Quality and Quantity Reign Supreme at The Cheesecake Factory

 

By Cheryl Mandell

 

The Cheesecake Factory Estero

The Cheesecake Factory Estero

There was quite a buzz when locals found out The Cheesecake Factory was coming to town. Many Estero citizens eagerly awaited as signs were posted and renovations took place. When the restaurant opened its doors on August 22, there was a palpable excitement all around Coconut Point.

The Cheesecake Factory’s presence in Estero is cause enough for celebration, but this year marks 45 years that the national brand has been in business. This is no small feat, even for a restaurant as wildly successful as The Cheesecake Factory. Like many great American success stories, the restaurant’s beginnings were humble.

In 1972, Evelyn Overton and her husband Oscar moved from Detroit to Los Angeles with a recipe and a dream. Evelyn had spent nearly 30 years raising two children and selling cheesecakes from her basement kitchen to local restaurants in Detroit. With the last of their savings, the Overtons opened The Cheesecake Factory Bakery in Los Angeles and began selling Evelyn’s cheesecakes to restaurants throughout the area.

Six years later, in 1978, their son David opened a small restaurant in Beverly Hills under the name The Cheesecake Factory. This first official location showcased his mother’s cheesecakes, featuring 10 varieties of cakes on a one-page menu. Overton was convinced that a restaurant with a sizable dessert menu would be a hit. Forty-five years later, with over 200 restaurants around the world, he could not have been more right.

When it comes to options, if you can imagine it, The Cheesecake Factory probably has it. There are more than 250 items on the menu, and almost everything is made from scratch daily. The only exception are the cakes themselves, which are made at the company’s two literal cheesecake factories in Calabasas, Calif., and Rocky Mount, NC. 

On any given weekday, there are 18 chefs at various stations in the kitchen, each with roughly 35 menu items that are their sole specialty. On the weekend, more than two dozen chefs are hard at work in the kitchen.

The Cheesecake Factory dining menu includes steaks, chops, burgers, chicken, seafood, sandwiches, pasta, flatbread pizzas, soups, small plates, snacks and salads in various cuisines. In addition to its regular dining menu, the restaurant offers a lower-calorie menu called Skinnylicious that includes salads, burgers, sandwiches and small plates under 590 calories. The brunch menu that’s offered on Saturdays and Sundays until 2 p.m. includes pancakes, waffles, French toast and eggs. The dessert menu boasts 35 cheesecake flavors and cakes, plus milkshakes, specialty desserts and ice cream treats.

So, how do you narrow down so many choices? When pressed to name his three favorite entrees, Executive Kitchen Manager Nick Held offered some guidance.

“My favorite dish…that’s tough,” said Held. “I’d have to say the Parmesan-Herb Chicken, probably the Chicken Piccata and the Miso Salmon.”

For appetizers, Held recommends the Ahi Poke Nachos. But what about dessert? While many of the cheesecakes featuring chocolate are fan favorites, Held takes a different stance.

“My all-time favorite slice of cheesecake is the Lemon Raspberry,” he said. “It’s refreshing; it’s so good. I love it.”

On top of the mountain of menu options, our animated and very proficient server Lee just might know the other secret to the company’s success. 

“If you make it fresh, make it delicious and deliver it with consistency, you deserve what’s coming back to you,” he said.

For the Overton family, how they treat customers and staff alike is at the heart of their business. For the first time in 2014, The Cheesecake Factory was named one of the Fortune 100 “Best Companies to Work For” and has been part of that list every year since. In 2022, the restaurant made the “Companies That Care” list by People magazine.  This list honors companies that give back to their employees, communities and beyond.

Despite its size and global reach, The Cheesecake Factory has not forgotten the importance of the people at each location who hold the company up – staff and clientele alike – and the dining experience reflects that appreciation.

 

OUR FAVORITES:

 

Avocado Eggrolls

Avocado Eggrolls

 

 

 

Avocado Eggrolls – Avocado, sun-dried tomato, red onion and cilantro fried in a crisp wrapper served with a tamarind-cashew dipping sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Thai Lettuce Wraps

 

 

Thai Lettuce Wraps – Create your own satay chicken strips or grilled avocado with carrots, bean sprouts, coconut curry noodles and lettuce leaves. This tantalizing starter features three delicious spicy Thai sauces: peanut, sweet red chili and tamarind-cashew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Madeira

Chicken Madeira

 

 

Chicken Madeira – One of the most popular dishes on the menus, this sauteed chicken breast is topped with melted mozzarella cheese and fresh asparagus and covered with fresh mushroom Madeira sauce. It’s served with mashed potatoes for a satisfying meal – lunch or dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

 

 

 

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta – Shrimp and chicken sauteed with tomato, perfectly julienned onions and peppers on top of fresh linguine in a spicy Cajun sauce. A delicious dish for those who like it a little hot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake

Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake

 

 

 

Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake –  Out of all the delectable decisions to make, choosing a cheesecake might be the most daunting. This most-requested creamy cheesecake is layered with Oreo cookies, topped with Oreo cookie mousse and chocolate icing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookie Dough Lover’s Cheesecake with Pecans

Cookie Dough Lover’s Cheesecake with Pecans

 

 

 

Cookie Dough Lover’s Cheesecake with Pecans –  Smooth, rich cheesecake loaded with chocolate chip pecan cookie dough and topped with cookie dough frosting. This is the cheesecake that keeps on giving! For every slice sold, 25 cents is donated to Harry Chapin Food Bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cheesecake Factory

23106 Fashion Dr., Suite 135

Estero, FL

239.488.6986

thecheesecakefactory.com

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