The Center for Science in the Public Interest has shocked the world with one of its most recent revelations: The Cheesecake Factory, in spite of its name evoking images of wheat-grass extract and raw kale, has a menu replete with numerous unhealthy dishes.
Say it ain’t so.
To learn that a manufactory of cakes made of cheese might, from time to time, serve foods with high caloric content is the sort of surprise that makes me rethink how I see the world.
Honestly, the one thing that really annoyed me about this story was that some poor spokeswoman for The Cheesecake Factory – Alethea Rowe – felt compelled to try to stand up for her employer. C’mon, folks – nobody heads to a restaurant called The Cheesecake Factory with the intent of sticking to her caloric-restriction diet.
Couldn’t we exempt from scrutiny any joint that actually includes in its name a food that you know you can’t eat on a regular basis if you’d like to be able to fit through standard-size doorways?
Rowe even went so far as to point out that there are some low-calorie offerings on the menu. While I dig that doing so meets the goal of providing patrons with choices, I would’ve preferred a more gutsy response from the chain. Something along the lines of, “Suck it. This shit tastes good. We’re not here to make you skinny. We’re here to make you happy. How and when you splurge is your business – we’d just like to be the ones who take your business when that splurge time comes.”
Now, I understand that America is fat as hell and getting fatter. Sure, we may all have some problems with self-control and caloric restraint. I’m just not sure if certain feedlots need to be listed as potentially contributing to obesity.
In particular, couldn’t we exempt from scrutiny any joint that actually includes in its name a food that you know you can’t eat on a regular basis if you’d like to be able to fit through standard-size doorways? If a restaurant called itself, say, “Fried Twinkies,” couldn’t we all just agree that eating there might not be overly healthy?
Hell, in a world where too many people lie about who and what they are, I find the fact that The Cheesecake Factory topped a list of high-calorie meals somewhat reassuring. That, my friends, is truth in advertising. There’s nothing wrong with saying what you are and owning it.
Advertising tends to lie. Until the day a car company releases a 600-horsepower sports car called “Phallus,” I’m going to have to hold The Cheesecake Factory up as a shining example of the power of honesty. It isn’t like America is going to get skinny if The Cheesecake Factory suddenly starts to really push its salad menu.
Until the day a car company releases a 600-horsepower sports car called “Phallus,” I’m going to have to hold The Cheesecake Factory up as a shining example of the power of honesty.
I’m not sure how the Center for Science in the Public Interest could better spend its time. I’m not trying to be a dick by poking fun at its list – I’m sure the folks there have got the best of intentions. It just seems like there has to be some other way to get through to Americans.
They could, for instance, just put up some billboards of average Americans, naked, with the faces blurred out. Copious cellulite, seen nude, can be a potent appetite suppressant. Or they could lead an effort to force restaurants with high-caloric menus to have a minimum distance between the parking lot and the front door – let’s get those thunder thighs waddling for a few extra feet between feedings, see if that helps.
But whatever we do, let’s not embrace a Captain Obvious mentality. There are plenty of surprising facts in the world. I’d rather our scientists went after those and left the low-hanging fruit for people too fat to jump to the higher branches.