Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Cheesecake Factory Adventure

It all started back in April. We gave our truck to Brandon's parents because we found a more fuel efficient car to get us to and from work on a day-to-day basis. We love the truck, but this made sense for all parties involved. Plus, we can always borrow it any time we need to haul something. Or if I just want to feel the heated, leather seats one more time. But the truck came with demands conditions.

1) A very small amount of money
2) Jar of honey from the neighbors who have lots of bees
3) Take us out to dinner somewhere we wouldn't normally go

Kelley Blue Book said the truck was worth $7,000 - $8,000 so I think they got a steal! Then we had to decide where we wanted to eat. We're not super fancy people so we didn't really want to dress up and go somewhere that the portions were small, all the side dishes are extra and a server treats you like a snob. Sorry if that's your thing, We chose The Cheesecake Factory. Both of us had only been there once or twice ever and it was probably 10 years ago. Ok, so maybe we don't get out much. Don't judge us.

After months of forgetting about it, then having other things come up every weekend, we finally picked a day. Last Saturday. We didn't leave the house until the Ohio State football game was over so we didn't get to the restaurant until around 8pm. Honestly, I thought the rush would have been at 6 or 7 but oh I was so wrong. We walked into a sea of red buzzers and impatient patrons. Brandon gave the hostess our name and reported back, "45 minutes to an hour". Ok, no big deal I guess. After all, it was a Saturday night at a popular place. We should have expected this. So we waited. And people watched.

I understand that restaurants want to fill the place with as many tables as possible, but I don't understand how they couldn't bump it out a little further and put more space for those waiting to be seated. Instead, what you're left with are people standing all over the entry making it impossible for staff to get through and customers to make their way to the hostess stand. Or the bathroom. Also important. They told us the buzzer is only guaranteed to work inside the building so we can't leave. We stood as close to the wall as possible, but even then we practically got felt up every time someone tried to squeeze through behind us. Or my favorite, when I would get checked with a woman's purse.

The only logical thing to do was count people in North Face jackets. Actually, less counting and more babbling "North Face" under our breath when one would walk by. I think 1 in 3 people had one on so it became a good distraction. Brandon's mom hadn't heard of the brand before, I'm not sure how, but she has now seen them in every color. At least twice. Long and short. Fleecy and non. All bases covered.   

Then there was a party of six standing next to us. The dad was a tool. We'll call him Mr. Jerkface. See Mr. Jerkface was tired of waiting so long to get a table, even though his family had gotten there after us and at this point we had waited for about 45 minutes. Cool your jets, Mr. Jerkface. All these people around you are waiting too. Next thing you know, he's talking to a manager who takes his buzzer to "see what he can do" about the wait. Roughly 10 minutes later the manager came back, menus in hand to escort Mr. Jerkface and his 5 minions to their table. My first thought was "you've got to be kidding me", then our buzzer went off. Hungry meltdown averted. We were seated around 9pm.

On a typical day, I'm in bed by about 9:30pm because I get up at 4:15am for work. So eating dinner at 9pm isn't my favorite thing in the world. However, I was very excited about it being free and couldn't order an appetizer fast enough. The whole meal was great. I got their Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta and couldn't have been more pleased. We all chose to have our food boxed up so we would have room for cheesecake. I mean, how do you go there and not get dessert? That's insanity. By the time we were ready to leave, we had 10 boxes and 4 bags of food left over. Oh and it was nearly 11pm. Ugh.

So why do people do this? Waiting for an hour to sit down doesn't appeal to me. Yes, the food tasted great but is it really worth the 3,136 calories I ate? (Yes, I just added it up. But technically, I had leftovers on Sunday so it was only 1,568 each day.) I don't know how I did this all the time in college. How was I not broke? And 400 lbs. Going out to eat all the time just isn't our thing anymore.

Now I know why it's been about 10 years since the last time we went to the Cheesecake Factory.

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