Last night, a few friends and I ate dinner at Cheesecake factory. I thought it was a great idea because they are known for their huge menu. Surely someone with food allergies would be able to find something to eat. Not so much.
As I read the menu over and over, I kept saying to myself “I could get that, but I would have to ask for it without x, y, and z. Or I could get that, but I would have to ask how it is made.” That is usually how my thoughts evolve when I go out to a restaurant, but I really thought it would be easier with this extensive menu. It got pretty frustrating! I ended up getting a salad and having to ask for it without cheese, which wasn’t the end of the world. I also got a greek salad and edamame for my lunch today, again having to ask for it without cheese on the salad.
These items were off of their “bar” menu, which are small plates of your favorite things. Very handy when you want to eat a normal sized meal and not a cheesecake factory sized meal.
I started thinking about how limited their choices were when I got home. I looked again at their menu online and did some math. There are about 135 menu items for lunch or dinner, not counting side dishes or the 35 different cheesecakes they offer! Within that count, there are only about 10 items that someone with a dairy and wheat allergy could eat. And that is assuming I even like or would want to eat those 10 menu items! I never realized before how much cheese the cheesecake factory used, or how many of their menu items are fried. Personally, I was a little disappointed, and think that they should offer more low calorie and allergy friendly fare, like other restaurants are doing. Time to get on the bandwagon, Cheesecake Factory!