Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Direct from the factory ...

We had a big lunch outing for a departing co-worker today. I would have considered skipping it but she’s one of my favorite co-workers. I hate the big office lunches. There are too many people, yet I always end up sitting next to someone I don’t care for. The lunches last too long, and I always end up spending way more for lunch than I would otherwise, and I rarely even like the food.

I know I sound like a curmudgeonly grouch, but wait, it gets better ... or worse ...

Today’s lunch was at the Cheesecake Factory, which is the kind of place I would generally avoid at all costs. The very name of it is disgusting to me; it’s not just a factory, which is unappetizing enough, but it’s a cheesecake factory. Rich, gooey, sweet cheesecake, and not just a moderate portion as a dessert after a sensible meal, but a whole factory full. “Hey folks, wanna shovel down a whole lot of cheesecake? This is the place!” Another problem with the Cheesecake Factory is that I’d always heard it was a bit pricey, “but they give you so much food!” everyone says. I guess that’s part of the whole “factory” concept. Well I’m against that. I don’t want to pay way too much for a lunch just because it represents more calories that I should eat in a whole day.

And of course the way-too-much-food wasn’t even good. I ended up just ordering a cheesesteak sandwich because I was too exhausted from trying to read the whole menu to actually make a decision (I think my mind was saying: “Cheesecake ... cheesesteak ... whatever.”). I should have done what I often do and order an appetizer of nachos as my meal. At least then I can have fun trying to artfully balance mixtures of flavors on tortilla chips while I sit next to the people I don’t care to talk to. But instead I got a bland sandwich on a plate loaded to overflowing with french fries ...
lunch
... not even very good french fries. I was wishing that I had brought along a little mini-bottle of Texas Pete to give the sandwich some flavor. I thought about asking for some, but after the sweet tea incident I figured they wouldn’t have any. The sweet tea incident irked some of the native North Carolinians: they asked for sweet tea, I mean “sweetea.” and the waitron said they didn’t have any, explaining that the Cheesecake Factory is a California company, and they don’t drink sweet tea in California, therefore the Cheesecake Factory doesn’t sell sweet tea. Of course I hate sweet tea, but I was irked in solidarity with the others.

And no, I didn’t have any cheesecake. By the time everyone finally arrived, ordered and ate, I was ready to get the hell out of there, and I didn’t feel like adding another $6-$8 to my bill for a stupid piece of cheesecake that would probably taste no better than any other piece of cheesecake. When I mentioned to someone that $6 was more than a piece of cheesecake was worth to me, she replied “But they give you a really big piece!” I’m not even all that nuts about cheesecake to begin with--I’d really rather have some tiramisu. Where’s the Tiramisu Factory?

5 comments:

badgergirl said...

wow, that post was so true.

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog, I've wondered. Do you worry that people from work might read your blog and realize you don't like them? You even use your name (at least your first name). I imagine that someone from work could google you.

Lisa B. said...

Yes, there is the possibility that someone from work could find this and read that I don't like some of my co-workers. I try not to go into detail about which ones, and believe me, I could go on and on about some people. To be honest, I really think that very few of my co-workers are curious enough about me to go googling me. Even if they did, having them learn that I may not care for some of them doesn't bother me so much. I'm more worried that I'll be demonized when they find out what a godless infidel I really am. After all, this is a workplace where someone is asked to lead a prayer before big meetings and potluck lunches (plus a lot of people bow their heads and pray silently over their food when we go to restaurants), and it's considered appropriate to advertise revival meetings on the elevator walls. I think it's easier to let people think that I'm a lazy christian who just doesn't go to church than to try to convince them that atheists aren't the same as satanists or demons.

Sarah said...

I hear that the cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory isn't even any good. (I don't know personally, I've never eaten there & would go to great lengths to avoid it.) Because they make it in so many flavors, the base can't have an strong flavor of its own, like for instance, cheese. So it ends up being a mountain of bland fluffy sweet stuff. Which would be good, I guess, if all you wanted was to stuff your face with bland sweet stuff.

"...atheists aren't the same as satanists or demons."

We're not? Dang!

Lena said...

I don't understand why there is so much Cheesecake Factory hatred out there. I don't frequent the place, but the few times I've been there, the food has been good (and my mom is very picky, so the fact that she liked it was a miracle in itself) and the service okay. I don't know why you'd order a Philly cheesesteak at the Cheesecake Factory or anywhere outside of Philly for that matter, so I can't say I was surprised you had a bad meal. I personally never order the cheesecake, because I find it too sweet, and I agree with you on the clunky name. The prices (apart from the steaks) are actually cheaper than what I pay at my local restaurants and overall, I think it's a pretty decent chain. It's certainly nowhere near as bad as Olive Garden and Red Lobster, two places that I have tried before and never plan to return to again.