The Cheesecake Factory, Winter Park, FL - a Consumer Review

The exterior
The exterior | Source
The beautiful interior
The beautiful interior | Source
Just one of 60 varieties!
Just one of 60 varieties! | Source

When Your First Arrive

Recently my friends Tom and Mary treated me to lunch as a belated birthday celebration. Mary suggested The Cheesecake Factory. Neither Tom nor I had ever eaten there, so this was a treat and an anticipated outing. We arranged to meet at noon on Sunday.

The exterior of the building is very inviting and quite impressive. Once you enter, the interior presence is magnificent. The ceilings are quite high and painted with beautiful murals. The floors are laid with Spanish tiles and interesting columns stand guard throughout the restaurant. The overall décor impressed me. It’s sort of Mediterranean, which is a style of architecture and design I prefer.

We had no reservations but were seated within 5 minutes. This gave us ample opportunity to ogle the strategically placed dessert window, which features over 60 variations of delectable cheesecakes.

The Experience

The maitre d’ led us to our table where we were immediately greeted by our server and handed menus. We were there in time for brunch, which is served every Sunday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Our server was gracious enough to tell us the page numbers on which we could find the lunch and brunch items. Considering the menu is a hard-back, spiral bound book of over 30 pages, the guidance was much appreciated.

I have a habit of cheating when I’m going to an unfamiliar restaurant; I check out the menu online beforehand, which is exactly what I did the night before. I knew what I wanted before we even arrived. We placed our orders and set about catching up since we hadn’t seen each other since the prior October.

After several minutes the maitre d’ stopped by to apologize for the wait as the Hollandaise machine (?) was down, but the problem had been remedied. We didn’t notice or mind the wait as we were very busy going over photos of Tom and Mary’s recent trip to South Africa. However, it was impressive that the staff takes such good care of their guests.

Santa Fe Salad
Santa Fe Salad | Source
Monte Cristo Sandwich
Monte Cristo Sandwich | Source
Crab Hash
Crab Hash | Source

The Meal

Our meals arrived and Tom said Grace, as is customary when you dine with Tom and Mary. I actually find it comforting holding hands with friends and taking a moment to thank God, no matter where you are.

Mary ordered the Santa Fe Salad which is lime-marinated chicken, fresh corn, black beans, cheese, tortilla strips and tomatoes served over a mound of fresh mixed greens. Peanut-cilantro vinaigrette is served in an elegant silver gravy boat on the side.

Tom had the Monte Cristo Sandwich which is crunchy French toast stuffed with bacon, grilled ham, scrambled eggs and Swiss cheese. The top of the sandwich is dusted with powdered sugar and served with strawberry preserves. Tom chose sliced tomatoes over potatoes as his side.

I ordered the Crab Hash. I just love breakfast and order it whenever it’s available. This is actually The Cheesecake Factory’s twist on Eggs Benedict, although they offer that as well. Instead of the customary English muffin as the base for poached eggs, the eggs are served over a bed of sautéed crab, red, yellow and green peppers, onions and fried potatoes. Each poached egg was topped with a lump of crab meat and finished with a very light, delicious Hollandaise sauce. I, too, opted for sliced tomatoes as my side dish. The meal was surprisingly light, not greasy at all and very pleasing to the taste buds.

All three of our meal choices were delicious. The portions are huge, so Tom and Mary had enough to take home for lunch the next day. I ate just about all of mine; after all you can’t really ‘huge up’ poached eggs! Prices are fair, especially for the portion sizes. Our meals were in the $10 to $13 range.

I’m sad to say, I cannot report on the cheesecake. We were all so full after our meals, ordering dessert was out of the question. However, later that night I sure wish I’d had the forethought to order a piece to go!

My Rating

5 stars for The Cheesecake Factory

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Conclusion

Not only is the service impeccable and the food exquisite, but the philosophy of The Cheesecake Factory is commendable. They actively participate in charitable events “to help improve the lives of those around us”, as can be found in their mission statement. Additionally, The Cheesecake Factory is environmentally conscious. The take out bags are made of recycled material and are developed to start biodegrading within one year. All of their paper products, including napkins are made of recycled material. Their take-out containers are also made of recyclable material. They buy only American made products and donate any left over food to Harvest Programs on a nightly basis.

Overall, this restaurant is one I will gladly frequent, when possible. The atmosphere is elegant, yet not imposing. The service and all staff members are friendly, attentive and very professional. The food is outstanding. On top of all that, The Cheesecake Factory is active in preserving Mother Earth. Who could ask for more?



Shauna L Bowling

Copyright © April 2013

All Rights Reserved

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Comments 50 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Good job on the review, Sha! What happens if I don't like cheesecake, which I don't????

Seriously, nice work on this.

Have a great weekend.

love,

bill


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

We didn't even get to the cheesecake. They have awesome dishes and the restaurant has locations all over the US. If there's one near you, you and Bev should check it out. Yummy!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Hi Sha,

This is a fabulous review that I will have to agree with...we have a Cheesecake Factory in King of Prussia and it is a favorite...

My gal pals and I love to split appetizers and dessert...and Bill, they have all kinds of other cakes besides cheesecake.

Glad you had a great birthday treat. Voted UP and UABI. Love, Maria


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

I'm glad you enjoyed this Maria and thanx for commenting! I will definitely go back. Next time I'll order cheesecake to go!

P.S. I know King of Prussia!!!!!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

I figured you did from your Philly days, girlfriend...!!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Yep!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

My daughters like the Winter Park Cheesecake Factory, they rave about it. I've never been. I can't be too close to desserts. Ha! I enjoyed your review and the Crab Hash looks yummy...I also prefer breakfast for lunch or dinner. Well done Shauna!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

The next time you go I want o go with you.. looks awesome.. I will be in Florida in November.. we are planning a trip to Miami to visit Love doctor Marlene.. are you in? I will be writing up a hub.. Marlene is going to check out reasonable hotels..

great hub

sharing

Debbie


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Great review of a great restaurant. I've been to several different Cheesecake Factory Restaurants in two different states and all were consistently great.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

Great review, it is a pity you did not get to have the cheesecake. Voted up.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this.Same here in my area. Very popular with the young croud


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Linda, if you go for lunch or dinner you wont' have room for dessert!

Debbie, I'll have to think about that. My family lives in South Florida, about 40 north of Miami. I have a problem driving highways due to a bad wreck I had several years back. I go into panic attacks. Cheesecake Factory has locations all throughout the US. You should check to see if there's one near you.

Mary, it's nice to know their quality is consistent!

Nithya, my body really didn't need the cheesecake anyway! :-)

Thanx for stopping by Martin. It was a good experience for me.


DJ Anderson 3 years ago

Great review, Shauna.

We have a Cheesecake Factory back home. We try to go when they

are not quite so busy. Great food.

There is no way that one can eat a meal and then a dessert. Way too much food.

And, Bill, they have other desserts besides cheesecake. Their carrot

cake is about 15 layers high with cream cheese frosting between each layer. I get a slice to take home and boy, does it go down smoothly with a cold glass of milk before bedtime. There is more than enough to share.

I hope you are happy, Shauna, we are all hungry, now!! LOL

DJ.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

DJ, I guess I did a good job of this review if it's left you wanting to eat! Thanx for the visit, my friend!


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

Great review, the descriptions and photographs of the food look and sound delicious and your information on their environmental and community involvement is a big asset.

The portions are enormous, no wonder you couldn't manage dessert!

We don't have them here, if we did you would have sold it.

DJ is right, you have got me hungry now!!


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 3 years ago from Upstate, New York

Excellent review on one of my favorite "special treat" destinations. I can report on the cheese cake as it is out of this world!

Glad you enjoyed the place as much as I do!

Blessings to you XO


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Anna, sorry about making you hungry! Well, not really.... I'm glad you enjoyed my review. I was impressed to learn that the corporation is environmentally conscious.

Beckie, the cheesecakes look fabulous. I do love cheesecake!


Vickiw 3 years ago

Boo hoo, we don't have them here! You made it sound so delicious, Shauna, I am quite determined to find one on my next excursion to the US. Great Hub, they should adopt you as their advertising specialist! Nice work!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Vicki, you have me chuckling. However, if The Cheesecake factory needs an advertising specialist I'll forego adoption for compensation! Ha ha. Thanx for your support, Vicki. It means the world to me!


IslandBites profile image

IslandBites 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

Great hub!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you IslandBites and thanx for the follow. I'll hop over to your corner shortly.


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

Hi bravewarrior,

I really enjoyed this hub---because I love eating out and not having to cook all the time--although I love cooking---but Cheesecake is one of my favorites---that and ice cream. I am making myself hungry.

Have a great week.

Bobbi Purvis


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Bobbi, now you're making me hungry and it's only 8:30 in the morning! I'm glad you enjoyed this review. The food is delicious!


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

Crab Hash???

We don't gots that thar kinda of grub in these here woods!

Never heard of it! lol.

not only does the food look as good as you describe, but - the BUILDING is jaw-dropping - especially considering it's a cheesecake factory!

i will check one out ASAP..

is winter park anywhere near fort lauderdale?

strawberry cheesecake for me please...MMmmm...

voting and sharing forward my friend.for some reason i'm not getting emails regarding your hubs..


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Leslie, crab hash is kind of like home fries with lump crab meat and veggies added. I'd never heard of it either, but I love crab so I took my chances.

Winter Park is about 4 hours north of Lauderdale, but I'm sure there's a location down that way.

I love strawberry cheesecake, too. I make it from scratch. Yuuuummmm!

(I don't always get the emails either. I don't know what's up with that!)


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

I love the Cheesecake Factory. We go there as a family for dinner on the weekend. Love the shrimp scampi & oreo madness cheesecake:) lol. awesome review.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Lovedoc, I'll have to try the scampi next time I go and try to save room for cheesecake. If nothing else, I'll order a piece to go.


LA Elsen profile image

LA Elsen 3 years ago from Chicago, IL

I have always wanted to take my family to the Cheesecake factory. We have about three or four close- by in the Chicago area, but with four kids we never seem to get there. The crab hash and the Monte Cristo are on my hit list. I like the way you took the time to say grace in the middle of such a restaurant. Thanks for writing this hub. Great review!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

LA, the restaurant isn't cheap (by my standards, anyway, but then again I don't get out much!). You may want to save it for date night. I thought saying Grace was pretty awesome, too. Tom always says Grace, no matter where we happen to be when we have a meal. More people should do that!


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Shauna,

You had me at cheesecake in the title so "in like flynn" here I am! Wow, loved the outside of this gorgeous building and the interior sounds so me too. A menu with over 60 cheesecakes, are you kidding?? I am about 10 lbs heavier just thinking about that! Your meals sound delicious, the sambo and the crab one in particular. A preserve of jam sounded interesting served with the savory sambo but would give it a try! Do you know if there is one in Orlando as my brother and nephew are going there for 3 days, my brother has to go in work as is bringing my 16 yrs old nephew as a freebie courtesy of Aer Lingus! My brother loves deserts like me so it would be great to give him this tip.

Many thanks for this well written, ubber interesting review I really enjoyed!

up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Suzie, Winter Park is a suburb of Orlando. Click on the picture of the exterior. That will take you to their locations. Type in Orlando or the zip code to see if there is one closer to destination. When you're here, email me. I'd love to meet you! rlbmate@embarqmail.com.


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Shauna,

Many thanks for that, I will check it out and double check with my brother where he is going. Alas, I am not joining them on this "male bonding" trip away from the girls (my sis-in-law and 2 nieces!) but if I were you would definitely be on my list for Florida!


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

This sounds great. I have never been to one, although Starbucks sells cheesecakes from the Cheesecake Factory, so I have had one of those. I didn't even know they served food other than the desserts! Your meals sound really delicious. I checked for locations, and there are several that are within commuting distance from here, so I'll bring it up to my boyfriend, and hopefully sometime we'll check it out!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Sounds like date night to me, Kathryn - your choice this time!


Kasman profile image

Kasman 3 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

Yum is the operative word here! I am sold on your review Bravewarrior! I have always heard of the Cheesecake factory but had never been to one until your review. I now consider myself to have gone because I felt like I was there with you! Your details were amazingly good and I loved the pictures too. I'm going to be finding one nearby and taking my wife sometime.

Cheesecake is my big no no because it's something I won't stop eating if I start...........I say arrrrrgh to you....like a drunken pirate....because now I'm going to gain the weight back that I lost, lol.

Voting this up and I'm sharing big time!


CarlySullens profile image

CarlySullens 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

Bravewarrior, great review. I love the Cheesecake Factory. Especially because their appetizers are half off during happy hour which I think is like 4-6 PM. My kids and I order 3 appetizers and that is enough to feed all of us since they are huge. We get out of CF under $20.00.

I am near you, over off of Alafaya in Avalon Park. I hope they build a CF in Waterford Lakes. Usually, we go to the Mall of Mellenia when we go.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Kas, remind me not to make cheesecake for you when your family comes to visit. My ex-stepson used to always request my cheesecake when he'd come home on leave from the service. It's pretty damn good if I may say so myself!

Absolutely treat your wife to a meal at the Cheesecake Factory! Word of advice - check out their menu online before you go, unless you have hours to spend just perusing their massive menu.

Hey, I've gained weight, too. I'm jealous that you lost some!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Carly, so nice to meet you! Another hubber, sunshine625 also lives in the Orlando area. We should all get together sometime for a hubber summit.

Your idea of ordering appetizers is a great one. I do that often when I eat out (which isn't all too often!)

Thanx for the follow. I'll check you out shortly.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

I had no idea that the Cheesecake Factory serves food besides cheesecake! LOL I've only been to one for cheesecake when I took a trip to Maryland. It was the best ever. There is one in Providence, RI too. I've gone there to the mall before, but the wait is too long. I'm going to have to go back now for lunch someday.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Crafty, I'm tickled that you are bouncing all over my page.

Unlike you, I had lunch but no cheesecake. Fortunately, I make my own, but only when I'm expecting company. A good from-scratch cheesecake is about an 8 hour process! But, oh my Lordy - so worth it!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

These pictures and your review have made me quite hungry. I've only tried the Cheesecake Factory once in Atlanta and it was during a business meeting with a customer so I really didn't have a chance to enjoy the food. I'm looking forward to going to the one in Dallas now.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Hopefully you can take your time on this visit, Peg. I would recommend consulting their online menu before you go. You'll need an hour just to get thru the menu alone! :-)


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Good idea. It takes me a long time to narrow down the choices and since there is dessert I'll need much longer.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Peg, I always go online when I'm going to a restaurant. It saves time. With the case of The Cheesecake Factory, their menu is something like 30 pages deep! You'll definitely want to do your homework beforehand.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

We have a Cheesecake Factory within about 50 minutes of home, and it is always fabulous. There is so much to choose from and the dining ambiance is superb. Always a reliable choice that can please absolutely everyone in even the largest and most finicky of groups.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida Author

Flourish, the ambiance is fabulous. The wait staff is very attentive, professional and knowledgeable of the menu. You're right, with so many choices, every palate is bound to find something to delight the taste buds.


Mr. Stewart of Colin 2 years ago

Oh god looking at this on an empty stomach with just drinking coffee as I just woke up from night shift sleep is a cruel way to start the day , lol lol, but I always love your personal approach to writing and you are a first class tour guide . I will madly and gladly share this page on my FB wall and I found this page through your website Shauna. Canada time 11:21am


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Hey, Colin. Thanx for visiting my site and travelling thru cyberspace to get your appetite stirred. You are a loyal friend. Thank you so much!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

A brilliant hub; thoroughly enjoyed it and voting up.

Eddy.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Eddy. The food is delicious! Maybe one of these days I'll make it back for a slice of their famous cheesecake.

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