100 Cambridgeside Pl.
Bus: MBTA 4, 69, 80, 87, 88, 92, 93, 9111
Visit: May 24, 2013
The timing was inevitable as our first ever trip to the Greater Metropolitain Area of Boston was coming to a close. With that, there was only time to get one more thing to eat and it was a stop by the Galleria in Cambridge that allowed me to see what the Cheesecake Factory was all about.
In the planning for the trip to Boston, I had my heart set on doing at least 2 burgers over there. With the schedule being tight on the second day, there was a slight chance that the Cheesecake Factory might not have been. But, I’m proud to say that both planned burgers were consumed, even if they weren’t the ones that I just had to try.
In doing my research and talking to various people, I got a recurring theme in our conversations. Every time I mentioned that I would be trying Cheesecake Factory, they noted that a restaurant in Laval called Elixor was a carbon copy of the American counterpart’s formula. My visit in 2009 to Elixor wasn’t impressive, so I did what I could to put that name out of my mind during present day visit. So, this is the last time I mention anything about that Laval restaurant.
The Cheesecake Factory isn’t a bad looking place at all. Even though it is located in a shopping center, the decor is actually quite nice. You don’t feel like you’re eating in a cheesy type place that’s just leeching on the shoppers for customers. There’s even a terrasse on the outside to take advantage of the warmer season.
I entered the restaurant shortly after 3:00 p.m. and was hoping that things would still be open for business. What I found was that things were definitely still quite busy. In the section where I was seated, there were definitely a few tables packed and eating. Any worry I had about not being served because it wasn’t the peak period were washed away by the decent crowd of people.
During my time in the Boston area, I have to say that we were treated quite well by all the locals. This included my server during this visit. I asked a number of questions and made a few requests that were met with the utmost level of professionalism, which is more than I can ask for. There was even a point where this glass of water showed up to my table without me even noticing.
There were a few interesting things to note during my visit. They may not be things that would astound people so much, but I found them to be somewhat interesting. First of all, they placed two different types on the table. Normally, you don’t necessarily get that as you only have one type. I didn’t get to try the darker version as I opted for the more traditional type. I also wanted to feature a picture of the butter package since it wasn’t like our miniature tubs we have over here. No matter how much I tried, the picture didn’t quite turn out good.
The second thing is the decorative rim on the edge of my glass of lemonade. In my many restaurant visits over the last 4 years, I only can remember of one place in Verdun that does that. From what I found using Google, it might either be a salt or sugar rim. Either way, it’s interesting to look at, though it doesn’t really add much else.
Before I get to the burger, I have to mention the elephant in the room. You will shortly notice that I did not have any cheesecakes. I do, wholeheartedly, realize that this is Cheesecake Factory and it is in the name, but I just couldn’t. The reason that I didn’t partake is twofold. First, I wanted to get into the mall to make sure our 40 evil students didn’t cause mayhem. The second more tangible reason was that I was extremely full after consuming my 196th burger. Maybe I should have brought some home.
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, cheese, and bacon.
Before we get going on the burger, I wanted to mention the fries. Normally, it’s not something that I would give a second thought to, but there was something that stuck with me. It wasn’t in the taste or quality, but in the quantity. It looked like there was a whole bunch of them, but there was just enough. I actually wasn’t overwhelmed by fries here, which was a good thing.
The first thing that you’ll notice is that you had to finish building your own burger. Normally, that’s not a big issue as it’s just as simple as putting the large components in place. Here, the issue was with the pieces of shredded lettuce that was included with the burger. I didn’t have the time or patience to scoop up all of it too but in my burger. With that being said, I didn’t get to have it all there. With this being a problem for me, I am glad to note that it was the only red flag I could raise for the rest of the consumption period.
The ingredients on this burger weren’t the most complex of components that you could ever have. What worked here was the fact that you don’t really think too much outside the box. The simple fact that the burger came to the table cooked as requested, the battle was already fought and won. In all, you can place what you want on a burger, but the secret will always be the meat.
One of the things I really enjoyed in my 7 total American burger experiences thus far was one simple fact. Each time I ordered a burger, they asked me how I wanted it done. I don’t know what it is, but in Montreal, you’re rarely prompted to make that choice and if you want to make it, you have to ask. I may seem foolish to you, but I don’t make it a policy to request a temperature unless asked. All of this is to say that I was pleased to have received my burger as requested and it tasted so much better because of it.
I want to leave you with one observation about this burger that I found a little strange, though it had no bearing on how I felt about the burger. You’ll notice that the bacon is sticking out of the burger in four makeshift corners. The bacon doesn’t come naturally with the burger and I, as usual, talked my way into making it an extra. What happened here was that the bacon was so crispy that the corners just fell off. It didn’t just happen with one corner, it happened with all four.
In all, while you might not think of Cheesecake Factory as a place that would pop into your mind to have a burger, it’s one that I would definitely give another try to without hesitation. It might not completely blow your socks off, but it’s one that will definitely fill you up, just like it did for me on this closing meal in Boston.