Lazy Hyoun Opts for Cheddar’s

It was Thursday and my turn to cook dinner… I planned on using a recipe that Haley gave me but it required about 30 minutes of prep and then 7-9 hours of cooking in a slow cooker. I forgot about it that morning so I just copped out and told Haley I’d take her to Cheddar’s. Win-win for both of us!

Cheddar’s is a chain of restaurants serving American food located throughout the southern states and as far west as Texas. Back in Lexington, Haley actually lived across the street from one so we’ve dined there many times. Cheddar’s has always been popular in Kentucky due to the good atmosphere (warm lighting with an abundance of plants, wooden walls & furniture, and the awesome fish tank), great food, and even better pricing points when compared to other restaurants in the same tier and Smyrna’s Cheddar’s was no different. I was always told the reason for this is because Cheddar’s exists entirely on word-of-mouth advertising. I don’t know if this is true, but I have never seen an advertisement for Cheddar’s… ever. So it makes sense…that your menu prices can take a cut if you have a lack of a marketing department.

The Cheddar’s in Smyrna is always busy. There is always a 10-15+ minute wait no matter what time you go. I don’t understand how it’s so busy all the time. I overheard the manager mention to a customer that they are one of the busiest Cheddar’s in the country. I believe it! Lately, Haley and I have been sitting at the bar because nobody likes to sit at the bar unless you’re waiting for your table or you’re drinking. The good thing about the bar is the wait time there is reduced to a few minutes to instant seating. Last Thursday was no different.

We were greeted by a male bartender (who didn’t provide his name) and gave him our drink order as well as appetizer & entree orders since we already knew what we wanted. We started off with an order of Chips, Queso, & Salsa as an appetizer and Haley ordered her usual, grilled chicken pecan salad, and I wanted to try something new per the suggestion of my coworker Jayson. I ordered the Monte Cristo sandwich with a side of broccoli cheese casserole.

The chips, queso, and salsa are the cheapest thing on the appetizer list (except for chips and salsa) and at a price point of $3.99, you can’t beat it. You get freshly made chips, a bowl of creamy queso with bits of pepper in it and a side of salsa. You can even add ground beef to your queso at no charge. The queso was a tad bit saltier than I remembered, but it wasn’t so bad where you didn’t want to eat it. The salsa was “ok” because it tasted like it came out of a bottle. Not that it’s a bad thing, but if I wanted a jar of Pace Picante Sauce (which is what it tastes like), I would just buy some at Kroger’s. At least it had small bits of cilantro in it (any salsa with cilantro automatically becomes awesome).

When our entrees came, I was excited because it was something new and Jayson always mentioned how delicious it is. For those of you that don’t know, a Monte Cristo is 4 triangle cut pieces of a smoked turkey, hickory smoked ham, and cheese sandwich… then battered and fried to a golden crust with powdered sugar sprinkled on top and served with raspberry preserves. So it is essentially, a meat & cheese donut with raspberry preserves. Some of you may now be turning up your nose saying that it sounds disgusting. But then consider another combination of salty & sweet that works well: The McDonadl’s McGriddle. The McGriddle is cheese, egg, and your choice of meat with maple flavoring. Anyway, the sandwich is crazy delicious. The saltiness from the meats, creaminess from the cheese, the sweetness from sugar and raspberries, and the greasiness from the oil all combine together for a sinful experience.

As for my broccoli cheese casserole, which was almost overshadowed by the Monte Cristo, it was also very good and easily ranks as one of my favorite side dishes at Cheddar’s. The cheese sauce is smooth, milky, and thick with nice chunks of broccoli heads all mixed in with white rice. Occasionally you get that nice slightly burnt crust of the cheese with your side, which is a bonus.

Cheddar’s is definitely a restaurant I’d recommend to anyone. If you’re ever in the area or you happen to see one on your travels & you’re craving good food, stop by for a visit. You won’t be disappointed.

Cheddar’s Casual Café
955 Industrial Blvd
Smyrna, Tennessee 37167
(615) 223-9394

Bill Total: $17 For Two

Cheddar's Casual Cafe on Urbanspoon

Food:4.0/5.0 ★★★★☆ 
Service:3.5/5.0 ★★★½☆ 
Atmosphere:4.0/5.0 ★★★★☆ 
Price:4.5/5.0 ★★★★½ 
Overall:4.0/5.0 ★★★★☆ 

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