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Cheesecake Recommendations?

Cheesecake Recommendations?
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  • Cheesecake Recommendations?

    Post #1 - February 25th, 2006, 4:31 pm
    Post #1 - February 25th, 2006, 4:31 pm Post #1 - February 25th, 2006, 4:31 pm
    My (twentysomething) cousins are in town from Grand Haven, MI and want to go to the Cheesecake Factory. Since they can go to TCF in most suburbs and bigger towns across the country, I was hoping to convince them to try one of the hundreds of other unique eateries in Chicago. I already read a few suggestions for dining near the mag mile, but could use a few more. Any suggestions for cheesecake near Michigan Ave or anywhere else in the city? I believe Eli's is closed unfortunately. Thanks

    Tim
    Tim
  • Post #2 - February 25th, 2006, 4:37 pm
    Post #2 - February 25th, 2006, 4:37 pm Post #2 - February 25th, 2006, 4:37 pm
    The steakhouse is closed, but why not take a tour of Eli's Cheesecake Bakery? (Disclaimer: This is nowhere near Michigan Ave).

    http://www.elicheesecake.com/tours.aspx

    Eli's Cheesecake Bakery and Dessert Cafe
    6701 Forest Preserve Drive
    800-ELI-CAKE

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #3 - February 25th, 2006, 4:47 pm
    Post #3 - February 25th, 2006, 4:47 pm Post #3 - February 25th, 2006, 4:47 pm
    The cheesecake at Cheescake Factory tends to be a bit over the top sweet for my taste, although it's not really bad. But I wouldn't recommend dinner there under any circumstances. Maybe you can talk them into stopping there for dessert only? Or an afternoon coffee break. Trade them that for dinner at a place of your choosing. How about Avec? If I had a twenty-something cousin visiting from Michigan, that would be high on my list.
    JiLS
  • Post #4 - February 25th, 2006, 4:49 pm
    Post #4 - February 25th, 2006, 4:49 pm Post #4 - February 25th, 2006, 4:49 pm
    Interesting cheesecake here:

    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=7247
  • Post #5 - February 25th, 2006, 11:04 pm
    Post #5 - February 25th, 2006, 11:04 pm Post #5 - February 25th, 2006, 11:04 pm
    Maybe the 2 hour wait at Cheesecake Factory will completely deter them from dining there. I suggest taking the cheesecake to go. Plus, the slices are so large that unless you share the dessert, you'd have some that you'd take along with you anyway.
  • Post #6 - February 26th, 2006, 5:58 pm
    Post #6 - February 26th, 2006, 5:58 pm Post #6 - February 26th, 2006, 5:58 pm
    Believe it or not my favorite cheesecake in the city is from Connie's Pizza on Archer. They don't have it all the time, but the chocolate chip cheesecake is amazing. It is moist and creamy and has great flavor. I think Eli's (which is served at a lot of restaurants) can be a bit dry.

    Connie's Pizza
    2372 S Archer Ave
    Chicago
  • Post #7 - February 26th, 2006, 9:41 pm
    Post #7 - February 26th, 2006, 9:41 pm Post #7 - February 26th, 2006, 9:41 pm
    Interesting rec on the Connie's cheesecake. As many times as I've had pizza there, I can't say I've tried the cheesecake.

    I think Eli's is overrated. It's not bad really, but I don't think it's all that great either.

    Does anyone get JR's? I've enjoyed it at Taste and have kept it in mind for future dessert needs. I enjoy some of the flavors at Cheesecake Factory, but I find that the whole cheesecakes are too large and pricey. Fortunately, cheesecake is easy to make, so I usually do that. It's almost ridiculously easy if you go the store bought crust route and Philly 3 step recipe. Might not be the best, but not bad, and I always customize it with variations in crust and flavors.
  • Post #8 - February 26th, 2006, 9:55 pm
    Post #8 - February 26th, 2006, 9:55 pm Post #8 - February 26th, 2006, 9:55 pm
    BethO wrote:I think Eli's (which is served at a lot of restaurants) can be a bit dry.


    Wow. I almost don't know how to react to that one. Eli's a bit dry? I don't get that one at all. My feeling about Eli's cheesecake (and this includes eating it at Eli's restaurant, not just the grocery store version) is that it is gloppy, definitely NOT dry, overly sweet and just not really good. Now, I'll admit I have a perverse preference for really dry, really cheesey German and New York (baked) cheesecake, which I think of as the "real deal."
    JiLS
  • Post #9 - February 27th, 2006, 1:04 pm
    Post #9 - February 27th, 2006, 1:04 pm Post #9 - February 27th, 2006, 1:04 pm
    Manny's serves Eli's chocolate chip cheesecake, or at least they did last time I was there. If your kids like corned beef, and freshly sliced roast beef sandwiches et al, and a cafeteria environment with a heck of a lot of local character, that might be the place to go.

    It's a short cab-ride from Michigan Ave. Search the site fort much more.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #10 - February 27th, 2006, 1:44 pm
    Post #10 - February 27th, 2006, 1:44 pm Post #10 - February 27th, 2006, 1:44 pm
    The best cheesecake I've had in Chicago is made by J.R. Dessert Bakery on the Chicago-Evanston border, just west of California. Rich, dense, and delicious. It's not much of a destination, you just get your cheesecake to go (or they can ship it anywhere), but it's delicious.

    http://www.jrdessertbakery.com/
  • Post #11 - February 27th, 2006, 1:50 pm
    Post #11 - February 27th, 2006, 1:50 pm Post #11 - February 27th, 2006, 1:50 pm
    jonathanlehman wrote:The best cheesecake I've had in Chicago is made by J.R. Dessert Bakery on the Chicago-Evanston border, just west of California. Rich, dense, and delicious. It's not much of a destination, you just get your cheesecake to go (or they can ship it anywhere), but it's delicious.

    http://www.jrdessertbakery.com/


    Full Disclosure: I worked for JR for a few years in the late 80s-early 90s.

    I'll agree with this. JR has excellent cheesecake. Smooth, rich, and dense. Almost the opposite of Eli's moist and fluffy variety.

    JR is not really a destination to eat in, as mentioned, but they do supply Cheescake to tons of restaurants around Chicago. When I was working there, Stefani's restaurants and Gene & Georgetti's were among their customers.

    I'm sure if you called them and asked them what restaurants in a certain area you could find their cheesecake in, they'd be happy to help you out.

    I highly recommend their pecan caramel, chocolate chip, and chocolate-covered cherry (Xmas only).

    Best,
    Michael

    JR Dessert Bakery
    2841 W. Howard Street
    Chicago, IL 60645-1228
    773-465-6733
  • Post #12 - February 28th, 2006, 5:00 am
    Post #12 - February 28th, 2006, 5:00 am Post #12 - February 28th, 2006, 5:00 am
    eatchicago wrote:JR has excellent cheesecake. Smooth, rich, and dense. Almost the opposite of Eli's moist and fluffy variety.

    Fluffy? I don't think you're eating the same Eli's that I'm eating.

    I used to live across the street from JR's, and I've eaten a lot of their cheesecake. It is excellent. Regrettably, it's not so readily available as Eli's. I've eaten a lot of that, too. Eli's is also excellent.

    Both of them represent what I think of as the Chicago style of cheesecake, firm but creamy, a type which lies midway on the scale of cheesecakes between JiLS's "dry, really cheesey German and New York (baked) cheesecake" and the soft French style and gooey Sara Lee types.

    I'm not going to argue about whether Eli's or JR's tastes better, but in terms of consistency and style they're similar.

    Cheesecake definitions
  • Post #13 - February 28th, 2006, 8:02 am
    Post #13 - February 28th, 2006, 8:02 am Post #13 - February 28th, 2006, 8:02 am
    LAZ wrote:I'm not going to argue about whether Eli's or JR's tastes better, but in terms of consistency and style they're similar.


    I'm not going to argue about anything. I prefer to "discuss" :) I enjoy both Eli's and JR's (with a preference towards JR's).

    But we'll have to agree to disagree on style and consistency. Personally, I find them to be very, very different. To me, Eli's has a significantly more aerated texture than JR's. Both are "creamy", but I put Eli's on the "fluffier" end of creamy, while I put JR's on the dense end.

    But, as I said, both are good.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #14 - March 2nd, 2006, 2:58 am
    Post #14 - March 2nd, 2006, 2:58 am Post #14 - March 2nd, 2006, 2:58 am
    eatchicago wrote:But we'll have to agree to disagree on style and consistency. Personally, I find them to be very, very different. To me, Eli's has a significantly more aerated texture than JR's. Both are "creamy", but I put Eli's on the "fluffier" end of creamy, while I put JR's on the dense end.

    I think I would have to taste Eli's and JR's side-by-side before I can comment further on how they compare in texture. That will have to wait till after I'm next in Rogers Park in the daytime.

    Maybe we're not using "fluffy" in the same way. By me, cotton candy is fluffy. Meringue can be fluffy. Not cheesecake.
  • Post #15 - March 4th, 2006, 2:51 pm
    Post #15 - March 4th, 2006, 2:51 pm Post #15 - March 4th, 2006, 2:51 pm
    Personally, I like the Russian style baked cheesecake (vetrushka) better than the creamy type. However, In the Eli's vs JR's poll, I would definitely vote for JR's. IMHO, it is denser and richer. Regardless, they both blow away the cheesecake factory.

    I wonder if Gulliver's serves JR's, since it is just down the street? The decor in that place is amazing. They have a huge menu and OK (not great) pizza, along with fruity novelty cocktails.

    Anyhow, the suggestion of visting Eli's factory ( AKA Eli's Cheesecake World) is an excellent one. Why not go to a REAL cheesecake factory? Just tell them you misunderstood what they were asking for. You can tour the factory, then eat decent sandwiches (and cheesecake, of course) in their cafe. In the summmer, they have outdoor picnic tables on a green lawn, which is surprisingly pleasant for being outside a factory.
  • Post #16 - March 4th, 2006, 3:44 pm
    Post #16 - March 4th, 2006, 3:44 pm Post #16 - March 4th, 2006, 3:44 pm
    To actually answer your question, for mag-mile cheesecake, you can walk them across the street to Grand Lux Cafe (same owner as Cheesecake but better food and dessert) as well as just going for dessert at the Drake or any other hotel on the strip. - They all serve Eli's!
  • Post #17 - March 8th, 2006, 9:30 am
    Post #17 - March 8th, 2006, 9:30 am Post #17 - March 8th, 2006, 9:30 am
    However, if you stop by JR's (which we love so much we served it at our wedding rehersal dinner - we'd have had it for a wedding cake if it hadn't been outdoors in August) you can get chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick, which has to be tasted to be believed.

    I wish I could remember - there's a restaurant nearby that serves it. Gullivers, maybe?
  • Post #18 - January 2nd, 2011, 6:26 pm
    Post #18 - January 2nd, 2011, 6:26 pm Post #18 - January 2nd, 2011, 6:26 pm
    Apologies for the bump, but does anyone know what JR is charging for a 2 lb. plain cheesecake at retail these days? The site only lists the mail order prices.
  • Post #19 - January 2nd, 2011, 7:30 pm
    Post #19 - January 2nd, 2011, 7:30 pm Post #19 - January 2nd, 2011, 7:30 pm
    This thread makes me want to go make a cheesecake.

    When in a pinch I go for the calorie bombs at cheesecake factory. They aren't bad and I haven't had a problem at lunch time.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #20 - January 3rd, 2011, 11:48 am
    Post #20 - January 3rd, 2011, 11:48 am Post #20 - January 3rd, 2011, 11:48 am
    pairs4life wrote:This thread makes me want to go make a cheesecake.

    When in a pinch I go for the calorie bombs at cheesecake factory. They aren't bad and I haven't had a problem at lunch time.


    Yeah, I think their Cheesecake is respectable, certainly moreso than their regular food. My favorite is the banana.
  • Post #21 - July 26th, 2022, 3:17 pm
    Post #21 - July 26th, 2022, 3:17 pm Post #21 - July 26th, 2022, 3:17 pm
    Eli’s Cheesecake breaks ground on $9.5 million expansion.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/business ... story.html

    Eli’s Cheesecake Co. broke ground Tuesday on a $9.5 million expansion of its Northwest Side production facility that will give the iconic Chicago cheesecake-maker space to grow as it builds back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Marc Schulman, son of the late legendary Eli Schulman, said the expansion will give the family-owned company some much-needed breathing room.
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #22 - August 9th, 2022, 5:17 pm
    Post #22 - August 9th, 2022, 5:17 pm Post #22 - August 9th, 2022, 5:17 pm
    Props, Dave, for the 11.5-year bump! :lol:
  • Post #23 - August 9th, 2022, 8:34 pm
    Post #23 - August 9th, 2022, 8:34 pm Post #23 - August 9th, 2022, 8:34 pm
    I love the Basque cheesecake at Au Levain, a micro-bakery from the pastry chef at Bistro Campagne. The toppings/flavors vary a bit seasonally. I recommend ordering in advance for Sunday pickup. It is also available (by the slice?) on the Bistro Campagne dessert menu.

    https://www.aulevainchicago.com/shop

    Bistro Campagne
    4518 N. Lincoln Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60625
  • Post #24 - Yesterday, 9:49 am
    Post #24 - Yesterday, 9:49 am Post #24 - Yesterday, 9:49 am
    For those who enjoy a New York style (cream cheese) cheesecake, the one at Maggiano's is pretty damn good.

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