustrated from all the new restaurants i was trying because i was always so disappointed in the food, so i kind of threw my hands up and said, "screw it"! (well...for those of you who know my vocabulary, i might have used a more colorful word than screw.  hehe)  so going to chain restaurants was easy for me, i knew what to expect and i felt like i could go without being severely disappointed.  and i'll be honest, i frickin' love that lemoncello torte..but have you seen the grams of fat in that slice!   holy sh*t! 

in fact, for those of you who also indulge yourself at the cheesecake, have you checked out the nutrition guide?!  wow!  if that doesn't help you make better choices in what you're about to eat!  but, i try to make myself feel better by saying...well, if i only eat HALF or a THIRD of this whole meal, then i wouldn't be eating the full 120 grams of fat in the fettucine alfredo!  wtf?!  ok..i could be wrong, but i distinctly remember liza saying it had over 100 grams of sat. fats in that one dish!  good grief...get the ambulance ready, i can already feel the chest pains setting in!  i swear...if you STILL chose to eat that...you have a death wish.  (and just to clarify, i never order the fettucine alfredo there)

ok, enough about the nutrition guide...i do like it, and am very glad that they have it.

moving on, so i started taking pictures of the bread and when the salad came, i just dug in and started eating and seriously, i'm at the cheesecake, i never take pictures here.  liza and i shared the endive, pecan and blue cheese salad, minus the raddichio (i don't like bitter stuff) and said extra endive.  it was lightly dressed, which was great and this location (santa anita) gave us a great bowlful of salad, NOT like the one in the new Americana over in glendale. (stingy peeps).  it wasn't just an appetizer salad it was more like an hors d'oeuvre!  anyhow...

i ordered sliders, with a side of thousand island dressing, oh!  and a side of french fries - extra crispy (you gotta have them extra crispy, i cannot stand soggy, limp fries).  now...those four little precious sliders came to the table, 3 on the bottom, one slider on top of the 3.  you could see that it was kind of shiny from the grease that must've popped onto those soft little buns while they were sitting on the grill next to their future slabs of meat...soon to be joined together.  there were supposed to be grilled onions on my precious little babies, but there were so few, i needed a magnify glass to find them.  even mcdonald's cheeseburgers give you more of those deyhydrated onions for cryin' out loud! (which i must admit ...i like.  haha) 

now, i don't just eat the burgers as is...i must make it my way.  i start by removing the soft top bun and slathered it with knife full of creamy thousand island dressing, oh yeah baby, don't be shy!  you will want plenty of it on there, because you have plenty of bread so you want to balance it all out.  two slices of pickles go on the meat, if you are a lover of ketchup, feel free and put the ketchup first, then the pickles and shredded lettuce if you want, i had it both ways (w/ and w/o lettuce).  why thousand island you ask?  ahhh...if you read my other blogs, its all about the moisture (plus i like the taste) !!!  and having that creamy textures along with the little crunch you get from the pickles and lastly, the super crunch of my extra crispy fries!  (dipped in ketchup)  i have to make note, the buns were so fresh and i really appreciated the fact that they toasted it on the grill, so thank you cheesecake factory for paying attention to the little details that make something so much more enjoyable.  FYI - those 4 sliders only have 9 grams of sat. fat..BEFORE i add all my creamy delicious thousand island, and the fries...but i feel good that i didn't take in that much fat.  Lord knows i ate enough saturated fats from my stuffed pizza AND haagen-dazs ice cream bar yesterday!  but who's keeping track?!  

so the moral of this cheesecake story...you can have the simplest things, from a chain restaurant and still find contentment and joy in what you are eating.  i loved my little sliders, though my fries were thicker than normal, they normally serve the shoestring ones, but who's complaining, i'm just making a note of the fry change.  my salad was great, the endive and arugula were all fresh and not limp and nasty, with lots of blue cheese crumbles and pecans.  the servers were attentive and courteous.  this is one of the better cheesecakes i've been to.  i have to say, the one in summerlin (vegas) is pretty disappointing...and what's sad is...ITS A CHAIN RESTAURANT!  aren't there set recipes?!  i'll save that topic for another time.

i did leave without dessert, i know...hard for many of you to believe, but i did have a large snickerdoodle from mrs. fields later on...i can't believe there wasn't even a discount at the end of the night!  (asian shop owner...hahaha  yes...i'm asian too, so i know how they are!  full price to the end! )

*sigh*  thanks for reading this bit about cheesecake...and i apologize for the lack of pictures...if you saw those little sliders...you'd want one to!!  they were really good.

happy eating!!

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