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THE DISH: The Cheesecake Factory

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The Cheesecake Factory offers, from bottom clockwise, miso glazed salmon, a luau salad with chicken, fresh strawberry and ‘smores cheesecakes, and a Cajun jambalaya pasta with chicken and shrimp. (Staff Photos: Meghan Kotowski)

ON THE MENU

Avocado eggrolls — Avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions and cilantro fried in a wrapper. Served with a tamarind-cashew dipping sauce, $11

• Pasta carbonara — Spaghettini with smoked bacon, green peas, chicken and a garlic-Parmesan cream sauce, $18

• Jamaican black pepper shrimp — Sauteed shrimp in a spicy Jamaican black pepper sauce. Served with rice, black bean, plantains and a mango salsa, $18

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The inside of the new restaurant is intimate enough for a date night, but large enough to accommodate large parties.

The Cheesecake Factory

3333 Buford Road, Buford

770-831-4710

www.chessecakefactory.com

Open since: Dec. 10

General manager: Mike Kelley

Location: The Cheesecake Factory is located at The Village at the Mall of Georgia next to P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays.

Atmosphere: The inside of the new Cheesecake Factory is bright, but warm. The 8,400-square-foot facility marked the chain’s fifth in the Atlanta area and 168th nationwide.

The high ceiling is decorated with multiple layers of lights and fixtures, which gives the dining room a golden glow over the guests.

At the Mall of Georgia, there are approximately 225 seats inside for diners, plus an additional 70 on the outdoor patio. The patio will be opened to the public either later in the winter or early in spring.

While waiting on your food, you can look into the kitchen, which is separated from the dining room with an (almost) floor to ceiling window.

With such a large restaurant, the eatery has hired 275 employees locally to take care of the guests.

Menu: Don’t let the name confuse you. There is more than just cheesecake on the menu.

Actually, there are more than 200 items on the regular menu and more than 30 cheesecakes to choose from for dessert.

Meals range from small plates and snacks to “glamburgers” to steaks and chops. Plus, there is a SkinnyLicious menu (for those on a diet) and gluten-free menu.

All of the sauces, sides, platters, patties are made in-house on a daily basis to ensure a higher quality of food.

“Our guests are becoming more sophisticated with the explosions of cooking shows,” said Tim Creedon, area director of operations for The Cheesecake Factory. “We have to make sure our food it up to their standards. We take care when preparing these meals.

“We try to do something for everyone.”

Although the eatery is known for its sweets, none of the cakes are prepared in Buford. They are shipped in from the company’s bakery in North Carolina.

Right now, the restaurant is selling a toasted s’mores cheesecake. You don’t have to feel bad ordering it, either.

Each time a slice is ordered, The Cheesecake Factory donates .25 cents to Feeding America and No Kid Hungry: Share our Strength, which works to fight hunger.

On National Cheesecake Day, a new creation is released to the public and a portion of its proceeds also goes back to the nonprofits.

According to Creedon, the company has donated approximately $3 million since beginning the drive in 2008.

Thing you might not know: This is the first location opened in Gwinnett County.