Tuesday, February 28, 2012

MacaroniQuest: Cheesecake Factory

This issue of MacaroniQuest, we introduce a new feature--the Mood Noodles rating system! I realized since my first MacaroniQuest post that I can too tell the difference between macaroni dishes, and I can distinguish varying degrees of good. So from now on I'll be giving macaronis a happy noodle for every feature which pleases me and a sad noodle for every feature which lets me down. See how it all pans - or should I say casseroles - out in this review of the macaroni at the Cheesecake Factory!

The Cheesecake Factory has many things going for it—not least of which is the awe-inspiring selection of cheesecakes that gives it its name. But even more importantly, there are several things on its regular menu that I can and want to eat.

Go back and read that again. I said "several." That never happens. As the Queen of Picky Eaters, I am lucky if I can find one thing on any given menu that meets my exacting tastes. But the Cheesecake Factory has several!

And one of them is macaroni and cheese. This hearty entree is listed on their menu as a "side dish," but it is so big, I was able to save half of it to eat later.

As with all of my favorite macaroni dishes, this one featured a breadcrumb topping. The noodles were an extra-large variety of elbows, which were quite tasty. These two features earned the dish a happy noodle.

However, the cheese had a kind of gooey, Velveeta-like texture that I did not really appreciate, earning the dish its one sad noodle.

It came in a small cast-iron dish, to assure me that it was indeed baked in a real oven. The breadcrumbs on top were a delicious and attractive touch. Presentation value: thumbs up!

1 happy noodle  1sad noodle