Cheesecake Factory

2 W Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 584-6000

Parking: Colorado Blvd-adja
cent lots and meters (we found $10 all-day parking)
Monday-Friday; 4-6pm, $5 Specialty Cocktails, well drinks & wines by the glass, $ 15 pitchers of sangria, $10 pitchers of beer, $5 wines by the glass, $4 select draft beers; tons of Food options from $4-6
“If you don’t know, now you know…”
--Biggie Smalls
Mr. Wallace likely wasn’t writing about JG’s & my affection for chain restaurant happy hours (although he would’ve been a fun Happy Hour companion; of this, I’m sure!), but well… if you don’t know that JG and I love a good chain Happy Hour like Maggiano’s or PF Chang’s or the Yard House, now you know!
For this reason, an afternoon trip to Pasadena with Nicandrew included a stop at the chain most cited as a portion-control-killing obesity cause, the Cheesecake Factory!! And I get it – their portions are kinda ridiculous. That’s why you should just go for Happy Hour, have a fantastic cocktail and a large portion-ed appetizer and be on your merry way!

Which is exactly what our crew did. We dropped in at 4pm, when Happy Hour starts and were glad we were just there for Happy Hour since there was a wait for the restaurant. Happy Hour is served at the bar area and at the nearby high-tables. A couple spots cleared at the bar when we arrived so we took a seat and then a few minutes to make a choice on their wicked-crazy food Happy Hour options; for real, so many delish-sounding options between $4-6!

$5 HH Drink Selections - Long Island Iced Tea, Margarita, Mojito
The drink choice was a little easier. Besides $5 well drinks, $5 wines by the glass, and $4 select draft beers, they also offer 4 classic cocktails – mojito, Long Island iced tea, margarita, cosmopolitan – and a specialty called J.W.’s Pink Lemonade for only $5. As dorky as it sounds, sometimes it’s nice to see the specialty drinks listed out like that. I love Long Island’s, but always seem to forget that they’re out there waiting to be enjoyed. Seeing it listed on the menu – well, I just had to have one! Nic had a tasty margarita and Drew enjoyed the mojito, which our bartender freshly made right before us. All the drinks were pretty right on, but I think the mojito was my fav.
After a starter of their delish white & honey-wheat (I think?) bread, Nicandrew ended up going with the artichoke-crab dip for $5.95 and I had an order of the Avocado Eggrolls served with a tamarind dipping sauce for $5. Being the Cheesecake Factory, the eggrolls were actually three whole eggrolls cut in half – more than enough food for one person! Awesomely good though.

$5 Avocado Eggrolls

$5.95 artichoke-crab dip
So that was the food and drink… The ambiance was kinda what you’d expect – a couple TVs going (1 sports, 1 CNN), a good-sized crowd for 4pm that was a little loud for my tastes. Luckily, and I don’t know if it was because we were buzzed, but I swear when they dimmed the lights around 4:30, the crowd got quieter! I say dim lights all the time, baby!
All in all, we had a fun time and the chain restaurant Happy Hour didn’t disappoint! The only disappointment (and it’s kinda major) is that I just don’t understand why HH only runs weekdays from 4-6pm. I know people have more flexible schedules in Los Angeles, but all my working friends don’t get off work until at least 5:30, so I’ll never understand an HH that only lasts til 6, especially if it’s weekday only. And for the Cheesecake Factory where Happy Hour is served at the bar-area only, I really don’t think a 2-hour weekend HH could hurt business that much.
Rating: 3 Martinis (HH is great, but the time kinda suckeolis)
The Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon

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