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ISSUE 116 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/8/2002

Dessert comes first at Cheesecake Factory

By Anonymous
Contributing Writer

Friday, November 8, 2002

Choosing a dessert has never been considered an incredibly difficult task. That is, it was not until the Cheesecake Factory opened its doors to customers last spring in Edina, Minn. Flaunting a menu with over 200 items and gourmet cheesecake to boast, the Cheesecake Factory encounters a dinner rush the size of a small army nearly every night. The menu is as thick as a novel and is accurately divided by contents and courses for the layman customer. Sections such as pizza, specialties, and desserts and more direct the customer to the meal of his or her choice. Spicy Thai entrees, Cajun cuisine, Italian pastas, and country-cooked comfort foods fill the menu with a wide range of items. For those who feel overwhelmed by a wide array of choices, this may not be the right restaurant. But for those who thrive in an atmosphere of variety, this is the place for you. The Cheesecake Factory can pride itself on perfecting a number of flavors and spices, which is obvious through more than the menu alone. Of the items tasted, the Orange Chicken was definitely a favorite. A zesty taste combined with vegetables and chicken cooked to perfection equaled an excellent meal. Rave reviews have also been collected regarding Chicken Madeira, Asian Vegetable Stir Fry, and the Bang-Bang Chicken and Shrimp. Portion sizes range from huge to gigantic, so beware. Prices range from $8.95 to $19.95 for entrees and $5-8 for desserts. The food was awesome, however the portions are huge, said Kate Houston 03. Be prepared to bring some home, however, you cant leave without a slike of cheesecake. The restaurants specialty cannot be overlooked. With a dessert menu listing over 30 types of cheesecake alone, once again one is faced with another painstakingly difficult decision. For the chocolate lovers out there, try Adams Peanut Butter Cup Ripple or Chocolate Tuxedo Cream cheesecake. Fruity flavors are also available, with Fresh Banana Cream and Key Lime cheesecake among customers favorites. For those who appreciate simplicity at its finest, a classic New York style cheesecake tops the choices. The textures of the cakes are light but the flavors are rich, adding up to a perfect combination. Customer service at the restaurant was mediocre. Although the hostess greeting was polite, it was far from friendly. She informed guests of their wait, which ranged from fifteen minutes to an hour on this particular Monday evening. The waitress was able to answer questions about the menu, but overall the service was slow and stuffy. The atmosphere definitely made up for the not-so-stellar service. Dim lamps fill the restaurant giving off a romantic and relaxing glow. Tables and booths are spread out far enough to allow for intimate table talk and plenty of room. The outside of the restaurant has a palace theme completed by giant towers and colorfully painted turrets. The Cheesecake Factory offers a unique atmosphere, a variety of menu options, and delicious cheesecake for a moderate price. For the indecisive type, the menu may seem a bit overwhelming at first. Customer service could be improved according to many patrons, but this may be particular to the location. The Cheesecake Factory is attached to Southdale Center on France Ave.

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