Finally… a Cheesecake Factory in San Mateo! The restaurant’s Grand Opening was on Monday, September 19, 2011 at Hillsdale Shopping Center (across from Trader Joe’s and Old Navy) and what an opening it was – you wouldn’t believe the crowds!
We’ve enjoyed many a fine meal at some of their other locations (there are over 150 of ’em), including San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Florida and New York – let’s see if this new San Mateo location takes off – we’re sure it will!
We arrived for an early dinner and the restaurant was already packed – and buzzing. Luckily, we didn’t have too long a wait; but by the time we left, there were big crowds forming both inside and out. Once seated, we waited for about 15 minutes before anyone came over to our table. We made good use of our time – the menu is extensive and with so many great offerings, it took us a while to decide what we wanted to eat. Be sure to check out the Cheesecake Factory’s “Calorie Counter” nutrition booklet – it lists every item on the menu along with info on calories, saturated fat, sodium, etc. Then again… why spoil your meal 🙂
After being introduced to three separate servers, we finally got someone to take our order and bring us each a glass of water – hey, it was everyone’s first day so we cut them a little slack!
A basket of their delicious white and whole-wheat bread arrived at our table warm, right from the oven. We didn’t want to fill up on it, but there’s something about warm bread that’s just too good to resist… don’t ya think?
We waited for another 20 minutes for our appetizer to arrive, followed a little too quickly by our entrees. We’re happy to say that it was well worth the wait!
Here are a few of the dishes we ordered:
The Mushroom Lettuce Wraps Appetizer (close-up picture below)
Shiitake Mushrooms, Green Onion, Ginger, Garlic and Water Chestnuts, sauteed with Mushroom Soy served with crisp Romaine Lettuce Leaves – so yummy… and healthy to boot!
SkinnyLlicious Menu: Seared Tuna Tataki Salad (pictured below)
Fresh Ahi lightly seared and served rare with Avocado, Sliced Tomatoes and Mixed Greens, tossed with Wasabi Vinagrette – incredibly fresh Ahi and a huge portion!
Fish & Seafood: New Orleans Shrimp & Brown Rice (pictured below)
Shrimp, Andouille Sausage, Tomatoes,Peppers, Mushrooms, Onions & Garlic in a Mildly Spicy Sauce (served with white or brown rice) – each bite bursting with flavor!
Everything was absolutely delicious and we’d order the same thing again. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Cheesecake menu (there are over 200 selections), you can order everything from appetizers, small plates and snacks, fresh salads, pizza, pastas, fish and seafood, hamburgers, steaks and chops, sandwiches, eggs and omelettes, combos, specialty desserts, ice-cream, creamy and spiked milkshakes, cocktails, wine, beer – there’s even a NEW SkinnyLicious menu for healthy eating.
And of course there’s the legendary cheesecakes… over 50 of ’em! Unfortunately, we were both so stuffed, we couldn’t even manage to split a slice. Guess we’ll be going back again soon just so we can have dessert!
So overall, our experience on “opening day” at San Mateo’s new Cheesecake Factory was a good one. Food was terrific, people were friendly and we’re hopeful that the service will improve quickly. The bar looks like a fun place to hang out, especially during their Happy Hour specials, offered Monday-Friday from 4-6pm (enjoy discounts on appetizers and beverages). And for those of you in a hurry, there’s “Curbside-To-Go” service where you can get your order delivered right to your car!
No reservations; you are seated in the order you arrive. Pagers are given out so that you know when your table is ready.
Here’s the address and phone number:
398 Hillsdale Shopping Center
Anyone eaten at this new restaurant yet? What did you think of the food and service? Please comment below – we’d love to get your feedback.