When it comes to restaurants I really enjoyed before gluten and dairy were off limits in my life, the Cheesecake Factory holds a special place for me as it was the go-to place for any special occasion my family would celebrate.
Until recently, I had no idea if the Cheesecake Factory was gluten-free friendly because their online menu and website does not have a mention of gluten-free items anywhere. However, some holiday shopping at the Towson mall led me to check out the Cheesecake Factory to see if anything on their massive menu would be safe. I was happy to find that they had plenty of delicious options on hand, and decided to give them a try.
It seems all of the restaurants in the Towson Town Center are always bustling with activity and on the Saturday afternoon I visited, The Cheesecake Factory was busy, but the wait for tables was not too bad (approximately 10 minutes). Once seated, I let my waiter know that I was gluten-free, and he indicated to the GF labels in the menu that mark items that can be prepared gluten-free.
From all of the gluten-free options on the menu (see those here) I decided to go with the shrimp and angel hair pasta, and subbed gluten free fusilli. My waiter believed the pasta was dairy-free, but double checked with the kitchen to make sure and realized that the pasta is normally made with butter. However, he flagged my order as a dairy allergy as well as a gluten allergy and it was no problem to hold the butter from the preparation. I ask as well if the pasta is made with fresh water/pan and he let me know that the pasta is made in an individual pan to reduce cross contamination with gluten pastas.
As with most restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory has a shared kitchen and is not a 100% gluten-free environment. Before placing an order, make sure you speak with your waiter or the manager to make sure they are aware with your dietary needs.
You really cannot go wrong with the combination of flavors of tomatoes and basil. This pasta features the classic Italian duo and adds shrimp, garlic, lemon and herbs. The pasta dish is simply prepared, but lets the amazing flavor of the ingredients shine through. The pasta was cooked to a perfect al dente and the portioning of it was pretty large. The only downsides of the dish were that it was on the salty side, requiring me to drink quite a bit of water afterwards, and that the shrimp count was a bit low (only 5 shrimps in the entire dish). Other than those small complaints, the dish definitely satisfied me and would be something I would order again on a future visit.
I am so happy that my assumption that The Cheesecake Factory was off limits for me was wrong. Because there are locations of The Cheesecake Factory across the country it is nice to know that I can get a meal at any of them whenever I travel. With a menu that includes burgers, salads, pastas, and more The Cheesecake Factory definitely provides a nice variety of foods to please every member of your dining party.
Although I cannot participate in the namesake food- cheesecake- there is a gluten-free option on the menu for those who can eat dairy. Check out my friend Alexis’ review of The Cheesecake Factory from Gluten Free in Orlando to get the scoop on the dessert (click here).
Address: 825 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204
Ideal For: Brunch (Sundays), Lunch, Dinner
Price: Prices range from $10 to $30+ per dish. See takeout menu prices for the Towson location here
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.