I feel like Cheddar's is the new Luby's--a place so thoroughly unadventurous with its food that your aging parents are sure to love it. Mine do! Better yet, Cheddar's is reasonably priced enough that they won't go off on some kind of "back in my day, it wasn't $16.99 for a pot pie..." rant.
In many respects, Cheddar's feels a step above what the prices on the menu would suggest. The dining area feels more upscale and is always cozy and clean. The portions are more than adequate. The bar menu is extensive. They even have a margarita that is approximately the size of a kiddie pool. It's fantastic.
That being said, Cheddar's inoffensiveness is its main weakness. Although there are signs of spice (the appetizer spinach dip and some of their salads come to mind), much of the menu is so like everywhere else's offerings that I often have trouble deciding what to order here. It feels like I've had it all already.
It is expensive and the dishes are simple but the staff is awesome and you DO get HUGE portions and can take half home.
It is low lighting and pretty apt for large groups, a night out with friends, or a party/celebration.
Okay forkers, when I eat out, I want to eat somewhere whose dishes I couldn't quite replicate perfectly or with ease. I want to eat something and put my palate to work. I want it to be all, "Dubya tee, what is that taste? Is that...ROSEMARY and LEMON??" so that I can be all, "Hello, palate, did you not read the menu description?" I hope you follow.
That's the problem with Cheddar's: it's all bland, same old-same old, basic dishes. I don't wanna put salt or pepper on my plate. Is it too much to ask for it to be spiced already?? Plus, I've tried multiple things there (including chicken fingers, which I feel like you can't mess up), and nothing wins me over.
I only eat here at other people's request, but I never, and I mean never, eat here myself. I feel kind of pretentious as I write this because I used the word "palate," so I hope you can forgive me...I just want you to exercise your senses by trying to find something appetizing elsewhere.
Cheddar's is a great place to eat, but most people know that already... which is why it seems to be packed ALL THE TIME! If there are only two or three of us we generally try to snag a seat near the bar which is open seating and allows you to skip the list. However long though the wait is generally worth it. Appetizers are cheap and come out fast and the food is always hot and fresh. Portions are large enough to be split between two adults and the kids menu has a couple of options that are not fried with a side of fried.
While there are better meals to be had in town, I find it hard to believe that there is a better value to be found.
I hadn't been to Cheddar's in quite a while but went with two other people last night and had an excellent meal. We all had more than enough to eat and one person got a drink, and our total bill before tip was under $30.
One of the best bets is to get one of the meals that they offer a lunch portion of (lunch portion can be had at any point during the day). The lunch portion of the Salmon last night looked larger than the dinner portion at a lot of other places and was excellent.