It’s your birthday and you’re hankering for a piece of cheesecake. Where are you going to go to satisfy your craving? Why The Cheesecake Factory of course.
And as usual, the restaurant at The Fashion Mall at Keystone never fails to provide excellent service, plenty of delicious food and an inviting atmosphere for a pleasant celebration on a recent Monday evening.
When you know that you are going to order cheesecake, you have to limit what you order for dinner. A look at the 21-page menu, which is put together like a spiral binder, offers more than 200 different food items. And the restaurant says all the food is prepared daily.
A young male server named Trotsky waited on us. He was full of suggestions about various types of food and provided page numbers where we could find them on the menu.
And on that menu, there is everything from luscious dinner salads like Santa Fe Salad for $13.95 that features lime marinated chicken, fresh corn, black beans, cheese, tortilla strips, tomato and mixed greens with a spicy peanut cilantro vinaigrette. Or you can order Steak Diane with medallions of Angus beef steak covered with black peppercorns and a rich mushroom wine sauce served with mashed potatoes and grilled onions for $19.95.
I opted for the $13.95 crabcake sandwich on a brioche bun with shredded lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce. It was perfection with plenty of crab and not much filler and cooked just right. A side salad with the house vinaigrette instead of the usual French fries was a nice complement.
My dining companion said her Chicken Di Pana ($12.95) with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli was delicious. The light breading on the sautéed chicken breasts were plated on a thin layer of a butter wine sauce. This entrée came from a special menu that included several items from the Grand Lux Café, a sister restaurant of The Cheesecake Factory. There is no Grand Lux in Indiana; the nearest is in Cincinnati.
Diners should be forewarned that portions for most things are quite large and usually can be carried home for a next-day treat or meal.
Our server was soon back with plenty of suggestions for cheesecake dessert. Trotsky suggested either the pumpkin with pecans cheesecake, a seasonal favorite, or the Reese’s peanut butter with chocolate cake cheesecake. I guess when someone named Trotsky suggests something, you pretty much take the suggestions – so we ordered a slice of each.
By the way, for every slice of the Reese’s cheesecake, the restaurant chain donates 25 cents to the Feeding America charity. Last year, the restaurant chain donated about $800,000 to the charity that is fighting hunger in the U.S.
If you are an aficionado of cheesecake, the following is a list of some of the many kinds available at the restaurant.
There are white chocolate raspberry truffle; Godiva chocolate cheesecake; lemon raspberry cream cheese cake; vanilla bean; Kahlua cocoa coffee; Dutch apple caramel streusel; or caramel pecan turtle.
When Trotsky brought me the bill, I asked him what his parents were thinking when they named him after the Russian Bolshevik revolutionary. He said jokingly that he wasn’t Russian and he had no idea why they named him after the Marxist theorist – but he thought they might have been smoking something funny like spice or K2.
You can e-mail comments to Jack Sales at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cheesecake Factory
8701 Keystone Crossing
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Phone: (317) 566-0100
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Note: There is also a Cheesecake Factory restaurant in the Greenwood Park Mall.