There seems to be a trend these days of casual restaurant chains like Olive Garden and TGI Friday’s rebranding themselves as purveyors of scratch-made, craft beer serving establishments. Well Cheddar’s Casual Cafe has joined the arena. The restaurant, which specializes in quality food at a reasonable price, lately launched a re-branding effort to focus on it’s efforts toward scratch-made food and healthier choices. The restaurant in Greenville was recently re-named How much does burgers cost at Cheddars.
Cheddar’s re-brand features a menu update also, that was showcased in Greenville in a special tasting event a week ago. I attended, in addition to my hubby, Shannon, who may be my willing partner in crime in terms of trying food, particularly meat dishes, which I avoid. Cheddar’s corporate chef, Robert Pesch was accessible at the event to clarify a number of the changes. Pesch said the newest menu items were a collective effort to make the Cheddar’s offerings more versatile and also to highlight the from-scratch cooking that goes on in each and every Cheddar’s kitchen.
The menu changes span the whole menu from salads and sandwiches to entrees and cocktails. The new menu features a whole section of lighter dishes which are all under 500 calories, and a few more gourmet additions like house made sauces, marinades and fried jalapenos to incorporate depth of flavor.
Asian Salad at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. First up was the Asian Salad, a mixture of greens, carrots, mango, fresh cilantro, and topped with chicken as well as a peanut sauce. My hubby loved this dish. I used the sauce and incredibly liked the mixture of peanut flavor and chili. It experienced a great kick that surprisingly did a good job of unifying each of the elements on the plate.
Shannon’s one comment was that he’d maybe try the dish using a heartier green like a spinach for more nutrients and vitamins. Second up was the grilled Baja chicken. The dish was composed of Cheddar’s scratch made black beans and rice, each of which were quite impressive in flavor. The chicken and beans were seasoned using a mixture of spices that gave them a kick. Many xjybed the folks sitting around me commented on the spiciness from the dish. I, myself like spice, but those that don’t should probably request light spice.
Grilled Baja Chicken over rice and beans at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. Third up was dessert, the best (needless to say). I love the concept of the mini dessert. You can enjoy something sweet although not feel overstuffed. Needless to say, that’s assuming you don’t order yet another one. I had been tempted. Strawberry Cheesecake Mini at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.
Cheddar’s has three mini desserts, a strawberry mini cheesecake, a chocolate trifle and a key lime pie mini. These actually aren’t new items, however they are delicious ones.
We tried the strawberry one. The cheesecake part tasted a lot more like a pudding in texture to me, which I actually prefer, and the blend of graham cracker crumbs and berries was perfect. Only thing the following is which i could have preferred fresh strawberries, but c’est la vie. At $1.49 I’d definitely order it on my own. Pesch said there have been more changes in the future. He said he and his awesome team will work to modernize the salads as well as on getting a new bun for that burgers.