The Oracle (Palo Alto, California)
Recently, it was announced that The Cheesecake Factory in downtown Palo Alto will be closing down on Saturday, May 26. The restaurant has been serving customers at this location for over a decade, and throughout that time it has been by far one of my favorite restaurants.
Whenever my family or friends come to visit from Brazil, the first place they want to go is The Cheesecake Factory. The restaurant holds an incomparable fame in Brazil, where the chain does not have any locations. Brazilians long for the delicious cheesecake, and it is the most famous American restaurant there. The first thing that happens after we pick my family up from the airport is a trip to the downtown Cheesecake Factory, a place that now holds dozens of precious memories.
The Cheesecake Factory is undeniably the epitome of American food; it presents mouth-watering, oversized and calorie-filled options for every appetite. The “Super” food section on their encyclopedia-sized menu has options ranging from avocado toast to a vegan cobb salad. Meanwhile, underneath the “Cheesecake” heading you can find over 35 varieties of heavenly cheesecakes. Regardless of what you choose, there’s no way to go wrong. The menu presents over 250 dishes—which always provided me with plenty of variety as a picky eater—and all of them are delicious. In my opinion, nothing can compare to the the delicious Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake or the gargantuan GlamBurgers.
Addionally, The Cheesecake Factory has always been one of my favorite places to hang out with my American friends. The environment is lighthearted, with a friendly waitstaff ready to serve their outstanding dishes to you. Its location right in the heart of downtown Palo Alto makes it the perfect place to grab a snack, whether you’re just strolling through or shopping in the plethora of stores. The wait time is also extremely low, since the venue is so large. Often, especially in that area, restaurants have limited seating which requires reservations in advance. The little to no wait time has always come into convenience during unplanned meals.
The staff at The Cheesecake Factory will also never fail to make you smile. Everyone seems so pleased to be working there, creating an incredibly welcoming environment. Although many of them will be moved to other Cheesecake Factories around the area, others will be left unemployed. It is sad to think that the downtown location closing means saying goodbye to such a friendly waitstaff.
Cheesecake Factory’s large space also creates the perfect place for birthday parties. Every time I go there, I always hear a table loudly singing “Happy Birthday” somewhere in the restaurant. I myself have attended quite a few of these parties throughout my life. The long tables comfortably fits a large group of friends, and the delicious cheesecake serves as the perfect birthday cake. There are also a variety of appetizers and snacks to choose from on the menu that provide for perfect party food.
The Cheesecake Factory’s closure brings sadness to regular customers like myself. Most places have a much more limited selection of dishes, with far less delicious cheesecakes to choose from—or none at all in most cases.
Now, the closest Cheesecake Factories are located in Hillsdale Mall or Valley Fair, both of which are simply too far away to be of any convenience. They also don’t hold the memories made at the downtown location which I am now forced to say goodbye to. If you are looking for a satisfying meal, The Cheesecake Factory is no longer a place to turn to. There also won’t be a way to DoorDash dishes, since all other locations fall far outside of the delivery range to Palo Alto.
The closing of the restaurant marks the end of an era, but regardless it is exciting to see what will replace the 375 University Ave. location.
Photo Credit: Cristina