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The Cheesecake Factory, Pittsburgh, PA
Date December 5, 2009
Author Katie Lane


The Cheesecake Factory, Pittsburgh, PA




The Cheesecake Factory, Pittsburgh, PA

Fine is one of my favorite words of ambivalence.  I use it frequently, probably more than I should.

“How was your day?”
“It was fine.”
Not good…not terrible, just…fine.

That is how I feel about The Cheesecake Factory.  In my opinion, there is nothing great about it, but it’s certainly not the worst restaurant.  It’s fine.

I went to The Cheesecake Factory at Southside Works last Thursday with a few girlfriends.  We decided to order a few drinks and share appetizers, nothing out of the ordinary.  The restaurant wasn’t crowded, so we got a table right away.  (Which was good because some of us suffer from a very serious affliction called Hungergrump).  Once hungergrump sets in, the affected person cannot be held responsible for the change in mood.  It’s abrupt and horrifying…the only cure is food….now.)

Anyway, we were seated, and  ordered drinks.   I am a big fan of bleu cheese stuffed olives, so I ordered the Well-Mannered Martini, a Ketel One vodka martini, straight-up & dirty with the bleu cheese olives.  My roommate had the same, my sister had a bloody mary, and another friend ordered a Lemon Drop martini.  We were all pretty happy with our drinks, and I’ll tell you right now that the drinks were the best part of the meal.

Then, we ordered four appetizers to share.  The thing is we forgot that we were at The Cheesecake Factory and that the portions there are out of control.   I’ve been to CF many times, and every time I’ve had to take a doggy bag.  The portion sizes are BIG.  The prices correspond to the size of the dishes, but both are, I think, larger than necessary.  So very American.

We ordered white-bean hummus, Tex-Mex eggrolls, grilled chicken nachos, and buffalo blasts.  We loved the blasts and the hummus.  The hummus tasted fresh, although there was nothing particularly dazzling about the dish; grocery store hummus is just as good.  (Sidenote:  Sabre Supremely Spicy Hummus is awesome!)  Buffalo Blasts are fried pockets of buffalo chicken dip.  They are good, I get them frequently, but they are nothing special.  The eggrolls were fine; they came with an awesome teriyaki sauce.  Though the nachos were delicious, it was just too much food…we barely touched them.  I think when ordering for a group, it’s better to have too much food rather than not enough, obviously.  We forgot, though, where we were.  And nachos do not reheat well.

After the meal of appetizers and vodka, my friends and I shared slice of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake.  It was really very delicious, especially after the spicy meal.  Cheesecake and coffee and some good buddies…man…when did my life become Golden Girls?

It was a nice evening.  The drinks were good, the food was fine, and the service was pretty good, too,  but, as I said, nothing out of the ordinary.

The Cheesecake Factory
415 South 27th Street. Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: (412) 431-7800


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7 Responses to The Cheesecake Factory, Pittsburgh, PA

  1. Bonnie Bright says:

    Katie –

    I see a new career in your future — restaurant critic. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the Cheesecake Factory. Wish I was invited to your “girly get-together” cuz that Well Mannered Martini and cheesecake selection would have put me over the top.

    Keep up the good work!

    Love ya, Bonnie

  2. ktj says:

    I totally agree.. Cheesecake factory is ‘fine’ not great
    not terrible. I must say though last time I was there my friend had a very strange item in her mexican black beans. Turned out to be skin from poblano pepper but looked much worse [even propholactic in nature]. On a service note– we had several people working our table and it took a while to get the actual ‘server’ who took our order to share the complaint. When waitress came over — 7-10 mins later at least, and was asked ‘what is this’ she took the item on a side plate for the cooks to research and did not return. The Manager came over to apologize and asked if another side could be sent[broccoli was and it came quickly], the mgr promised to remove the entree from the bill. Another food person came over to explain what the item was, and while an organic item it was still pretty gross. Overall, what could have been a relaxing lunch was not, service could have been better and more effiecient…and while the other food items had no problems the experience was just ‘fine’..

  3. Thank you for calling out The Cheesecake Factory for what it is. Of all the places to visit for dinner in the South Side, I am consistently shocked when people tell me they’re going to The Cheesecake Factory. If you’re going to cross a bridge or two for dinner, I would reconsider this establishment as your destination of choice.

    “So very American.” EXACTLY!

    Great review. Keep them coming!

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