It’s here! Starting today, The Cheesecake Factory at Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo, CA is open. Though the doors officially open today, a soft opening was held last week and I was able to be a part of it. Actually, anyone that called and made a reservation could participate but spots filled up quickly. Thanks to our friend that forwarded the information, I’m glad I was able to get a table!
The area that was once occupied by Mervyns is completely transformed now. Both the interior and exterior have been renovated and this corner of the mall looks fantastic! There’s so much detail outside with new landscaping and typical Cheesecake Factory styling but inside is even better. The space is huge with a ton of seating and decorated beautifully. I loved how the booths were open enough so you didn’t feel claustrophobic but the sides were the perfect height to still give you a sense of privacy for easy conversation. Patio seating is available outside (though there is not much of a view) and some patio-type seating inside the mall is great for a quick, casual meal.
To help with a smooth opening, this soft launch was intended as a training exercise for the employees. Each person is given a different menu to order from so the cooks get a chance at practicing several of the dishes. Each complimentary meal included:
- One appetizer per table
- One entree per person
- One alcoholic beverage per person (over 21, of course)
- One dessert per two people
- Unlimited soda, coffee, tea
We had the best time! The service was great, the food was surprisingly delish (monstrous portions), and it was all FREE! Our bill would have come up to $96.08 but the server said it was ‘taken care of’ though. We did end up giving him a tip as he was really helpful in giving suggestions and super attentive to our table. Our lunch ended up taking 2-1/2 hours, not that the cooks/servers were slow (in fact everything came out like lightening) but because we were just busy enjoying ourselves.
My husband was not able to join us on our lunch so we will definitely be going again soon. The Cheesecake Factory is expensive but the portions are definitely large enough to share and still have leftovers to bring home. This location also offers food to go. The only thing I worry about is that this place will be getting too popular. Though it does not offer the view that the San Francisco location does, it has free parking, easy access (no cramped elevator that goes 0.1 mph), and everything is brand spankin’ new. With the new H&M and DSW opening next month, our little city mall is going to get busy!