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Cheesecake Factory Cheesecakes

March 30, 2012

Back in the late 1990’s, I was introduced to a family-owned chain of restaurants called “The Cheesecake Factory”.  The philosophy of the restaurant is to offer a large, unlimited, inventive meu selection with generous portions, made with the freshest ingredients in a casual and comfortable setting.  When I moved to Los Angeles for college, The Cheesecake Factory was hugely popular in the area I went to school.  The original Cheesecake Factory restaurant, was located in Beverly Hills, which was just a stone’s throw away from my school.  Even closer yet was The Cheesecake Factory in Brentwood.  And not too far away was The Cheesecake Factory in Marina Del Rey.  Being a college student, you could go to The Cheesecake Factory and get a huge meal (for which you could guarantee there would be leftovers) that tasted fantastic and you’d pay really reasonable prices for your food.  What was there not to like?

Until I went to The Cheesecake Factory for the first time, I’m not even sure I had ever had cheesecake before.  I wasn’t, at the time, the biggest fan of cream cheese.  I guess I just wasn’t used to that tangy flavor you get from cream cheese.  It’s not food I grew up with, so it was all new to me.  But, how can you go eat food at a place called The Cheesecake Factory and not try some of their signature cheesecake?  With more than 30 different flavors of cheesecake, everyone is bound to find a flavor that they like.  I looked through the list and chose a flavor that I thought I would most like: Oreo cheesecake.  I figured that with the cookie crust and the oreos, it would mask the flavor of the actual cheesecake.  When I actually had the cheesecake, I was blown away by how amazing it tasted.  The oreos flavor was certainly present in the cheesecake, but instead of masking the flavor of the cheesecake, I think it only served to enhance the flavor of the cheesecake, which I was suprised to find that I really liked.  The cheesecake is just so rich and creamy and slightly tangy.  It’s robust and full of flavor.  Since that time, I’ve enjoyed cheesecake, but I’ve always found that the cheesecakes at The Cheesecake Factory are second to none!

The Cheesecake Factory is the brainchild of Oscar and Evelyn Overton.  In the late 1940’s, Evelyn perfected the recipe to the Original Cheesecake which was well loved, and opened a small shop in Detroit.  However, in order to raise their 2 small children, Oscar and Evelyn gave up on their dream of the business and closed down their shop.  While raising the children at home, Evelyn continued to bake in her spare time and supplied her cheesecake to some of the best local restaurants.  In the 1970’s, the Overton family had moved to Los Angeles, and with their children grown, they decided again to try and pursue their dream of opening a small business.  In 1972 they opened a 700 square foot store called “The Cheesecake Factory”.  Evelyn did all the baking and Oscar did all of the sales, and for the first few years, they struggled to get by.  But slowly, they started to gain traction and grow their accouts, selling their cheesecake up and down the California coast.  In 1975, they were successful enough that they bought a much larger bakery and increased their shipping capabilities.  In the larger bakery, Evelyn created over 20 diffferent varities of cheesecake.  The business has never looked back since, continuing to grow with the first restaurant in 1978 and now with more than 170 locations.

Much like their philosophy of serving generous portions of food off of a large and creative menu, their cheesecakes stay true to this theme as well.  The wonderful variety of cheesecakes they have to choose from are creative, inventive and unique.  Their flavor profiles are bold and pack a punch, but they don’t take away from the tradition of what a cheesecake is and it certainly stays true to Evelyn’s original cheesecake recipe.

One of my favorites is the fresh banana cream cheesecake.  This is a banana cream cheesecake topped with Bavarian cream and fresh sliced banaanas.  You can taste the freshness in ingredients used to make the cheesecake and the quality of the  cheesecake.  The traditional graham cracker crust layered with banana cream cheese which is rich, but still has the banana flavor.  The Bavarian cream topping is a nice touch, and the combination of Bavarian cream and banana cream is rich and sweet, but not overpowering.  Each cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory is accompanied by a large dollop of homemade whipped cream, which just tastes fantastic.  And then the cheesecake is garnished with fresh cut banana slices.  If you are a banana lover, this is the cheesecake for you.

A cheesecake flavor that was recently introduced is the Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake.  This cheesecake combines the best of both worlds with the hugely popular red velvet cake and the original cheesecake layered on top of one another.  The cheesecake is then topped with a cream cheese topping.  Making this a indulgent, decadent cheesecake and cake combination.

Another favorite of mine is the tiramisu cheesecake.  Much like with the ultimate red velvet cake cheesecake, the tiramisu is the combination of 2 different types of desserts brought together.  The bottom layer is made of chocolate cream cheese topped by espresso soaked ladyfingers layered with original cheesecake.  The cheesecake is then topped with a layer of traditional tiramisu marscapone cream and a heavy dusting of cocoa powder, served along side chocolate whipped cream.  This cheesecake tastes as good as it sounds!

With other flavors such as wild blueberry white chocolate cheesecake, key lime cheesecake, chocolate raspberry truffle, vanilla bean cheesecake, craigy’s crazy carrot cake cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie-dough cheesecake, Godiva chocolate cheesecake, and pina colada cake cheesecake, there’s a lot of choose from.

My husband’s favorite cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory is Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake cheesecake.  A relatively new cheesecake, it features chunks of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups mixed in with the original cheesecake with layers of fudge cake and caramel.  The cake is topped by a layer of chocolate icing and the sides of the cheesecake featured crushed peanuts.  The cheesecake is also topped with peanut butter flavored whipped cream.  The cheesecake really does taste like Reese’s peanut butter cups.  It’s truly a rich cheesecake.  And it’s out of this world.

If you have a cheesecake lover in your life, this is the place to take them.  The food is terrific, but the desserts hit a homerun.  I’ve been to The Cheesecake Factory for many celebrations over the years; my birthday, friend’s birthdays and even work parties, and we’ve never been disappointed.  The Cheesecake Factory has a little something for everyone and truly does have some of the most amazing cheesecakes ever!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2012 9:52 am

    I guess that I have been living under a rock because I have never been to a cheesecake factory restaurant. I’ll have to try one sometime when we are traveling out of state.

    • March 30, 2012 10:01 am

      I love the Cheesecake Factory! I’ve been to them locally, but also in San Francisco and Cambridge! They’re all over.

  2. Amanda permalink
    March 30, 2012 9:58 am

    The restaurant is really fun and I usually enjoy going on my birthday. I’m having a dilemma right now over whether I want to go this weekend and keep up that tradition or have my husband cook for me. That said, I hate cheesecake, even Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, it’s just a dessert that I don’t understand why it’s good. Their other desserts are amazing! I kind of want to go now 🙂

    • March 30, 2012 10:00 am

      You know, your brother never liked cheesecakes either. He didn’t like the cream cheese flavor. But then he discovered that Cheesecake Factory makes a bunch of cheesecakes that don’t even taste like cheesecake. He loves the Reeese’s peanut butter cheesecake.

      I too love their other desserts. Strawberry shortcake is my favorite!!

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