There appears to be a trend today 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 fray. The restaurant, which concentrates on quality food at a reasonable price, lately unveiled 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 Cheddars menu prices.
Cheddar’s re-brand includes a menu update as well, that was showcased in Greenville in a special tasting event a week ago. I attended, along with my hubby, Shannon, who is my willing partner in crime in terms of trying food, particularly meat dishes, that i avoid. Cheddar’s corporate chef, Robert Pesch was available at the event to describe some of the changes. Pesch said the newest menu items were a collective effort to make the Cheddar’s offerings more versatile and to highlight the from-scratch cooking that goes on in each and every Cheddar’s kitchen.
The menu changes span the entire menu from salads and sandwiches to entrees and cocktails. The brand new menu features a whole portion of lighter dishes that are all under 500 calories, plus some more gourmet additions like house made sauces, marinades and fried jalapenos to include 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 and a peanut sauce. My hubby loved this dish. I tried the sauce and really liked a combination of peanut flavor and chili. It experienced a great kick that surprisingly did a great job of unifying all the elements on the plate.
Shannon’s one comment was that he’d maybe try the dish using a heartier green just like a spinach for added nutritional value. Second up was the grilled Baja chicken. The dish was comprised of Cheddar’s scratch made black beans and rice, both of which were quite impressive in flavor. The chicken and beans were seasoned having a mixture of spices that gave them a kick. Many xjybed the folks sitting around me commented on the spiciness in the dish. I, myself like spice, but people who don’t should probably request light spice.
Grilled Baja Chicken over rice and beans at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. Third up was dessert, my favorite (obviously). I love the idea of the mini dessert. You can enjoy something sweet however, not feel overstuffed. Needless to say, that’s assuming you don’t order another one. I was tempted. Strawberry Cheesecake Mini at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.
Cheddar’s has three mini desserts, a strawberry mini cheesecake, a chocolate trifle as well as a key lime pie mini. These actually aren’t new items, however are delicious ones.
We tried the strawberry one. The cheesecake part tasted a lot more like a pudding in texture for me, which I actually prefer, as well as the combination of graham cracker crumbs and berries was perfect. Only thing is i might have preferred fresh strawberries, but c’est la vie. At $1.49 I’d definitely order it by myself. Pesch said there have been more changes ahead. He stated he along with his team are working to modernize the salads and also on obtaining a new bun for your burgers.