Cheddars: fine dining at a reasonable price

Cheddar’s opened its first greenville location this summer. -Nikki Rausch | The East Carolinian

Grade: A

Finding an affordable place to go out to eat on a college student’s budget can be difficult … until now. Cheddars Casual Café recently opened their third North Carolina location here in Greenville.

“The prices are great,” said Taylor Rathbun, a junior elementary education major. “It was really surprising too because it was such a nice restaurant.”

Cheddars restaurant has a very appealing look, both inside and out.

The inside of the restaurant is very nice and stylish. Their prices did not match their look—which, in this case, was good.

The prices listed in the menu were almost unbelievable, especially compared to the atmosphere of the restaurant. The restaurant was decorated in a very upscale fashion and it seemed the prices would be somewhat expensive.

“Nothing in our menu is over $13.95,” said Jessica Wren, manager of Cheddars. “And that’s a steak.”

The restaurant was very busy even in the middle of the week. Wren explained that the restaurant has remained busy since their opening about a month and a half ago. When dining at the restaurant, the wait time was about 30 minutes around 6:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night.

“It’s been really busy,” said Lyndsey Sloan, a server at Cheddars and a student at Pitt Community College. Sloan explained that even though they have smaller sections the amount of business the restaurant gets makes up for it.

Cheddars also has locations in Charlotte and Asheville.

“We’re opening our next location in Fayetteville soon,” said Wren.

Wren also explained that their business has been breaking records due to the amount of customers they have received.

Since their menu items are so reasonably priced and are well in range of a college students’ budget, Cheddars does not offer any promotional offers to students.

Wren explained that they feel it is unnecessary to participate in promotional deals because they have such a large selection of menu items priced very reasonably.

“The décor and food prices are wonderful,” said Ashley Lackey, a sophomore health services management major. “I love being able to get a complete meal for under $10.”

“The spinach dip was very creamy and light,” said Rathbun, “unlike most spinach dips I’ve tried. Our whole meal was delicious and well priced, not to mention we got a lot of food for the price.”

The portion size of the spinach dip was very large and enough to satisfy cravings. It was also served with salsa. The salsa was mild and not too spicy. It was not very thick, which unfortunately would have made it more appetizing.

The chicken alfredo pasta was delicious. The alfredo sauce was thick and creamy. The portion size was more than enough to have left overs. The amount of pasta was overwhelming, but the dish could have had more chicken. It was served with a side of broccoli and carrots that were uncooked and mixed in with the pasta and alfredo sauce. This mixture was a little different, but still satisfying.

Cheddars is much like a compilation of many different popular upbeat restaurants. It has qualities that resemble TGI Fridays, Chili’s and Ruby Tuesday—but the restaurant has taken aspects of those restaurants and thrown in their own qualities.

My party had good service during our experience, although we were surprised to have a wait in the middle of the week. After we were sat, our server greeted us. At first, they seemed agitated, but throughout our meal they became friendlier.

“The food was great the first time I went,” said Lackey. “However, the last two times I went service was slow, my chicken was raw and the staff was sloppy. I would recommend it, but they do need to step up their game, ‘service wise!’”

Overall, my party’s dining experience at Cheddars was wonderful. The service was great, considering the restaurant is still fairly new. We were surprised that our food came out shortly after we ordered, even with the restaurant being busy. Most importantly, everything tasted great.

It is definitely a wonderful restaurant with great food and even better prices to match!

 

This writer can be contacted at lifestyles@theeastcarolinian.com.

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