Cheesecake Factory

Written by on February 8, 2011 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Downtown Bellevue

How I heard of this place: The first time I learned of the Cheesecake Factory was from my sister, Mojgan, years ago. When it first opened in Bellevue a few friends and I sampled the food and tested out the environment, reminiscent of nearly ever other Cheesecake Factory I have visited.

Type of cuisine: A typical corporate-style chain establishment, with a variety of options including pizzas, salads, burgers, and pastas in flavors inspired by Mexico, Italy, North America,and beyond .

Ambiance: A large establishment, with high ceilings, yellowed walls and decorative glass light fixtures, both hanging from the ceiling and on the walls. Dark brown, wooden backed booths and chair-table seating (in the bar as well) can be found throughout the small spaces created in the venue. Elevator music plays in the background on this evening, sometimes loudly, as the hustle and bustle of restaurant spaces can be heard and felt. Patrons are not shy to speak to their dining companions aloud, but rarely do conversation topics make it to the neighboring tables. The staff, all clad in white threads are never far away, very friendly and eager to please. At the entrance, like other Factories, hostesses smile behind a large wood and granite slab-lined podium, awaiting the name and number in your party. As you wait for your name to be called, one can visit the cheesecakes and seven-layer cakes on display at the take-away counter, or make your selections for dessert! The tiled floor always sparkles with shine, as your party is guided to its seats. Tall, green plants create a sense of nature in an otherwise dimly-lit, modern-Romanesque setting.

What I ordered: After working through our large, garlic-infested meals at the Mediterranean Kitchen, the four of us needed to walk it off…And a block later, realized dessert was in order! After placing our beverage orders, hot water for me, served in a large, glass mug, one cup of decaffeinated coffee ($2.95) and another mug of regular coffee ($2.95), we were ready with our dessert selections. I had to sample the new (since the last time I was at a Cheesecake Factory) Chris’ Outrageous Chocolate Cake ($7.50), a Cheesecake Factory original with layers of moist chocolate cake, chewy brownie, toasted coconut-pecan frosting and creamy chocolate chip coconut cheesecake. The dining companion seated directly across from me went with the Lemoncello Cream Torte ($6.95), layers of vanilla cake and lemon mascarpone cream topped with streusel and served with strawberries and whipped cream, to accompany his black, decaf coffee. To my right, my dining companion had been eying the Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake ($7.75), with moist layers of red velvet cake and the Original Cheesecake covered with special Cheesecake Factory cream cheese frosting, which was washed down with his cream-infused cuppa joe. The final order at our table, my favorite of the night, was the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle cheesecake ($6.95), layers of chocolate cake, chocolate-raspberry swirl cheesecake, chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache.

What I loved: The two men in our party most enjoyed the red velvet. My favorites were the two with fruit, as they tasted somewhat less rich and dense. But overall, the sweet factor was reached with each of the desserts at our table.

Why I loved it: The portions are huge and the food consistently good. You know what you are going to get at the Cheesecake Factory, where everything tastes the same from Seattle, to Las Vegas, from Orange County to Bellevue.

Cost: Average to high ($6.95-$7.95 per dessert)

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