The Cheesecake Factory

I wasn’t even aware of this restaurant until one of my best friends (who’s practically American she knows the country so well) told me I had to visit. Of course, my family was intrigued as well. So to celebrate my stepdad’s birthday we went on a little road trip. Basically a food road trip. But we disguised this under the simple phrase, “We’re going to Buffalo to shop!” But now you know the real reason.

All joking aside, we actually did visit the Walden Galleria and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the “box of bites” options at Pretzelmaker and purchasing a pile of bravest from Aerie. Check out this video if you’re as interested in freeing the nipple as my family is. But the focus found itself back to the food. After an adequate lunch at the Olive Garden (I found my Chicken Piccata too salty and mostly filled my stomach with those precious breadsticks) we headed to our destination. The decor loomed in front of us…and so did the ginormous menu. I could hardly choose what to have, I felt like I needed to pull out a notepad and do a little process of elimination game.

Avocado Egg Rolls and Buffalo Blasts

Thankfully, appetizers were easy to choose. The server said our choices were the top two favourites on the menu (I wonder how often they use this line though?) Whether she was lying or not, it didn’t matter because the Avocado Egg Rolls and Buffalo Blasts were heaven-sent. I would not have been surprised if an angel had literally delivered it to our table. Sadly, I’m relying on the opinions of my mom, dad and sister about the avocado rolls because I didn’t get to taste these. It’s a long story, but my sister and I were once the champions of a “Quac-off,” winning best guacomole out of all our neighbors. That evening was spent devouring so much guacomole that I spent the following hours puking it back up. Basically, avocado is not my forté anymore; but you can believe these rolls were delicious since they were gone in two seconds. The Buffalo Blasts on the other hand were accessible to me, and their access was lovingly granted (I would not like to disclose how many pieces of this I had…) We thought these would just be some regular fried chicken pieces in sugary barbeque sauce. We were mistaken. These were crispy slabs of chicken, with a barbeque-infused (!!) skin. Each bite was tender and crunchy with a zingy flavour.

After revving up my appetite with the starters,  I decided there was only one way to go when you drive across the border to America. Chicken and bisquits.

Chicken and Bisquits

This meal was delicious, the gravy was more like a sauce, very thick and creamy but not too salty. The bisquits were sweet and crunchy on the outside, with a fluffy centre that didn’t get soggy as I swirled it in the gelatinous gravy. I felt a little better knowing there were some visible vegetables on my plate…on top of the four slices of chicken. This was an absolute success, and I could hardly touch the mashed potatoes. That’s saying something because I can count on one hand how many times I haven’t finished a restaurant meal. This was a rare moment. And it had to be documented.

My sister ordered farfalle with chicken and roasted garlic. This was the real winner of the night, my parents were eating off of her plate in increments! She said it tasted amazing, a mix of creamy garlic sauce and a tomato bisque soup flavour.

Farfalle with Roasted Chicken and Garlic

My parents ordered two other chicken with pasta dishes. The Chicken Bellagio and Crusted Chicken Romano. These portions were huge as well, and they enjoyed it but were not raving about it as much as the appetizers.

Chicken Bellagio
Crusted Chicken Romano

It ended up being almost 11 o’clock by the time we finished our meal. So instead of completly making ourselves sick, we opted out of dessert…until the next morning. Yes, we were those crazy people sitting outside The Cheesecake Factory at 10 in the morning to be let in. I’ve never made such a great decision in my life; cheesecake for breakfast is severely underrated.

I ordered Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake. It was pretty crazy; carrot cake was sewn throughout the cheesecake, offering actual carrot shreds, and raisins  all tied up in a walnut crust. Did I forget there was also a huge smear of cheesecake frosting on top? That was the best part.

Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake
Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake
Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake
Chocolate Chip Cookie-Dough Cheesecake

Lucky for me, my sister couldn’t finished her Chocolate Chip Cookie-Dough Cheesecake…which meant I got one and a half cheesecakes for breakfast! This one was pretty good, the chunks of cookie dough literally tasted like the real thing, but I wasn’t a fan of the chocolate graham-like base. But I’m weird with chocolate flavoured things.

One of the most notable things about their cheesecakes is the variety of flavours as well as the fluffy texture. It is not as dense as some cheesecakes, and the graham-cracker base is quite thin. If you come here, you can’t leave without some cheesecake.

We had to snap a celebratory photo of us at this restaurant. And we didn’t care if we looked strange to the Americans who probably see this place as very ordinary. Don’t fret Cheesecake Factory; you were extraordinary for us.

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