Frequently travelling for business across Canada (mostly West) and the U.S. (periodically), we are privileged with eating in various cities, experiencing the life of the city and through the magic of food, different cultures.

The reason for starting this site was because we can't tell you the number of times we would look on other sites to find reviews of restaurants by the general public, only to come away scratching our heads. Yes, that likely will make us sound like snobs, but hey...there really is no accounting for some people's taste.

Unlike most "reviewers", we never, ever tell the restaurant who we are, or what we are doing. This ensures that we receive no special treatment, and that the establishments aren't on their "best behavior" just because we're there. So you'll hear about the worst of the worst, the best of the best and everything from fast food to luxurious restuarants in our travels, as that is the range and diversity of our palates. Please join us on what has been one hell of a food ride thus far, as we finally unveil, without prejudice, what we really think of the food and let you decide where to eat your next meal.

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Cheesecake Factory: Miami Florida

After dropping some serious coin at the mall we decided to drop in and have a quick bite. Now here in Alberta, there is a pathetic carbon copy of this place called the Cheesecake Cafe so if you have only ever been there, don't be fooled, this place is quite different in many ways...

Monday evening at roughly 10pm and the place is completely packed. We provided our names and were given a pager. Having been told the wait would be roughly 20 mins we waited patiently until our pager began to vibrate, only to find out we were in for another 10 minute wait in a seating cue. What’s the point to making us wait twice? Regardless, our waiter dropped by quickly to grab our drink orders, which we inhaled instantly. After drinking down 2 pomegranate mojitios prior to ordering our appies and mains, we quickly realized that at $9 each these mojitios would not only be highly addictive but quite expensive. But damn they were good!!!

We ordered the sliders to start, and when they arrived, we couldn't help but notice the sheer size of it. Downing 4 sliders and a mound of fries, we were relieved that we chose it to share. The size of the sliders were larger than average, all in all a larger portion than we expected. More like a main, than an appetizer.

While ordering our second round of drinks we advised the waiter of our chosen mains; the burrito grande and the green chili cheeseburger. On our 3 round of drinks we notice that it's been a while since we ordered our entrees. Looking around we can see people seated after us that were already eating, so we enquired with the waiter how much longer the meals would be, as 45 mins had passed since we ordered. Looking slightly concerned, he said he would check with the kitchen and be right back. Now let me take a moment to describe our waiter, young, tall, handsome with a great smile and personality. And let me clarify here, that I would not have noticed him, however SJ (the secure man he is), made a comment on how good looking the waiter was and how HE could almost have a man crush on him...so of course I now took a good look! [SJ's edit...know your enemy]

Anyhow, I digress. After about another 10 mins, a manager shows up to apologize that we haven't received our meals and explains there was a mix up in the kitchen. He offered us something more to eat...salad, anything, while we wait.....we politely refuse and explain we probably couldn't eat much more. He left assuring us that he is having our meals brought out as soon as possible, and insists we order dessert on the house.

About 5 minutes later our waiter returns with our entrees, his demeanour quite a bit different, no mention of the mix up....very odd. Usually when something happens in a kitchen the waiter goes out of his way to recognize the mistake and ensure the remaining experience is a good one. I can only chalk it up to inexperience, although he was good for the most part, it was obvious he didn't like the fact something had gone wrong and seemed a bit distant until we finished half of our meals. I can't really conclude the exact reason the service changed, could have been he was busy, maybe he just didn't know how to act and assumed that we were not going to tip well....no idea...I will say that the service was good for the most part though, just not the same as prior to our issue with the entrees.

Regardless, we finished as much as we could, as the portions...if you've never been...are HUGE. And I do mean HUGE. My burrito grande was just as the name suggests, GRANDE....and oh so good. Accompanied with guacamole, salsa and sour cream this burrito was sooooooooo good. Although I was stuffed, I actually managed to consume half of it. The green chili burger SJ ordered was equally large. Accompanied with Spicy Fire-Roasted Green Chiles and Onions topped with Crispy Tortilla Strips, Melted Cheese, Tomato Salsa and Chipotle Mayo the burger, onions was very satisfying.

As the manager had insisted that we order desert, we went for...well cheesecake. Unfortunately we were so full we didn't get to eat it, and it "died" in our fridge along with the half of the burrito I couldn't finish. Now I know from experience, the cheesecake here is heavenly, so although we didn't have it on this occasion, we know it would have been great.

We paid the bill, and left a decent tip. As SJ and I left, we were stopped in the parking lot by our waiter. SJ left his cell at the table, and our waiter noticed when he grabbed the bill and ran out to hand it to us. A very nice thing to do. [SJ's edit. Second time I have left my cell phone somewhere. Age is definitely creeping up on me]

The experience on the whole was good. I probably would have appreciated a discount on the bill rather than free food, but regardless, we were treated well, our food was great, and the quality equally good.

SJ and I will definitely return to another cheesecake factory in the future.

Location visited: 7497 Dadeland Mall

Ambiance: Contemporary
Cuisine: American
Presentation: Average
Price: $20/serving
Service: Average
Value: Above Average

The Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon

The Meal Truth - Undercover food critics

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