Saturday, February 20, 2010
The Cheesecake Factory (Pittsford) - Garlic Noodles & Stefanie's Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake
Morgan and I went to The Cheesecake Factory out in Pittsford Plaza on Monroe Avenue out in Pittsford (a redundant, but potentially necessary description), to meet with my parents for my mother's belated birthday dinner. For those of you unfamiliar with The Cheesecake Factory, it is a chain restaurant similar to Olive Garden, offering a casual dining experience and boasting over 200 items on their menu; not really Morgan or my kind of place, but we never turn down a free meal (my father was paying). We're also fans of their cheesecake.
On this particular outing, I ordered the Garlic Noodles - a dish comprised of spaghetti, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and parmesan in a garlic sauce. Herb-roasted chicken or shrimp is also available to add; I ordered mine with chicken and without mushrooms (I tend to avoid putting anything that can grow on feet or in poop anywhere near my mouth). As a quick note, I found this picture of Garlic Noodles online, since I forgot to take a picture of it while at the restaurant - as a result, it doesn't include the herb-roasted chicken.
I found that this dish lacked the careful preparation a lot of local restaurants and diners take pride in when cooking a meal: the asparagus was a little tough, and the large quantity of roasted tomatoes overpowered many of the other flavors (including the parmesan, which I was unable to taste at all). The herb-roasted chicken came in a less-than-generous portion - most of which was fat - and seemed more "drenched in oil" than "roasted," giving it a slimy quality. I found myself wishing for a stronger garlic flavor for the spaghetti, which was almost impossible to identify in the crowded dive bar of tastes in my mouth. These were all things I hope that can be chalked up to a simple fluke error made by a chain restaurant kitchen; regardless, my meal was not nearly as satisfying as I had hoped it to be, and I doubt that I will be ordering this particular item from The Cheesecake Factory again.
Score (out of 10): 3
Fortunately, the saving grace of this visit was the dessert. Morgan and I ordered a slice of Stefanie's Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake, which was made of alternating layers of red velvet cake and The Cheesecake Factory's original recipe cheesecake. The entire thing was topped with whipped cream, cream cheese frosting, and white chocolate shavings. Once again, I did not take a picture, but rather ripped one off of the internet. Thank God for Google.
Beyond a doubt, this dessert was why The Cheesecake Factory includes the word "cheesecake" in their name. The alternating layers of cake and cheesecake will appeal to fans of either, and the cream cheese frosting was appropriately heavy - and delicious. The accents of white chocolate and whipped cream complimented the rest of the dessert quite nicely. I definitely recommend ordering this if you take a trip out to any of The Cheesecake Factory's locations.
Score (out of 10): 9
Location: 3349 Monroe Avenue, Pittsford, NY 14618
Phone Number: (585) 381-8681