University of York Graduate, aspiring to be a journalist with dreams of one day publishing my own novel.
Published work can be seen at www.theyorker.co.uk and www.yorkvision.co.uk
Published August 22nd 2012
Become a cheese convert in the heart of Las Vegas
Just some of the tempting desserts on offer at The Cheesecake Factory
Famed for its eponymous desserts, The Cheesecake Factory came as something of a shock to me when I discovered that it did in fact offer a wide range of appetizers and entrees too. Hence I decided to take the plunge and submit to the delectable culinary treasures that The Cheesecake Factory at Caesar's, Las Vegas, had to offer.
Whether the fromage-famed eatery was so busy based upon its reputation, or its location, (next to the live 'Atlantis' show within Caesar's forum shops) was a mystery. However, for the hordes of people who were queuing with drooling anticipation outside, my partner and I were relieved to only be given a waiting time of twenty minutes, giving us ample time to browse the surrounding shops. Upon our return we had a brief moment to peruse the display case of sinfully tempting treats before being led to our table.
The dinner part of the evening was just a formality really. I knew why I was there. My boyfriend knew why I was there. Heck, even the waiter knew we were just there to stuff our faces with our own body weight in cheese, but was tactful enough to acknowledge that our British politeness would force us to order a main meal for convention's sake. Hence before we knew it we were feasting on a gorgeous range of freshly baked breads prior to our main course.
I'm a tactical eater, and I'd seen the cheesecakes so in true restaurant-veteran fashion, opted for a 'skinny' chopped salad (at 590 calories no less!) as opposed to my partner's Cajun chicken 'littles' which were anything but. On that note however, neither was my salad, and for all its delicious combination of bacon, croutons, avocado and blue cheese flavors, I couldn't help but feel that it's sheer massiveness would defeat me before I'd even had time to peruse the dessert menu.
I may be a tactical eater but I'm also a stubborn one. I knew why I was there and I wasn't going to let the stabbing pains of my protesting stomach prevent me from sampling one of their world-famous cheesecakes. Thus I opted for the '30th Anniversary' cheesecake, a blend of different shades of chocolate and creamy, tangy cheese topped off with a cheeky squirt of whipped cream. I don't think I could have prepared mentally, let alone physically, for the sheer enormity of the cake however, and sadly admitted defeat halfway into it. My head was saying yes, but my stomach, and indeed the jellied excuse for a pair of legs which would be carrying my heavy carcass later, were saying no.
The delicious yet overpowering '30th Anniversary' cheesecake
I'd like to take a moment here to reward The Cheesecake Factory with a few brownie (or cheesecake?) points regarding my company for the evening. My boyfriend not only detests, but in fact nigh on has a morbid fear of cheese, but even he could not resist the temptation of the creamy desserts' sterling reputation. Though he protested vehemently, he succumbed to the charms of the 'Red Velvet' cheesecake, a favorite amongst regulars, and a slice of cake so large it could probably wedge open the gates of Buckingham Palace. I was convinced by this point that had he not eaten a plate of Cajun chicken bites so large it would give a KFC Bargain Bucket a run for its money, he would have devoured the whole thing. Not only did he not wince at the cheese, but even went as far as to deem it 'nice', which, for my boyfriend and cheese, is the equivalent of Israel finding peace with Palestine. I endeavored to help him out a little with his truly excellent choice of dessert, but one hour in and 400 million calories later, we both had to admit defeat.
The Red Velvet Cheesecake which converted my cheese-hating boyfriend!
The charming and patient waiter presented us with our bill and told us to 'take our time', something which he certainly did not do throughout the entire evening, particularly considering the business of the restaurant. Perhaps the most pleasant surprise was the rather modest bill; we had probably eaten enough to feed four people but paid just a little under $50. After an evening of simply flawless culinary delights and the entertainment of the Atlantis show overshadowing us as we ate, I have to say I was bowled over by The Cheesecake Factory, not only for seducing my palate but for making my boyfriend a cheese convert. Suffice to say this would not be my last visit to The Cheesecake Factory. In fact, I was so impressed, I went again two nights later.