Every time we visit Oahu, one thing is certain: we’ll be eating at The Cheesecake Factory at least once. Sometimes we manage to eat there twice. Or if the girls are going shopping, it’s a perfect place for me to cruise into, pull up a chair at the bar, and order a Cobb Salad and cold beer.
If you’ve never been to the Cheesecake Factory, let me try to explain it. To start, their menu is literally a book (or close to the size of a book,) with hundreds of choices. This may sound overwhelming, but it’s not. The only downside for me is that I’m guilty of usually ordering my favorites every time I go, so I don’t get to sample new things very often! Luckily, we usually meet friends there, so we’re always trying new appetizers.
The interior of the Honolulu restaurant (similar to their other restaurants I’ve been to) kind of reminds me of the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in a really good way. It’s an atmosphere that’s difficult to explain. Not too dark, not tot light, lots of background buzz, and great colors. I have no design background so I’m not even sure what style it would be called!
The Honolulu Cheesecake Factory is unique in that it’s planted squarely onto Kalakaua Ave., which is the main drag that goes the length of Waikiki (usually right next to the ocean.) And although this CF doesn’t have ocean view dining, it’s proximity to all the shopping and excitement is what makes it fun.
Every time we’ve ever visited for dinner, there’s always been a wait (usually 30 minutes to an hour,) but we plan for this. So we arrive early, sign in, get our “buzzer,” and then either go to the Apple Store (a couple doors down,) or “people watch” out front. There’s a long rock wall perfect for perching (it’s about 3 feet tall, so everyone sits here.) We’ve made-up this game called “They shouldn’t be wearing that” which has turned into a tradition. With the zillions of tourists walking by, we love watching the eclectic mix. At some point, someone in my family said “that person really shouldn’t be wearing that in public,” and it caught on. You’d be amazed at what you’ll see. Kind of reminds me of a tourist version of the People of Walmart! I know this sounds mean, but it really is a lot of fun. And if you saw what some people really have the nerve to wear in public, on this very busy street, you’d know what I mean!
When we order, I always start with a cold beer on tap, and my family orders different fruity drinks. We usually get a couple appetizers (think the fried macaroni) and then carefully select our dinners. I normally order the cobb salad- it’s huge, and my wife sometimes orders the lettuce wraps as a dinner item, even though it’s an appetizer. The kids usually order breakfast items (served all day.)
We try really diligently to save room for.... different types of cheesecake!
They have so many different types that I couldn’t start to recommend one in particular. Actually, I let my wife and daughters order the different pieces, so I sample whatever they choose.
For “low-carbers,” you can actually order a couple versions and not feel too bad (cheesecake is not the worse dessert if you’re trying to watch your carbs.)
If your hotel has an in-room fridge, chances are you’ll have leftovers for a late-night snack for for the next day.