Since 1978, The Cheesecake Factory has been exciting tastebuds throughout the United States. Tallying-in at a total 209 locations worldwide and its first ever location set to open in Canada at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, calling the Brand created by David Overton a success story would be an understatement. Many of us have ourselves or at least know that one friend or family member who treks across the border with the specific intent of splurging on their generously-portioned entrées and signature Cheesecakes of course. Gas is expensive these days, isn’t it? Brace for your delicious dreams finally to become a reality next week, Toronto!
We were among the select media outlets and influencers lucky enough to be invited to preview the hotly-buzzed establishment recently. Believe us, it was a privilege we cherish with many trying to land a spot at the opportunity for a taste.
The Toronto menu boasts an impressive 250+ dishes, plus 50 legendary desserts and Cheesecakes. If there ever was a doubt that Canadians might be getting any less of an experience, founder Overton and several staff including the Franchise’s PR Director Alethea Rowe traveled into the City to ensure that same high standard synonymous with the Brand is attained locally. We were told that The Cheesecake Factory‘s original Lighting Guru was on-site helping fine-tune that customer experience with precision. Playlists even are chosen and are uniform across all locations. Despite the many calculations involved, sitting at the Yorkdale location felt seamless and organic.
We admit, we’ve only had their Cheesecake, which can be found at luxury grocers like Pusateri’s in-and-around the City. We’ve long desired to have a proper sit-down meal here and finally got our wish. To say we were impressed does not do justice to the experience. Nope. It’s rare you walk into a restaurant and the staff give off a genuine air of pride letting you know they are working for a great place and we felt exactly this. In fact, it is little wonder seeing this knowing that The Cheesecake Factory is ranked within the the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune Magazine. Whether they be behind the cake counter or serving us at our table, team members were keen to offer recommendations when asked and so incredibly attentive. One of our servers who trekked all the way from Queens, New York to help launch the Restaurant, was helping shadow our official server-in-training. Both had opinions on what they loved most and they meant it. They agreed however The Cheesecake Factory does salmon just right and we admit we rather enjoyed their recommendation, Miso Salmon – sweet and umami over a bed of sticky white rice. Our only wish was for just a few more greens on the plate but we were satisfied!
Let’s talk appetizers. The Cheesecake Factory‘s Avocado Spring Rolls are renowned and as we learned, patented. While competing chains have tried to duplicate their success, none have been able to topple their delightful sundried tomato and chunky avocado-filled creation. As if these weren’t pleasing enough, we tried also their Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes – just heavenly topped with Pico de Gallo and avocado, leaning perhaps more towards thin, fried cornbread patties than their actual namesake.
The Cuban Sandwich came highly-recommended also and did not disappoint. Sizable and paired with a side of salad or fries, layers of roast pork and ham sat on thinly-slice pickles and swiss cheese. You certainly don’t leave this place hungry.
We learned also that The Cheesecake Factory‘s top-selling cakes are in exact order: their classic Fresh Strawberry, Ultimate Red Velvet Cake (which for a short time was #1) and recent addition, Celebration (think colourful Funfetti Birthday Cake!). We already have reserved space in our tummies for Oreo and Key Lime varieties on a future visit!
The buzz is deafening for this inaugural Canadian location. Throughout our visit we could see mallgoers try to get in despite the Restaurant being open for invitees only. Expect big lineups and expect additional announcements to come soon. We predict a smashing success for The Cheesecake Factory here in Canada.
Watch our experience at The Cheesecake Factory Yorkdale right here:
See some Snaps:
Avocado Spring Rolls
Wheat Honey Bread
Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake
Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes
The Cheesecake Factory Founder David Overton
The Cheesecake Factory Yorkdale opens its doors Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
Join the community and “like” The Cheesecake Factory Canada on Facebookhere.
All video and photography done on the Samsung Galaxy S8+.