Sunday, October 24, 2010

----- These Are A Few Of My Favorite Chains ----- The Cheesecake Factory at Perimeter Mall

After a fabulous day of shopping at Perimeter Mall, I was feeling great. I felt like a fairy in Sleeping Beauty, dancing down the rows of beautiful costumes, pirouetting into each new design.  I managed to find some super cute outfits that were all on sale. It was one of those lucky days where everything fits, looks awesome on you and the price is just right. But after all of the hunting and trying on clothes I was starving. So my dad and I went to The The Cheesecake Factory.

 The Cheesecake Factory is one of my favorite chain restaurants. But unfortunately not all are created equal.  The location in Buckhead is one of my favorites. I also like the one in Boston at the Cambridge Side Galleria. But the one in Perimeter is not consistent. Sadly, I have given the Perimeter location a few chances to the point where I wasn't even going to try it this time. I was going to go to Maggiano's Italian Restaurant which is in the same restaurant row. Nevertheless, after waiting 20 minutes we were seated. I started with the Strawberry Lemonade. It is super sweet with an after note of tartness and the best part is free refills. 

My dad decided to order the Hot Spinach and Cheese dip, which we shared. It was really good on top of the warm sourdough and pumpernickel bread they provide. 

Hot Spinach and Cheese Dip

Spinach, Artichoke Hearts, Shallots, Garlic and a Mixture of Cheeses. Served Bubbly Hot with Tortilla Chips and Salsa. Enough for Two.

Ahi Tartare

Raw Tuna with Avocado and Soy-Ginger Sesame Sauce.

I  wanted something a little light and fresh so I ordered the Ahi Tuna Tartare. It was delicious. At first sight I was drawn in by the colors and presentation. 

As I slid my fork into it and took my first bite it was the perfect balance of all the taste senses. The creaminess of the avocado, the savoryness of the soy- ginger sauce and the crunch of the pickled ginger. I wanted to order two of these!

Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta

Honey Glazed Chicken, Asparagus, Red and Yellow Peppers, Peas, Garlic and Onion in a Spicy Chipotle Parmesan Cream Sauce.

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

Our most popular pasta dish! Shrimp and Chicken Sautéed with Onions, Tomato and Peppers in a Very Spicy Cajun Sauce. All on Top of Fresh Linguini. Also available over Rice.

Then came the entrees my dad ordered the Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta. It was very scrumptious, cooked exactly right. The pasta was perfectly al dente. The Penne absorbed the spicy flavors and sweetness of the sauce. My dad really enjoyed it. On the other hand, my Cajun Jambalya Pasta, which is one of their most popular pastas, was a different story. In short I had to send it back. The pasta was shamefully overcooked. I did not want to waste the chicken which was fine so they said they would just bring back a new pasta. In retrospect, I probably should have had them re-make the entire dish. When I got the pasta back again it was still overcooked. Instead of sending it back again I suffered through it and  mainly just ate the chicken.

Cheesecake Case

The Most Popular Cheesecakes - Housed in one case. Oh la la. 

After the pasta incident, I was ready to go so we got the check and headed over to the Cheesecake counter. I decided to get my favorite the Snickers Bar Cheesecake. It never disappoints and the Chefs at the Perimeter location don't make it, so I knew it was going to taste just the way I am used to.

My mother has always said to me that "Change is the only thing you can count on in life." And she's right. Things are always changing. I believe when you stop changing and growing you're basically dead. But there's one area where universally we don't like change; and It's kind of sad, but a fact of life that when people go to restaurants they do not like the dishes to change. When I worked as a Sous chef in restaurants it was a well known fact that you needed to keep the food consistent, or else!!

 I have seen a lot of restaurants fail in my time because their food was inconsistent; and even though The Cheesecake Factory Perimeter Location is part of a chain they need to get with it. If they can make one dish delicious they should be able to make everything that way.

Snickers® Bar Chunks and Cheesecake

Snickers Bar Baked right into Our Creamy Cheesecake and Topped with Fudge and Caramel.

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