Restaurant Review: Cheesecake Factory, Kenwood Mall

I love the chance to meet up with a girlfriend and have dinner and a little shopping. My friend Leah lives on the other side of the city - so it's always a challenge to find a place that's in the middle. We settled on Kenwood and then went for the Cheesecake Factory.

I realized hadn't been in a couple of years - but I always enjoyed it - especially the cheesecake. The menu is always a book - but I'll suffer through it. Just a note - we went on a Friday evening and thought by meeting at 530pm, we would "beat the rush". Um no. I got there a touch before 530pm and it was already a 45 minute wait!!! 

By the time we got seated we were STARVING!!!! The server brought us out fresh bread - which thankfully - had soft butter with it. The bread is always great - we had a crispy Italian and a hearty whole grain. 

Leah twisted my arm into getting a drink with her - for her - it's a night away from 3 kids - so who can blame her?!? She went for a daiquiri and I went for my standard on the rocks marg - drinks were fine. 

Even though we had bread - our stomachs were growling and we decided to get an app. The one that caught our eye was a combo of fried zucchini, mushrooms and avocado! Neither of us had tried fried avocado - so we were eager to try it. It was really good! It came with two sauces - not really very identifiable - one tasted almost like tartar sauce and the other was probably a southwest ranch. The mushrooms were portabella and I don't think they need to be fried - so all in all we both liked the zucchini & avocado the most. Fried avocado - still thinking about it! 

Leah went for her tried & true favorite - Chicken Piccata - sauteed chicken breast with lemon sauce, mushroom & capers, served with angel hair pasta. She loved it and had some leftover to take home to the babysitting hubby.  

I chose the Bistro Shrimp Pasta with crispy battered shrimp, fresh mushrooms, tomato and arugula tossed with spaghettini and a basil-garlic-lemon cream sauce. By this point - I was pretty full so I didn't eat too much (had to save room for cheesecake). It was fine - the shrimp don't need to be battered and it could use more vegetables. It does not reheat well - the cream sauce just turns to oil. 

Lastly - of course - cheesecake! Leah went for the traditional New York with strawberries. I wanted German Chocolate but they don't have that anymore so I asked the server about their Pineapple Upside Down - which is cake & cheesecake. He raved and said he loved it. Unfortunately I didn't feel the same way. The cake was a little too hard. Actually - it's a few days later and the leftovers are still in my fridge - not a big sales point. 

Why Should You Go? Honestly - I didn't love it - it was fine but I didn't love anything other than the fried avocado & zucchini. For the wait- I'd have rather had Maggiano's - especially when the check for just me was $50! Zoinks! 

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(Side note: the staff does not dress like Penny on Big Bang Theory)

The Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon

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