Spitzit’s House

Where serious topics come to relax

Restaurant Review – The Cheesecake Factory – Frisco, TX

Recently had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory for the first time ever. They have been around for many many years and I was probably the last person on earth that had never eaten there…that is until last weekend. Suffice it say that it was my first and probably the last time I will eat there.

It is lunchtime at Stonebriar Mall in Frisco, and generally I would take the family in to Dave & Busters where we could have a decent meal and then spend some quality time with my children capping crazed zombies with sub-machine guns in the vast arcade. I love that place. However, on this particular day we decided to try something a little different, so we walked into the Cheesecake Factory right next door. The place is always packed, so I figured there has to be something good about it, right?

Well as it turns out, it was not such a great experience after all. First, one would assume that a restaurant called “The Cheesecake Factory” would be a family friendly restaurant where you could take your kids and have a merry old time. Not the case at all…they have no children’s menu. That’s right, no menu for the little kiddos. We asked for one and were politely advised that they do not have a separate menu for children but the appetizers are perfect size for dividing among two children. Therefore, if you are going to eat here with kids, be aware that they are going to have to order what is most likely a $10 to $15 entree or appetizer. If you have multiple children like me, there is in fact plenty of food for them to split a single entree or appetizer…if you can get them to agree on which one it will be. Most any parent knows you have better odds of being hit by lightning.

The other thing that I didn’t think was very tasteful was that the first 7 pages of the menu are all specialty drinks and beers from the bar. So we sit at the table and the waiter places 4 menus in front of all of us, and within 30 seconds my 8 year old son proclaims that he will be having the “Flying Gorilla” for lunch. He’s an 8 year old boy…of course he wants the “Flying Gorilla”…it sounds fun, its cool…except for the fact that it is packed with alcohol. That, I explained to him, is an “adult drink” and you can’t have it, to which he tried to argue that it had ice cream, bananas, etc. etc.. I started flipping pages to get him to the regular menu, which is when I realized that actual food does not start until page 8…WTH! And from there is what seemed to be another 190 pages of food menu items.

I like an extensive selection on a menu, but this was ridiculous. I would guesstimate that they probably have more than 100 different selections on their food menu from appetizers to salads to entrees (all of this but no child’s menu I might add again).  I could have spent an hour just reading through it all trying to figure out what I wanted. Finally I just decided to split the appetizer sampler platter with my wife. The kids competed in “rock, paper, scissors” best 2 out of 3 to determine who would be selecting their dish, because that is the only fair way I can handle these kind of issues. Oddly enough it works.

Let me also speak to the fact that I hate sitting at tables that have chairs on one side and then a long bench on the other and tables lined down the bench about 12 inches apart. We had a couple sitting to one side of us and a group of teenage girls to the other side of us, but in reality we are all pretty much at the same table together. We can hear everything they are talking about and vice versa, and everyone is checking out each others plates to see what you are eating. The girls were going to a party that evening and had been shopping for what to wear and talking about Tiffany’s new boyfriend, Mark, and how Lisa’s ex is such an ass…but he’s cute. The couple on the other side of us were Eric and his new girlfriend of about a month and they were all lovie-dovie with each other, and he is evidently not happy in his software developer job but she loves being a teacher, blah blah blah! These kind of seating arrangements in restaurants should be outlawed. I hate them…everybody hates them…and that is because they suck. Just a little tad of privacy would be nice.

Our appetizer platter was huge and the food was really good. Our neighbors at the table seemed to be interested in it as well and I almost expected them to reach out and help themselves. The kids ate the “sliders” with chicken and they weren’t bad either. The food here is good but that is not the issue.

The issue is that this is a place I would not recommend to anyone with children, and yet I looked around and there were children everywhere. I wondered if the adults were thinking what I was thinking. I asked some friends this week and they all advised that they had eaten there once, and would not be returning for the same reason with their kids. If you are young, single, have no kids, or have grown kids, you will probably love it…if you don’t mind sitting with strangers. If you have kids and you don’t mind them trying to order a rum and coke from the menu, then you may like it as well. Not for me though, I would rather be killing zombies with my kids in Dave & Busters.

That is my final opinion…until I get a free coupon in the mail offering me a lifetime of meals at no charge.

October 8, 2008 - Posted by | Restaurants & Dining | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Unfortunately for you it seems like you’ve gone to the wrong Cheesecake Factory for a first time experience. Did they ask you for preferred seating like required in the restaurant? Once you walk in you are allowed to request a booth, and if you get to the table and find that it’s not a booth, you still have time to change you mind and use your mouth to ask for one. But, if you did not specify who’s fault is that? Secondly, even though there is no kids menu there are kids items that are not specified on the menu. Unfortunately again it seems as though the restaurant you went to didn’t have a knowledgeable staff. Kids pasta, kids macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, pizza and french fries, BBQ chicken strips, and chicken or cheeseburger sliders are some of the things that The Cheesecake Factory have to offer children. There is even a kids sunday dessert!!!! They also make “baby plates” for children who are old enough to eat bananas and young enough to sit in a highchair. So, needless to say they do cater to families. Yes….the pizza and appetizers are big enough for kids to share, but if the staff was knowledgeable you would have known about other choices and no one would have been fighting! I feel sorry for your experience and wish it would have been as great as my experience at the Cheesecake Factory in White Plains, NY.

    P.s. Entrees are never more that $10; unless ordering the Factory Favorites! And another secret…All new kids menu out MARCH!!! =] Good luck on your next experience!

    Comment by Laura Fiztgerald | February 5, 2009

  2. Laura, thanks for the response and the input. Unfortunately, in the restaurant business, like in life, there is no impression like a first impression. I have received the same feedback from other family and friends after discussing our experience. Good food, maybe even great food…but not a family restaurant for those with young pre-teen children.

    You would be proud to know that I did use my mouth…and my voice as well, to request a children’s menu, to which our very knowledgeable waiter advised us that there was not one. If there actually are child’s menu items like you say then maybe it would nice if they were actually visible somewhere on the 90 page menu…OH WAIT! I have a GREAT IDEA….they could place the children’s menu somewhere before all those pages of alcohol drinks. This is a genius idea…and it is free this time…I’m not even going to request a free slice of cheesecake.

    Also, the restaurant here is mostly “bench” seating. They did not ask us what we preferred and it really didn’t matter since there are very few booths and they were just not available.

    Obviously, the prices in Texas are much different than yours, and quite possibly the menu as well. If I am ever in White Plains I will be sure to stop by your restaurant.

    Comment by spitzit | February 5, 2009


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