321 W. Katella Ave. #100,
Anaheim, CA 92802
Various Locations Nationwide
After standing in line for a long time to experience the new Toy Story ride in Disneyland California Adventure, we were hungry. We decided to leave the park and find someplace nearby to eat. I remembered that we had not yet been down to the new Anaheim Gardenwalk, so I suggested that we go down there to see what they had.
We parked in the large garage and walked around trying to find the entrance. This place really needs more signs telling you where to go. We wadered around lost for a few minutes but then finally found the exit from the garage into the mall and located a directory. Gardenwalk seems to be mostly filled with large chain restaurants that aren't that exciting. After a few minutes we all decided that we would just go eat at The Cheesecake Factory. We walked through the front door and were greeted by the hostess. It was almost 7:00 PM on a Friday night, but they were able to seat our party of five immediately. We were taken to a nice table out on the patio.
We looked over the vast menu and as always, had a hard time deciding. For those of you that have never been to The Cheesecake Factory, their menu is quite large. The menu is so large that they actually have advertising pages throughout the menu just like a magazine would. While we looked over the menu, they brought us some sourdough baguette and dark molasses bread to munch on.
I finally decided to order an appetizer and a side dish as my meal. I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Strips appetizer ($7.95) and a side of Mac and Cheese ($5.95). V ordered the nightly fish special of Grilled Mahi Mahi ($19.95). S ordered the other nightly Salmon special ($18.50). J decided to go with the Miso Salmon ($19.95) and R went with the Hot Turkey Supreme Sandwich ($11.95).
After a not too long wait, our food arrived. Everything looked delicious. I was impressed by the amount of chicken strips that I got. There were at least 10 of them in my bowl. The buffalo sauce was very tangy and spicy, just the way I like it. I was actually surprised that I found it spicy. So many buffalo sauces these days are weak watery jokes. This sauce had a good flavor and a good spiciness level. The mac and cheese wasn't bad. I wish that the cheese flavor was a little sharper though. I prefer a nice sharp cheddar, bleu or swiss flavor in my mac and cheese. This would be good for someone that likes mac and cheese, but isn't a fan of really sharp cheeses.
V seemed to like her Mahi Mahi. Her meal was served with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes. She liked the fish and also thought that the mashed potatoes were really good and full of flavor.
R was happily eating his Hot Turkey Supreme, open faced sandwich. His sandwich started out with a piece of grilled brioche bread and it was topped with spinach and turkey, then smothered in a white cheddar cheese sauce. Slices of tomato and crumbled bacon are then placed on top. The sandwich was served with french fries. I asked R how he liked his sandwich. He looked up and said, "It's really good. This is probably the best thing I have eaten all year!" We were all shocked to hear how much he liked his sandwich. It must have been insanely good for him to make such a bold comment. I almost asked to try some, but I figured that if it was that good, he wasn't going to want to give any up. I'm going to have to go back soon to try this sandwich really soon.
J's Miso Salmon was a nice piece of miso marinated salmon on top of white rice. It was supposed to be served with snow peas, but J asked to have some steamed spinach instead. She seemed to enjoy her meal.
S had a little problem with her salmon dish. It wasn't really cooked all the way and was actually completely raw in the middle. In the end she decided to just go ahead and eat it though since she often eats salmon sashimi and sushi anyway. She seemed to think it was about average for a basic grilled salmon meal.
Overall, everyone was pretty happy with their meal. I feel that The Cheesecake Factory is a step above most large chain restaurants because they offer large portions for reasonable prices. Their food also tends to be pretty good. This new Gardenwalk location seems to be a good option if you're ever in the area.