3124 West Friendly Avenue
Greensboro, NC 27408
Cheesecake - $6.95 to $7.95 a slice
Fish & Chips Lunch Special - $13.95
Shepard's Pie Lunch Special - $13.95
This is a review of The Cheesecake Factory that just opened in Greensboro, North Carolina. They opened on Tuesday, October 18th and we visited yesterday, Sunday at 11:50 am. Their hours are Monday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 11 pm. Friday and Saturday they are open until 12:30 pm and Sunday they are open from 10 am to 11 pm. Brunch is available on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Parking is available in front of the building and on the right side of the shopping area. There is no parking in the rear. Parking is very limited, so I recommend visiting during non peak hours. It is not a free standing building and it's about half the size of the one located in Raleigh. I'm really shocked they didn't build more parking for their customers. The other stores must be suffering because many people don't have the patience for driving around and around looking for a parking space! I didn't see a sanitation score posted and there isn't one posted on the Public Health website. Hubby dropped me off and he continued to search for a parking space. I waited in line to get a table and was given a beeper and told it would be a fifteen minute wait. Our beeper went off in about fifteen minutes and we waited again for a table. What? Yep, we waited again! They had four groups of people waiting for a table after they set their beepers off. This was really annoying since there was very little room for us to stand and wait for a hostess to seat us at a table. Normally restaurants will only set off your beeper when they are ready to seat you and the hostess is waiting with menus in hand. We waited about another seven minutes for a table and the hostess had a hard time finding us due to their disorganization. There isn't enough space in the foyer for people waiting for a table or ordering cheesecake to go. The cheesecake case is on the right side of the reception desk. Some people waited outside, but on a rainy day that will be unpleasant. There are only a couple of benches outside.
We were seated at a table for two located in the bar area of the restaurant. It was very crowded since the tables were too close together. While the interior decor is lovely, it was extremely loud with chatter and music. There were people walking past my Husband's chair within inches of him non stop. Our table was situated so that I would be sitting on the seam of the bench and Hubby said his chair was uncomfortable. When they bused the table next to us the employee was standing within inches of me. It was difficult to hear Hubby & the waiter since it was so loud yet the lady sitting next to me was rudely listening to our conversation and reacting to it. She was very loud while talking to her child and shaking an annoying rattle and allowing her child to to throw food continuously. It was not a peaceful environment. I highly recommend asking for a booth only, it's worth the additional wait time!
We ordered our drinks and continued reading the menu trying to decide what we were going to order. Hubby ordered the Shepard's Pie and I ordered the Fish & Chips. We ordered them both in the lunch portion which is smaller and less expensive. Both lunch portions cost $13.95 whereas the regular portions cost $15.95 for the Shepard's Pie and $17.50 for the Fish & Chips. The prices are high in my opinion. Thirty-two minutes after we arrived we were finally served their bread and butter as shown above. One mini loaf is pumpernickel and the other is sourdough and it's severed with two small pads of butter. It was served several minutes after our drinks arrived and I thought it was strange the waiter didn't bring it out with our drinks. The bread was served warm and it was tasty, but it needed more salt and butter. The food was taking so long that I decided a bit more bread would help since we hadn't had breakfast and I was starving. It was difficult to get the waiter's attention, but we finally did and ten minutes after sitting down we received the second bread basket. Six minutes after that our food arrived, so that's thirty-eight minutes after we arrived at the restaurant that we were finally served our entrees! The couple next to us looked like they had been there a very long time waiting for their entrees and they were served their food only a couple minutes prior to us and the waiter thanked them for their patience. They didn't even eat their food, they just asked for boxes and left. The table of four on the other side arrived prior to us and they were served just as we were finishing our meal! They didn't eat much of their food either. Hubby gives the Shepard's Pie two out of five stars. He said that it had too much sauce and mushrooms, not enough meat and he didn't like how they cut the carrots and zucchini into very thin strips. He only liked the mashed potatoes on top. It's described as "ground beef, carrots, peas, zucchini, onions in a delicious mushroom gravy covered with a mashed potato parmesan cheese crust". The mashed potatoes didn't have a crust, they should have been browned longer. Traditional Shepard's Pie is baked until it has a perfectly browned crust of mashed potatoes on top. His portion was huge and we think they may have brought him the full sized portion by mistake. He mostly ate the potatoes and the beef. I enjoyed the fish, but it was average. Two pieces of the fish were of average size and the other two were very small and had too much batter on them. I give this dish three out of five stars. It was a good portion for lunch, it was served hot and it wasn't too greasy. The tarter sauce & cole slaw were just ok and the french fries were dry. It's described as "hand battered and fried crisp, served with cole slaw, french fries and tarter sauce". I also didn't care for the basket it was served in since the sides were too tall and it was too large for such a tiny table. I ate most of the fish and left most of the fries and cole slaw behind.
It was quite dark in the restaurant since they have outdoor seating wrapping around the side of the restaurant that blocks the light and on the other side it's joined to the store next door with no windows. There are only three stalls in the women's bathroom and it's very dark in there. There are two sinks and two Dyson hand dryers which are very loud and the only option to dry your hands. Management didn't make an appearance the entire time we were there which was shocking for their first days of service when first impressions are so important to the success of a restaurant.
On the way out we wanted to get two slices of cheesecake to go and to our surprise even though there wasn't a line at the cheesecake case we had to wait five minutes for them to place it in a box! The girl who took our order and two other girls just stood there at the register when they could have prepared our order. Instead we had to wait behind a long line of dining customers' orders. Why they are allowing three employees to just stand there and stare at customers instead of keeping busy is beyond me. That was another very disappointing experience. Our cheesecake didn't look great when we arrived home since they placed whipped topping on it which we didn't want. We weren't asked if we wanted whipping cream. I don't have pictures of the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake and Carrot Cake Cheesecake we purchased for $7.95 a slice since the weren't presentable. The Carrot Cake Cheesecake had no cheesecake, it was simply a small slice of traditional carrot cake! We were shocked since they were serving large pieces of carrot cake also and we were asked which we wanted as if one was cheesecake and one was regular cake. The only difference was in fact the size of the slice. The White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake was dry and we both didn't care for the crust. I prefer my homemade cheesecake which is extremely moist. The carrot cake didn't have enough cream cheese frosting, too many nuts, no cheesecake and it was such a tiny slice for the price. I prefer Harris Teeter's carrot cake! All in all it was a very stressful, expensive and disappointing visit and we shall not be returning. What's your favorite restaurant in the Triad? Please comment below.
Feel free to browse around at my reviews of local restaurants, state parks and wineries before you leave. Share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking on the boxes below: Tweet