The Cheesecake Factory

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Friday, April 4 2008
6223 S. State St. Murray, UT.
3 out of 4 "I could give a fucks"

There it was, in all its glory. She leaned over, eyes wide and gasped, "Oh my god, it's huge!" Oddly enough this was not how the evening ended, but how it began. The menu at The Cheesecake Factory is fucking huge. There are at least 400 pages of every kind of food thinkable. The menu is chock full of advertisements for jewelers, shops at the mall and even a dentist's office. I am pretty sure that the only thing missing from the Bible-size menu was the weight-loss routine needed post meal.

So, I went to The Cheesecake Factory. For those of you who don't know where it is, it's the faux neoclassical, wish it were Las Vegas monstrosity just south of Nordstrom's in the parking lot of the Fashion Place Mall. And why The Cheesecake Factory? Mostly because some busboy at Bucca de Beppo suggested it last month (he swore by the carrot cake cheesecake).

I could spend some time talking about the food, but I won't because I am totally convinced that it is not worthwhile enough to go into detailed descriptions of just how mediocre is the food at restaurants like this. It was not remarkably good, nor was it remarkably bad. In fact, the only thing remarkable about the food was the sheer quantity; our servings were big enough to dwarf the ridiculous menu. A plate of beef sliders was recommended for the seven-year-old who was with us, and being described as bite-size burgers. We were all shocked when a plate full of Big Mac-sized burgers arrived. The rest of the meal was equally oversized; lettuce wraps that threatened to push us all out of our damn seats, buffalo wings à la hair and pork tenderloin for $37.

I could also talk a bit about the décor, but I don't think shit that looks like it was painted at relief society should be dignified by being called art. I don't know who pays for, or for that matter, who gets paid for making a place look like some creepy, new age, pastel version of a bad, oversized Vegas buffet, but I'd like to meet them and ask them how they sleep at night. The world has enough ugly in it. With poverty, war and disease, why would we want to fill the world with more pastel and faux Italian plaster? Never mind, I was just watching some stupid show on HGTV and I think I know where they found the fucking people who designed that place.

Finishing our meal should have been the highlight of the evening, but then we got our check. For a moment I thought we must have eaten someplace good, like Takashi or Franck's, but then I remembered how not awesome my food was. I am pretty sure that I could have eaten at almost any restaurant in Salt Lake with that budget. This place gets 3 out of 4 "I could give a fucks "(if I ever eat there again, that is). Please, just go someplace good next time you want some food. I know you all go to places like this and it needs to stop. Just because you saw it once on vacation doesn't mean it's worth a three hour wait.