The Cheesecake Factory

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“Cheesecake Factory at 6:30” was what I was told.

We arrived at 6:30, though our friends got there at 6 to get in line for a table. I’ve heard that the fare at Cheesecake Factory is similar to that at TGI Friday’s, which is a little heavy for my taste, but I figured I could get a salad. And I was going for the company, anyway.
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It took about an hour & a half to get seated. I think I destroyed a few brain cells trying to remember everyone I knew who had said they worked at this place. Rylen moved to Vegas. I lost Joylani’s number. I had deleted Patti’s number. Oh well. At least I was really, really hungry by the time we got our menus.

Service was great. Our server was not only good-looking (hey, it counts!) but also knowledgeable about the menu & specials. Keeping company was a little more complicated, & trying to hear what the person sitting next to me was saying became tedious enough after awhile that I resorted to people watching, which one can get in abundance in Waikiki.

Outside I had heard a guy in a blue aloha shirt saying very loudly to his party, “No gratuity. No gratuity required.” That bothered me a lot. Waikiki’s a great place to stiff your server if you’re from out of town, because you’re probably never coming back to this restaurant any time soon (& in the case of this particular restaurant, the wait alone guarantees that). I despise people like that. Sometimes Japanese can hide behind the excuse that they don’t know about tipping, but these folks were Americans.

Those people ended up seated on the table next to ours.

My father, who listens to Laura Schlesinger (Dr. Laura) on the radio, will insist that a gratuity is a gratuity, & that it is not even necessary to give one. But then my dad also keeps restaurant gift certificates for 2 years & then gets mad if the restaurant won’t honor them beyond the expiration date.

Tips are your server’s income, dammit. They don’t make jack from hourly. Tipped positions get paid less than the minimum wage & they pay taxes on a percentage of their sales regardless of what they were actually tipped. Theoretically, if a server gets stiffed all the time he or she loses money for serving tables.

Ok, I’m not sure when the /rant went on, but I’ll cut it short because I need to go to bed. Sorry about that.
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My Cobb Salad was GREAT. It was as good as my favorite Chopped Salad at Pepper’s, or that wonderful Greek Salad Shark’s Cafe served way back when. Everyone’s food looked good, actually. Our dishes were brought to our table by 4 runners, which I think is brilliant.

Cheryl’s Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake was better than my Key Lime Cheesecake. Boo.

We walked out of there at 10. I was quite gratified that the experience had exceeded my expectations.

Was it worth the wait?

No.

7 Comments so far

  1. Mr. Wendell (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 2:04 am

    Whenever I think of the Cheesecake Factory, I always think that there’s some catchy kids’ song that goes along with the name. There isn’t one, but sometimes I find myself trying to create one. Cheeeesecake Factorrrry, the sovereign nation of cheeeeeese. Where the president is a bakerrrr and his wife is gouda cheeeese.

    It just doesn’t make sense, man. I’m like outta control!


  2. Michael(tm) Smith (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 4:11 am

    Hey, is this why they call it the Cheesecake Factory? Wait — is that you? Wow. And you’re into World of Warcraft too? Sounds almost too good to be true. And your name is Lauren? My middle name is actually Laurin (no joke). It’s almost like a sign from God.

    Please let me know if you ever plan to visit Tokyo. And please promise to never write anything bad about the Windward Side. I love it there.


  3. Phil (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 12:39 pm

    I have yet to go to Cheesecake Factory to try out their food. I heard their burgers are good or something.


  4. Ryan (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 10:02 pm

    My cousin and his friend work at Cheesecake Factory. CF is good, but it’s not good enough that I’d be willing to wait in line for. And Lauren, Ruth’s Chris sucked!


  5. Audrey (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2005 @ 6:23 pm

    Oh my god! So true! (especially the comment about dad) Haha, I’m surprised your blog was so short, I know we both can go on for days about the joys of serving the “non-tippers”. Like the one about visine! :) Anyway, looking foward to your next blog! (please leave me out of it ok?)


  6. Chris (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2005 @ 3:44 am

    I’ve been to CF on the Mainland but I’ve vowed never to go to the one in Waiks because I’m just not willing to wait an hour for a table anywhere… As I recall the food was decent but if I’m waiting that long it better be as good/better than sex =D


  7. Lauren (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2005 @ 8:22 am

    Amen, Chris. Amen.



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