Dinner and a Movie

Daniel Davis

“The Cheesecake Factory”King Of Prussia MallLocated in: Court610-337-2200

Searching for that place that has a little taste of everything? You might find yourself in “The Cheesecake Factory” if your taste buds are looking to be tingled by a multifarious menu. The King Of Prussia Mall has innumerable eateries, but what more of an intriguing name to catch my attention than “The Cheesecake Factory.”

The restaurant offers a side bar to order any cheesecake of your liking and if you prefer dining, serious and professional hosts await your inquiries. I was reminded of the Soup Nazi Restaurant from “Seinfeld,” when entering, with how sternly and hastily they handled our business.

The incalculable employees are more proficient and fast then they are kind, so if you are interested in getting your food in a timely fashion (even if it is busy), your wish is granted. The mood is a restaurant shrouded in darkness with the occasional light to spark hope for the customer. The gloominess is not a downer as much as a good place for you and another to share conversation and enjoy a quiet atmosphere.

The plethora of foods on the menu is astounding and I personally was awestruck. Between all the wines, dinners, desserts and other advertisments (working as commercials and distractions while you look for your destined food), you can get overwhelmed quite easily. It’s pretty difficult to find something you won’t like at this place, so take some time, look around, the waitress will be readily available to help you. The appetizers average about $8 and entrees about $16 and the cheesecake (because you have to get it) is about $7. Look to spend $35-$40 dollars on tasty meal that is well worth every penny.

From the instant I made myself comfortable in my seat, one of the countless waitresses at “The Cheesecake Factory” made her way over and introduced herself as Kathleen. Suffocating us with her knowledge of the menu and amiable attitude, Kathleen soon delivered my favorite drink in the entire world, an ice water with lemon. After taking a solid 10 to 15 minutes struggling over how I wanted to indulge myself on this date, I chose bruschetta, fried calamari and the Chino-Latino steak. I topped things off with a stellar dessert (even though I was so full from the meal I was going to erupt). The bruschetta and fried calamari presentation was delightful; I discovered my bread encompassed by a mound of freshly cut tomatoes (which made the bread soggy if not eaten immediately). The fried calamari arrived dangling off the plate with accompanying condiments, cocktail sauce and tartar sauce (what better a pair to join the fried squid)? The mantle and tentacles were puzzled together throughout the dish and tasted splendid.

Finally, the Chino-Latino steak I had been yearning for arrived, steaming with peppers and mish-mashed potatoes and joined by a bottle of A-1 Sauce. Every bite was worthwhile and succulent; I could not detach myself from my fork and devoured the meal rapidly. After the realization my stomach was overfilled with food, a look of consternation arose knowing I needed room for the cheesecake.

Disobeying my brain and stomach, I ordered the El Dulce Cheesecake, full of caramel and peanuts and other goodies I had no room for; this stomach no longer had vacancy. Afterwards, I enjoyed the best cheesecake I have ever eaten. I still reminisce of the magical night I had with “El Dulce” and my one night fling with the “Cheesecake Factory.”

“Mr. 3000” Comedy/DramaStarring: Bernie Mac & Angela Bassett PG-13 Running Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes  

Another baseball flick, another mediocre movie; for those of you who enjoyed “Rookie of the Year,” you might find yourself entertained by the humorous acting of Bernie Mac. Yet, one man can carry only so much a load, and the feeble plot accompanied by his jokes are not enough to make this a “must-see.”

Bernie Mac plays Stan Ross, an accomplished baseball player who has just attained the 3000 hit milestone and decided to quit baseball. After reaching a plateau approximately 25 professional baseball players have obtained, Stan Ross leaves the Milwaukee Brewers in the middle of their playoff hunt because Ross is an abrasive athlete.

After retiring, he opens a collection of “3000” related stores, basing everything on his nickname, Mr. 3000.

Several failed attempts on getting voted in to the Hall of Fame frustrate Ross and in the process of reviewing Ross’s statistics, an employee realizes Ross only had 2,997 “official” hits. After the news hits out-of-shape Ross, he decides to return to the sport so he can accomplish the feat he once held.

Throughout his quest of reaching 3 more hits, Ross struggles on and off the field with flame Mo (Angela Bassett). Also, Mac develops several boring relationship with semi-intriguing teammates who don’t really help the overall acting in the movie.

At points in the movie, Mac’s unrealistic swings and predictable storyline exacerbate the movie. The fluctuation between mediocrity and unentertaining is inevitable thanks to the poorly developed romance and relationships Mac develops with a few teammates.

On the upswing, Mac’s dramatic performance can impress at times and prove to the audience he is more than a one-dimensional comedic actor. If you can manage to tolerate a funny flick that doesn’t contain a good story and you enjoy foreseeing what’s going to happen next, “Mr. 3000” is for you.