By Andre T.
We went to CF Dec 2011, after many years. We had been in the first wave shortly after they opened, what, about ten or more years ago? It still had a huge selection of food, and that manic atmosphere of a place that rides on a wave of extreme popularity. This is a definite cut - a few cuts in fact, above the Applebees/TGI Fridays type pub food spots. It's prices reflect this. This CF is located in the upscale Riverside Mall - which is also not for the weak walleted.
We were with our two 1st grade aged girls. Your kids need to be veterans of eating out because the noise level here can be intimidating. You'll see many young singles on dates or in groups, many more affluent looking middle age types that look like they were shopping in the mall and stopped to grab a bite before diving back behind their gated communities, and they'll be dining table by table next to the people that knew they were going out to eat and put on their best A-Frame "wifebeater" T-shirt and fashionably askew baseball cap. Such is the great society we live in.
The food has always been great! we made the mistake of getting a cocktail each from ye olde drink menu with no prices, and found out later that it added a quick 22 dollars to the tab. Two apps for the four of us, two adult and two children's entrees, and we were light a cool C-Note ($100) plus 20% tip when we departed. But we had such a good time, the next weekend, when we found ourselves in Albany NY with two additional adults, we insisted on visiting the CF up there! That time, with no alcohol, and only two apps for the table, more modest menu choices - with the additional two people, we still kept it to a firm 100 bucks plus tip. It helped that I hit the 3 digit lottery that night for $500, so it didn't hurt like it should have.
Back to the Hackensack location: If you go to the Riverside Mall location on a weekend night, as we attempted on a Saturday night in late January 2012 for my birthday, it's bound to be over the top crowded. With our kids again, we thought getting there at 6:30 would avoid an achingly long wait - we were wrong. It was shoulder to shoulder in the front area, had to gently but physically move people to get to the desk. The pagers were all taken, and they said it was a 45 minute wait. Really? Only 45? For all these people? We waited and after 45 mins, my wife inquired to see how close we were. What, you don't have our name? We saw it get written down! By whom? Does it matter? Do we need to get names of the hostess now? Nothing you can do? Perhaps they thought we were scamming to cut in with two small kids, whom by this time were out of their minds with agitation. What? It's 50 MORE minutes to wait? ARE YOU SERIOUS? We are back at the end of the line?
This post is a reasonable alternative to the actions I may have been moved to commit on that night. I have to chalk it up to the young age of the staff - not just for the bungle - but also to have the sheer gall to be so unsympathetic to a customer, with kids no less, that waited so long and to expect us to wait that long again over THEIR mistake. They were probably relieved we left since they had more people than they knew what to do with. We ended up at our own town's half deserted little diner and had a nice meal at half the price. I won't say I'll never darken the door of the Hackensack Cheesecake factory again. But it may be a good ways off in the future.
Still, the food has always been exceptional - just pick your meal time carefully, and watch the sign in desk like a hawk!.
By q q.
not very good except for the food.we got bad service. rush to get rid of us. not come back to see if we needed anything.not volunteer to wait on us,write down order,bring food,silverware,menu,drink, and bill.the waiter looked at other people while wait on us,went away and not come back without explination. not busy restaurant. we had to find somebody to complete meal. our waitstaff was talking and gossiping with other employees. employee gave billl and tried to run away. and the person expected a tip that they not get