Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Cheesecake Factory

I am an emotional eater. In sadness, I relieve my sorrow in foods to comfort me and in happiness, my favorite way to celebrate is to indulge in treats that I usually restrict from my diet. So when I received my Calculus midterm back, we went to The Cheesecake Factory to temporarily console me.

The Cheesecake Factory used to have an amazing Veggie Burger that helped the restaurant to earn its place as my favorite eatery. As I have mentioned before, I go to restaurants to eat foods that I can't or won't normally cook myself, so I usually avoid the burger alternatives of Boca and Gardenburger that many restaurants offer, since I regularly eat them at home.

At The Cheesecake Factory, their Veggie Burger was made in-house using beets, blacks beans, brown rice, and other vegetables that I have now forgotten since the Veggie Burger was removed from the menu over a year ago.

I still stick with the Avocado Eggrolls, filled with creamy avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro, and red onion, and served with a sweet tamarind sauce, but I have yet to find something that satisfies me as equally as the Veggie Burger always did. I have even tried ordering it off-menu and writing to corporate, all to no avail.

Completely at a loss without my beloved Veggie Burger, I ordered Evelyn's Favorite Pasta, hoping that the delicious carbohydrates would put me at ease about my midterm grade. The enormous bowl of penne pasta, with broccoli, oven-dried tomatoes, artichoke, eggplant, kalamata olives, pine nuts, red peppers, parmesan cheese, garlic, and basil that was set in front of me immediately put a smile on my face. The pasta, lightly tossed in olive oil, was sweetened by the dried tomatoes, had a mild smoky flavor from the roasted eggplant, a slight crunch from the pine nuts, and was salty from the artichoke. I enjoyed the vegetables individually with the pasta, but together, I think there were just too many flavors and textures in one bite, so I still have not found an adequate substitute for the Veggie Burger.

Devin's usual order at The Cheesecake Factory is The Navajo, a fry bread sandwich filled with grilled chicken, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and accompanied with french fries. Pretty much anything with avocado (except guacamole), Devin will order and like.

And of course, being The Cheesecake Factory, we took home our usual, a slice each of Vanilla Bean Cheesecake for Devin and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake for me.

It was a ton of food, not to mention that our entrees took a while to come to our table, so we finished the sourdough and wheat bread placed on our table upon being seated, was given more, and we each ordered a beer, so we each ended up taking half of our entrees home with us.

The Cheesecake Factory
71 Fortune Dr.
Irvine, CA 92618


Vanessa said...

I love the Cheesecake Factory as well (who doesn't love cheesecake?!), but a lot of the dishes are, as you said, too many flavors in each bite. I agree with you on Evelyn's pasta. I've ordered it before and I haven't ordered it again. It's too bad though that a great dish, the veggie burger that you mentioned, has been removed. Let's hope that the bring it back!

Emily said...

Actually...I didn't realize how difficult it is to get good vegetarian food in Irvine. I'm (obviously) not a vegetarian, but I can see how it would be frustrating. And now that I think of it...It's pretty hard to find seafood in Irvine that doesn't cost $30 an entree.

Props to your blog, though…I’m a fellow foodie myself and I love reading about what others are cooking! Have you ever been to

Alyssa said...

vanessa: I really don't know why I even bother ordering an entree at the Cheesecake Factory anymore, since I know I love the Avocado Eggrolls, bread, and cheesecake, but have always been disappointed with the entrees ever since the Veggie Burger was removed from the menu. If you like avocados at all, then you must try the Avocado Eggrolls!

emily: Thank you so much for providing the url to that blog. I am going to France in March and although I have had about five or six years of French language classes, it will really help me to read that blog in French!

I think I might have an easier time finding meals as a pescetarian than do vegetarians. The only reason I can't be a true vegetarian is because of sushi! My weakness!

Anonymous said...

The veggie burger at the cheesecake factory is back and they have a skinnny and regular version now! I just had it tonight, yum!

Anonymous said...

Just came back from Melliniall Mall in Orlando , FL and had the best veggie burger if my life! It's back!!! Yummers