I confess that I tend to favor independent restaurants and funky dive bars that serve food rather than large corporate restaurants, so when a friend suggested we meet at the Cheesecake Factory in Lynhurst's Legacy Village, I was a little skeptical. I had heard of long lines and wondered how, with such a large menu, they could deliver tasty food. I was delightfully surprised.
Dining at the Cheesecake Factory was a pleasant experience. The service was friendly, without being cloying; the food delicious; and the atmosphere soothing and relaxing.
The menu is a huge, and slightly overwhelmed, spiral-bound tome. Separate sections describe appetizers, pizzas, pastas, fish and seafood, steaks and chops, salads, sandwiches, and eggs and omelets. Suffice it to say that there is something here for every taste.
Appetizer highlights include traditional wings, nachos, and mini-burgers as well as healthy alternatives, such as steamed edamame, and Thai lettuce wraps. Other menu items include a variety of burgers, including a kobe burger; pastas, including a spicy chicken chipotle pasta with peas, asparagus, and peppers; comfort food, such as a traditional shepherd's pie; sandwiches, including a tasty crabcake sandwich; and salads, the most popular of which is the BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad, topped with onion crunchies.
Sunday brunch items include three kinds of eggs benedict, a giant Belgian waffle, crab hash, and steak and eggs.
As you would expect from the name, cheesecake is the specialty of the house. Cheesecake Factory offers 32 different kinds of cheesecake, including the Mud Pie cheesecake, the Key Lime cheesecake (pictured above), and a delicious white chocolate raspberry swirl cheesecake. Portions are big enough to share or to part part home with you. There's also a to-go case near the front door so that you can stop in for a piece to take home.
From the Bar
Drinks include the traditional bar offerings as well as a full menu of specialty drinks. This include a variety of fruit daiquiris, the popular mojito, unique martinis like the Key Lime Martini, and a slew of coffee drinks. The wine list is more varied than you'd find at most mid-prized corporate restaurants and includes several wines by the glass.
Visiting the Cheescake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory is open seven days a week. Hours are:
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 11pm
Friday and Saturday: 11am - 1230am
Sunday: 10am - 11pm
There are two locations in the greater Cleveland area:
24265 Cedar Rd.
148 Crocker Park Blvd.
Valet and self-parking are available at both locations.