Pardon the silly title, but it was just too easy. Before heading back to NYC yesterday, I got an early lunch with my mom, sister, and aunt. We hadn’t planned on going to the Cheesecake Factory, but it was the only thing open near where we were staying, so why not? I was both amused and embarrassed that we opened the place.

This was news to me, but apparently the chain, which is notorious for its high-cal foods and huge portions, has been featuring a Skinnylicious menu since Fall 2011.

pardon the bad photo photo

While the menu doesnt list exact calorie counts, for each category, it says the maximum number of calories. For example, all the salads were 590 calories and under, the flatbreads were 490 and under, etc. I assume the sugar, fat and salt quantities were all still fairly high, but if nothing else, it seemed like a good PR move.  We all decided to try it out. My mom tried the ahi carpaccio, and my sister and aunt both got the soft tacos. I ordered the herb-crusted salmon salad.

We all enjoyed our food a lot more than we expected to.  Everything was super-fresh and the portions were generous but not overwhelming. I’d say I finished about three quarters of mine and felt really satisfied.

For dessert, we decided to go in the opposite direction and ordered a piece of red velvet cheesecake to split between the four of us. 

Not gonna lie—the first few bites were amazing. Especially with the cream cheese icing on top, these flavors were made to go together. However, after those first few tastes, the flavor just went away for me so I called it a day. Does that ever happen to anyone else? I mean, a few bites of something really decadent really is all you need most of the time, but it was crazy—four grown women with healthy appetites barely finished half of this slice of cheesecake that’s supposedly intended as a single serving for one person. I think that says more about the Cheesecake Factory than about us, though!

Have you tried anything off the Cheesecake Factory’s Skinnylicious menu? What did you think? If you haven’t, would you try it? 

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