Itís shameful how much they feed folks here, but then huge portions are how a handful of us secretly judge the places where we pay to eat. Forget the flavor and quality of the stuff, forget the price; if itís served in a huge mound we can hardly see over, it passes muster with us. We are gluttons, and Cheesecake Factory was made for us.
As it happens, it was also made for folks with taste, and much of the food is extremely edible, some of it bordering on pretty great. Aside from being exhaustive, the menu is both creative and ordinary, ranging from frilly polenta-filled tamales drizzled in three different sauces to good old American, stick-to-your-ribs classicsómeat loaf, shepherdís pie, entire chickens, and sides of beef. And both food schools are done right: The mashed potatoes are buttery and lumpy; the Southwestern spring rolls are packed with lime-doused chicken and cilantro and dressed in pretty, green avocado cream.
The unofficial but consistent rule running throughout each Cheesecake Factory feast: Each plate of food weighs in at the equivalent of a fudge cheesecake for 15.