Dreams do come true! I toured The Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco and tried all their new recipes and learned all their secrets.
Okay, that’s not exactly true, I didn’t learn the secret recipe for their delicious Avocado Egg Rolls with Tamarind Cashew Dipping Sauce (did you know that famous sauce has 18 ingredients and 20 steps?!), but I did help make it. (And definitely helped eat it.) They do have some recipes online if you want to try to recreate the magic.
P.S. Check out this view from the San Francisco Cheesecake Factory! No wonder they are always packed. It was a beautiful day for lunch al fresco!
Did anyone else’s entire high school experience involve wearing Hardtail pants, Uggs and going to the mall for The Cheesecake Factory’s Chinese Chicken Salad?? There is just something so nostalgic about it. When we visited Bubbe in Boston, we would get takeout (CCS, duh) from her Cheesecake Factory and she’d always get “double/double”, a term I believe she coined. That is double of both CCF types of bread (the brown bread was all for me; who’s with me??)
Chef Ricardo gave me the best tour! He has worked for The Cheesecake Factory for 18 years (!) and you can tell he is proud of his work.
I was pumped to learn TCF was started by a husband and wife team in Detroit, since I was just there for my boyfriend’s Granddad’s 90th birthday. I love a success story! And a fun fact. Today, there are over 200 locations and 250 menu items, so I was even more pumped to see everything is made from scratch daily. Crazy, right? They also portion everything out so you get a consistent experience at any Cheesecake Factory you go to.
I’ve been in quite a few commercial kitchens, but TCF was definitely the biggest, and it was so organized. You have to be when you are making 250 menu items from scratch! Speaking of, why such a large menu? TCF wanted to have something for everyone, so you can go in a group, and everyone can enjoy an amazing meal of exactly what they were in the mood for. So I guess people get things besides the Chinese Chicken Salad? Huh.
New friends! The kitchen set-up is a dream. It’s almost a dance with so many things going on seamlessly at once. Chefs start showing up at 5am to make it happen, which makes sense when you learn they have to make over 160 sauces and dressings from scratch. Whoa.
Veggies cut fresh every day! These are for my precious Chinese Chicken Salad. Cheese is hand grated, and burgers are hand-formed.
The Avocado Egg Rolls are a classic, but I was here to try some new items too.
I was able to bring some friends for my post-tour tasting, which is good, because we had a lot of food to nosh on. Krissi borrowed my hat and looked pretty darn adorable. We started with drinks! Hey, it was almost noon. This is the new Tropical Tiki Punch with rum, pineapple, ginger and lime.
Next up, the Egg Roll Sampler with four sauces, another new item. The Firecracker Salmon were my favorite.
Finally, my beloved Chinese Chicken Salad! Just as good as always. Ahi Tuna and Steak Tacos rounded out our lunch!
But of course, we saved room for cheesecake. Has there ever been a more “me” cheesecake than this Celebration Cheesecake?!? I think not. Magic!
Thank you to The Cheesecake Factory for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.