“Tasty Salad, Mediocre Overpriced "Kobe"? Burger ~ Lengthy Time to Receive Lunch Meal”
Would have given this N. Austin/Arboretum mall-locale restaurant a "very good" rating if my son's Kobe burger had tasted more extraordinary, but in his opinion it did not taste like anything special, just a regular American hamburger. The 2 of us ate here for a 12noon weekday lunch after completing some financial business at a nearby office. It appeared as though the facilities were only half full at lunchtime in a very busy, well-trafficked mall area. Waited for a few minutes to be seated. I was perplexed by the 2 front desk receptionists' seating routine... placemats and patron's name were placed on top of the reception booth.Then the manager(?) walked over (not by one of the 2 front receptionists), retrieved the menus from the set of 4 menu piles, called out my son's name, and walked us over to our lunch table. We were met by a very friendly waitress, who offered to help my adult son select from the menu, making several suggestions. Helpful since he hadn't ever eated at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant before. I decided on the $5.95 Fresh Kale Salad (cranberries, Granny-Smith apples, Marcona almonds & green beans, tossed with a buttermilk-black pepper dressing), which was delicious, and perfect for the lunch meal I felt like eating. My son ordered the Kobe burger and sweet potato fries. After waiting a lengthy time for our lunch meal (approx.20min), we were served by another waiter. Our original female waiter returned to "check up" on our meal order, and to see if there was anything else she could bring us. My Kale Salad was delicious: 3/4" chunks of tang, skinless Granny-Smith apples, juicy cranberries, crunchy white almonds, and somewhe, I guess, there were green beans, but I didn't taste any. I'd forgotten to ask for my salad dressing to be placed on the plate's side, however, this salad's dressing wasn't overly "slathered" all over my kale greens. Just the perfect amount. I tried some of my son's sweet potato fries, which were presented in a perpendicular, bakery paper-lined, silver cup ~ delicious; just the right amount of salt to accompany the sweetness of the sweet potato slices. His $13.95 Kobe beef burger arrived with a smathering of cooked onions on top over melted cheese. He's not a "fan" of cooked onions (he thought the onions would be the red, raw onions ~ a minor detail the waitress forgot to tell him about), so he scraped off all the onions to his plate's side. Ultimately, he ate only 1/2 of his burger, mentioning that it wasn't an overly tasty or good-tasting burger, as the Kobe beef's "claim to fame" purports. I think restaurants' trend in recent years who flaunt "Kobe" beef burgers, usually with inflated price tags, is the key to this particular burger's taste. It appears that the 'real' Kobe beef is a delicacy, but the "Kobe" label has been applied too liberally, based on an ambiguous definition. And, so some US ranchers have tried to replicate the "unique techniques" that their Kobe, Japan, counterparts have employed to produce a similar product ~ but without success. At the Cheesecake Factory, we fell "victim" to the Kobe copy-cat burger... Definitely would NOT order the expensive Kobe burger on the menu again. In spite of my delicious, crunchy Kale Salad (whihc I'd order again), I'd only give this restaurant an "Average" rating due to the slow service in receiving our lunch order and the rather tasteless, overpriced "Kobe burger".
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.