Cheesecake Factory Review

I had to go to the Cheesecake Factory for a business lunch recently. Considering cheesecake is probably my all time favorite dessert (& I’m not normally that big on dessert), this was cruel and unusual punishment, but I’m always a good sport about going where the majority vote rules and making the best of it.

I asked for a gluten free menu and was told they are working on it, but don’t have one yet. Our server was very nice and helpful. She had a boyfriend with Celiac so was familiar with the items that are safe and not. Our table had ordered two appetizers, neither of which were suitable for me. I scanned the appetizer menu and asked the server, but was told they literally didn’t have one appetizer that was gluten free. 

Our server went back to the kitchen and asked numerous questions for me and made suggestions on a few dishes that might work well. I decided on plainly grilled salmon with fresh lemon, mashed potatoes and asparagus. I requested she double check with the kitchen on the mashed potatoes just to be safe, which she did and she assured me they were fine. Salmon is sometimes hard to get just right, but all of the food had a really nice flavor and was prepared well.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling very well a couple hours later. I never got seriously ill, but I definitely had “the fog” and felt under the weather that evening. My stomach also never got that upset, but seemed a little “off” for 2 or 3 days afterwards. Obviously, it’s hard to tell with Celiac since it’s usually a somewhat delayed reaction (at least for me), but I hadn’t had anything else unusual that day and I’m guessing there was some type of cross contamination issue in the kitchen. This tells me Cheesecake Factory has a ways to go (like further than just a gluten free menu) to understanding the seriousness of a gluten allergy and proper kitchen methods to minimize risk.

Has anyone else had a good or bad experience at Cheesecake Factory?


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  1. Brandon says

    I serve at cheesecake factory and have celiac disease. It’s tough serving so much delicious food that I cannot eat! However, I may be able to help with the cheesecake craving at least. The Godiva chocolate cheesecake is flour less and would be gluten free if it weren’t for the cocoa powder that Godiva sprinkles on top. I’m very sensitive to gluten and also get “the fog” as well as a lot of itching if I eat gluten. The solution: ask the bakery to cut the top layer of the cake off. I’ve never had any problem doing this. I encourage you to try it out so you can see for yourself. It’s delicious and worth it and in my opinion safe.

    • gfcritique says

      Cheesecake is my weakness so I understand. Great to know! I’ll have to try it out. Speaking of gluten friendly chocolate cakes – Not sure if you’ve had PF Chang’s flourless chocolate cake, but it is divine. I’m not usually a huge dessert person, but that is amazing. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Mindy says

    I have been “poisoned” as I call it, numerous times at various Cheesecake Factory locations. Though I was very specific about my dietary restriction, the waiter didn’t really seem to understand what I was talking about. Is it cornstarch, is it rice, is it dairy? No, just because I don’t eat wheat gluten doesn’t mean I want bland, fat free, vegan food! I’m not a health nut, I have an auto-immune response to one ingredient, WHEAT GLUTEN.
    I was misinformed, then mocked by the bartender Danielle, and her regular barflys, for the trouble with my order. That was the Palm Desert location, had similar troubles in Fullerton, and Glendale. Basically I can’t eat there. I won’t step foot in that place until they get a clue, and a GF Menu.

    • gfcritique says

      I would agree that Cheesecake Factory has a ways to go in regard to gluten education. The attitude of the server is just as troubling. I had a similar incident at Ra where the server mockingly asked me if I could have salt (on edamame). It’s difficult enough to eat out with a serious food allergy without servers not taking it seriously and being disrespectful about it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Joanne StJean says

    Ate dinner this evening at the Cheesecake Factory. I was told that there was no gluten free menu but all of the items were freshly prepared and that I would have many options. I informed my server of my gluten sensitivity and he helped me choose grilled Mahi, steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes. Two hours later the dreaded symptoms began and have continued for the rest of the night. I’m not sure which food item was contaminated with gluten but I’m guessing it was the mashed potatoes. Really hope Cheesecake Factory ups their education on food allergies!

    • gfcritique says

      I’m sorry to hear about your “glutening” and also disappointed to hear Cheesecake Factory doesn’t seem to have gotten much better since I was there. I’m pretty sure the mashed potatoes were my downfall as well. I always find it unfortunate when large chains that could easily be trusted “go to” places for gluten sensitive patrons make minimal effort to provide a safe menu &/or better educate their servers.

      I hope you are feeling better and I also hope eateries like Cheesecake Factory will start taking our allergy more seriously.

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