Sweet Jesus, they deep fried balls of macaroni & cheese. Life is so good.

Tonight I had what might possibly have been the best meal i've ever had at a restaurant. We (we being my brother, his family and I) took my mother out to dinner tonight. We had about a million options but we ended up at The Cheesecake Factory. For an appetizer, my brother ordered avocado eggrolls -- naturally, I objected. Heidi backed up my objection but my brother held strong to his decision. So we just ordered our own -- fried macaroni & cheese (they didn't have a picture for this one, not that it matters because the avocado eggrolls didn't look much like the picture on the website).

Can I just say, we were so right. I could die of fried macaroni & cheese and die happy. Good lord, they were incredible. The good homemade creamy mac & cheese -- breaded and deep fried. There are no words. I think we all decided that screw the meals, just bring us a few plates of these. I notice that there is only one location in all of Alabama & Mississippi. Hell, just rename the place "Fried Mac & Cheese" and open 20 more locations. The avocado rolls on the other hand... They seemed to be enjoyed by my family and my first taster bite wasn't all that bad. So I decided to take a bite. Oh, big mistake. A whopping chunk of avocado and red onion. I literally stopped chewing dead in my tracks as my brother, who had been watching for my reaction, burst into laughter. I didn't want to chew it, and I certainly didn't want to swallow it. It was just vile. I came oh so close to spitting it right back out -- but I resisted. Instead I chewed and swallowed as if I were being tortured -- because I was.

Our meals ranged from crispy chicken costoletta for my brother, bang-bang chicken and shrimp for his wife, cheese pizza for my nephew, steak diane for my mom, and honey-maple pork tenderloin for myself. All of them were fantastic. Mine was served with mashed potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. Yum. The vegetables and tenderloin were all fantastic -- and those mashed potatoes... Just give me some mashed potatoes and fried Macaroni and I'll be splendid, thank you.

We also all ordered slices of cheesecake to-go. I'm going to have to give the Cheesecake Factory 5 stars. I've been there only twice, but the food has always been excellent. The atmosphere is great and so is the service. I HIGHLY recommend it if you've never had it.

We shopped for a bit after dinner. Then for the birthday part (mom's birthday) -- we didn't have a birthday cake -- but we did have 4 slices of overpriced but delicious gourmet cheesecake and a lighter. I'm glad to say that mom successfully blew the lighter out -- she can now have her wish. And I'm sure you can all go ahead and assume that dessert was beyond great. I also want to give them a huge kudos on the sugar-free dessert. They have a sugar-free cheesecake (which my brother said tasted even better than his slice) with fresh strawberries in a sugar-free sauce and sugar-free whipped cream to top it all off. Major props to the Cheesecake Factory!

Go give them your money -- it's totally worth it.


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